You're with me, Timmons

The draft got off to a rocky start when the Steelers selected Lawrence Timmons in the first round. But after initially panning the move, Ryan Wilson reconsiders, and now thinks everything will work out fine ... thanks, in part, to another Pittsburgh draft pick.

I'll be honest; I wasn't thrilled about the Pittsburgh Steelers taking linebacker Lawrence Timmons with the 15th overall pick last weekend. Of course, I was only going on what others had told me, or what I read in the days and weeks leading up to the draft, so it was kinda hard to defend my position. That said, you don't have to be Mike Mayock to realize that if a guy shows up to his Pro Day out of shape, he probably doesn't take this whole professional football player thing very seriously.

And apparently, a lot of Steelers fans felt the same way I did. It's not like the Timmons pick snuck up on any of us -- there had been rumors that he was the guy -- and head coach Mike Tomlin couldn't quit gushing about him following his Pro Day. (Imagine how much Tomlin would've loved him if Timmons actually didn't look like he needed a respirator halfway through his workout.) But as April 28 approached, and we got clues into what the 14 teams in front of Pittsburgh might do, it became increasingly clear the Steelers had two options: (1) hope a highly-rated player slipped thanks to one of the clubs in front of them pulling a Millen; or (2) trade down and accumulated picks.

Unfortunately, the Miami Dolphins taking Ted Ginn, and Brady Quinn base-jumping from the top-3 all the way to the bottom third of the first round wasn't enough. Every player I had convinced myself was a worthy selection at 1.15 was long gone. Levi Brown was off the board by the fifth pick; Jamal Anderson eighth; Patrick Willis 11th; and my personal favorite, Adam Carriker, gone at 1.13. By now, I was so desperate I was willing to forego my "no CBs in the first round" rule and would've been happy with Darrelle Revis. I still didn't think the Steelers needed a cornerback -- at least this early in the proceedings -- but who else was worth a mid-first-round pick? The Jets, in an early effort to ruin my weekend, traded up -- to 1.14 -- and promptly drafted Revis. Thanks Manboobs Mangenius. Thanks a lot.

Now my only hope was a trade down. Quinn was still unemployed, though by the time Pittsburgh went on the clock, the commissioner had sequestered the world's best-coiffed caveman in a private Green Room. Might some team -- any team -- want to trade up and take Quinn at 15? God, I certainly hoped … wait, why is Roger Goodell walking to the podium with so much time left on the shot clock? Maybe the Steelers did work a trade, that could explain the quick appearance … except that during the previous trade, Goodell's No. 2 guy, Gene Washington, announced the news. Nope, this is bad. Goodell's got the Steelers pick in his hands and it's … Jeebus. It's Timmons.

And this is what it sounds like inside the mind of a crazy man. As I perused the Internets for the immediate Steelers Nation reaction, I noticed something: everybody was panning the pick. And when I write everybody, I just mean fans. Not scouts, or guys who actually watch game tape for a living. Just a bunch of people who buy draft magazines, read internet sites and watch a lot of television. It was at this point I reminded myself that while it was okay to disagree with the pick, I was really in no position to be offering my expert advice on why it was an awful pick. Since I'm not an expert. I begrudgingly decided that I was going to give this kid a chance. And I'm not kidding -- Timmons is 20 years old, and only started one year in college.

A ha! You might say. All the more reason to steer clear of him -- he's inexperienced, raw, and has been described as having a lot of "upside." Which, if we're being honest, is a euphemism for "he might be great, but chances are he'll wash out." But here's the thing: I know it's fun to make the argument that the Steelers have historically found their 'tweener 3-4 outside linebackers with late Day-1 or even Day-2 picks. Joey Porter, after all, was a third-rounder, and Clark Haggans wasn't drafted until the fifth round. Yeah, and when the Steelers started playing the 3-4 defense you could count on one hand (one finger?) the number of teams also employing this scheme. Now it would be easier to just add up the clubs that don't play some version of the 3-4. My point: you can't argue that Pittsburgh stretched for a linebacker in the first round because they used to find late-round gems to man the position. Everybody's looking for those same gems; they're usually long gone by the time Sunday roles around.

