Though 2015 did not end with the ultimate goal, for Lawrence Timmons, it was a season he could be proud of.
“I feel like we were a resilient team,” he told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley on recapping last season. “We went through a lot , had a lot of tough injuries, but we didn’t back down. We kept going no matter what. We always pounded. That’s the thing about us I love.”
The injury list, though never an excuse, was remarkable. Stephon Tuitt missed two games with a knee injury. Ryan Shazier dealt with a shoulder issue and a concussion. Will Allen sprained his ankle and missed a month. Mike Mitchell played the last few weeks with a serious arm injury. And that doesn’t even count Senquez Golson, the team’s second round pick whose season was grounded well before training camp even began.
Timmons, though playing all sixteen games, was not immune to the injury bug either. It’s well known he played the first portion of the season with a turf toe injury. Still, he didn’t miss a snap and was the last defensive player in the league last year to play 100% of the time. It wasn’t until the home stretch that the Steelers began to rotate him out, choosing to sub in Robert Golden to play dime package on third and long.
In Part One of the sit down with Timmons, usually a quiet leader but has appeared to be more visible during the offseason, he said he enjoyed dropping into coverage and blitzing pretty equally. He was able to record his first interception, and tenth in his career, since 2013 against the Arizona Cardinals, a nifty deflection by Vince Williams’ into Timmons’ diving arms.
His future, though not touched on in the interview, is a bit uncertain. Turning 30 in just more than a month and entering the last year of the deal, with no reports of the team extending his contract, even to alleviate the tremendous cap hit he’s carrying. He isn’t the only one at his position either. Williams is heading into the last year of his rookie contract, making the future of the position currently murky.
It begins to brew the idea of Pittsburgh morphing into the increasingly-popular dime defense, a topic we’ll explore more in-depth perhaps another time and definitely should they draft someone who fits that mold.
Again, the Steelers did this with Golden but contained it to third and long. Is that a sign of a philosophical shift or just a sub-package wrinkle that won’t evolve to be much more than just that? Right now, as much as we enjoy speculation, it’s impossible to say.