This isn't to say you still can't call Timmons a stretch -- hell, I thought he was -- but when the Steelers made him their guy with all the alacrity of LenDale White slurping his way through the Titans' buffet line, you have to think maybe Tomlin and Kevin Colbert know something we don't. (By the way, anybody remember all the gnashing of teeth when the Steelers didn't take White last year? Tennessee used another second-round pick on a running back this weekend. I'm really bummed Pittsburgh didn't pull the trigger on that deal.)

Could Timmons be the next Alonzo Jackson? Um, no. First of all, invoking Jackson's name is just lazy. Jackson couldn't play defensive end in college and he couldn't play defensive end or linebacker in the NFL. Physically, he and Timmons couldn't be more different. And other than the fact that they attended the same school, there's really no reason to compare them. Plus, if I remember correctly, Bill Cowher fell in love with Jackson, and he was largely responsible for the Steelers taking him in the second round. Who the hell knows how things would've turned out if Cowher had called in sick that weekend. I'm almost sure Cowher had nothing to do with the Timmons pick too. Whatever, I'm declaring a moratorium on Alonzo Jackson references. Trust me, it's for the best.

So while Timmons won't be the next Jackson, that's not to say he won't be a bust. But I'm just not comfortable making that proclamation 24 hours after the team called his name. I got nowhere to be; I can wait to see how this movie ends. Not to mention, I want to witness Timmons playing right outside linebacker -- Peezy's position. At 237 pounds, I can't imagine how it'll work, but he has two things going for him: one, Dick LeBeau is his defensive coordinator; Richard will make it work. Two, playing with Troy Polamalu. I relish the idea of watching these two wreak havoc.

If that doesn't get you, how about this:

Tomlin: [regarding LaMarr Woodley and Timmons] ...Not only that, we feel like we really took a step forward in making sure that special teams is a legitimate phase of our football team. Any time you get a 235 pound guy, a 265 pound guy, both of them can run and can play on their feet, I feel they will provide immediate help for us in that area as well.
Remember special teams? You know, the unit that cost the Steelers at least two games last season.

I'm not saying we shouldn't question what the Steelers do -- God knows I wouldn't have a job if that were true -- I just think we need see how things work out before passing judgment. I mean, when the team drafted Ricardo Colclough in the second round, we were all convinced Pittsburgh was getting a solid cornerback and super return guy. We were willing to give him a chance. But after we actually saw Colclough try the return thing everybody knew that little experiment wasn't going to work. Well, everybody but Cowher. And as fans, we were well within our rights to rip Cowher a new one for single-handedly losing the Bengals game and sending Colclough to a lifetime of therapy.

It's not that you shouldn't be critical … or fanatic, it's just that you should only do it with good reason. Otherwise people quit taking you seriously.

Alright, enough with the preaching.

As weird as this draft started, it couldn't have ended much better. What made things so … weird this year was that most of us had no idea what the Steelers were planning, even on Saturday. We've already discussed Timmons, but I think part of the reason I warmed to him -- maybe subconsciously, who knows -- was because Pittsburgh grabbed Woodley a round later. In my mind Timmons + Woodley = Porter. I know the math isn't perfect, but replacing Peezy -- or at the very least, adding depth -- was a concern heading into the weekend. Pittsburgh's first two picks go a long way in solving both problems. Not to mention the special teams angle Tomlin mentioned above.

Maybe the best thing to happen to Timmons in terms of winning over skeptical fans was Matt Spaeth. If you want to see some Steelers' fans mobilize, let the front office make a seemingly ridiculous draft pick. Man, fast and furious. Guess who loved it, though? That's right, me. Way back in February, I wrote a column suggesting the Steelers should think about grabbing a tight end on Day 1, preferably one who could block and catch (crazy notion, I know). And as long as Spaeth can block, he should be fine. Like I wrote at the time, there's no reason not to like Jerame Tuman -- he does his job -- but shouldn't Pittsburgh want more from the position than a glorified guard? If you need more convincing, here's what Football Outsiders' and FOXSports.com's Mike Tanier had to say:

Matt Spaeth, tght end, Steelers: The Steelers have an excellent young tight end named Heath Miller, so why did they select Spaeth? Two tight-end sets have become very popular in the NFL, and teams like the Patriots have demonstrated that you can do more than just run the ball with two big guys on the field. Spaeth is the best blocker in this year's draft class, so he can stay at home to protect Ben Roethlisberger or seal off linebackers on running plays while Miller splits the seam. Spaeth is the second coming of Mark Breuener, a tough blocker who started for the Steelers for nearly a decade.
I'll take that.

By now, it's no secret I've been pimping Daniel Sepulveda all off-season. I can honestly say that the highlight of my sports-related life is seeing the Steelers trade up to grab him in the fourth round. Sad? A little. But in my mind, definitely worth it. It certainly says something when an entire fan base is energized by the hometown team drafting a punter. Only in Pittsburgh, I guess. If nothing else, Sepulveda insures the Steelers have at least one Day-2 pick on the 53-man roster.

I have no idea what to think about the rest of Pittsburgh's draft. Ryan McBean has practice squad written all over him, but hell, maybe he'll be the next Mark Anderson. Cameron Stephenson seems like a Chris Kemoeatu-type guy, although I suspect some of that has to do with his appearance. Just like virtually everybody only compares black quarterbacks to other black quarterbacks, I think it only makes sense to compare Pacific Islanders to Australians who look like Pacific Islanders. Stephenson could be the next Alan Faneca … or the next Bo Lacy. History suggests the latter, but I'm willing to wait and find out. If William Gay is three-quarters the player Deshea Townsend is, then this pick would almost be enough to make up for last year's Orien Harris/Charles Davis/Omar Jacobs/Cedric Humes fiasco. All I know about Dallas Baker is that the University of Florida is to NFL wider receivers what Tiffin University is to NFL wide receivers. His nickname -- Touchdown Maker -- is cute and all, but I don't like his chances. That said, Lee Mays made the club in 2002 as a sixth-round pick, so anything's possible.

I'm not worried about that now, though. I'm still high-fiving myself over that Sepulveda pick.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\nI'll be honest; I wasn't thrilled about the Pittsburgh Steelers taking linebacker Lawrence Timmons with the 15th overall pick last weekend. Of course, I was only going on what others had told me, or what I read in the days and weeks leading up to the draft, so it was kinda hard to defend my position. That said, you don't have to be Mike Mayock to realize that if a guy shows up to his Pro Day out of shape, he probably doesn't take this whole professional football player thing very seriously.\r\n

And apparently, a lot of Steelers fans felt the same way I did. It's not like the Timmons pick snuck up on any of us -- there had been rumors that he was the guy -- and head coach Mike Tomlin couldn't quit gushing about him following his Pro Day. (Imagine how much Tomlin would've loved him if Timmons actually didn't look like he needed a respirator halfway through his workout.) But as April 28 approached, and we got clues into what the 14 teams in front of Pittsburgh might do, it became increasingly clear the Steelers had two options: (1) hope a highly-rated player slipped thanks to one of the clubs in front of them pulling a Millen; or (2) trade down and accumulated picks.\r\n

Unfortunately, the Miami Dolphins taking Ted Ginn, and Brady Quinn base-jumping from the top-3 all the way to the bottom third of the first round wasn't enough. Every player I had convinced myself was a worthy selection at 1.15 was long gone. Levi Brown was off the board by the fifth pick; Jamal Anderson eighth; Patrick Willis 11th; and my personal favorite, Adam Carriker, gone at 1.13. By now, I was so desperate I was willing to forego my \"no CBs in the first round\" rule and would've been happy with Darrelle Revis. I still didn't think the Steelers needed a cornerback -- at least this early in the proceedings -- but who else was worth a mid-first-round pick? The Jets, in an early effort to ruin my weekend, traded up -- to 1.14 -- and promptly drafted Revis. Thanks Manboobs Mangenius. Thanks a lot.\r\n

Now my only hope was a trade down. Quinn was still unemployed, though by the time Pittsburgh went on the clock, the commissioner had sequestered the world's best-coiffed caveman in a private Green Room. Might some team -- any team -- want to trade up and take Quinn at 15? God, I certainly hoped … wait, why is Roger Goodell walking to the podium with so much time left on the shot clock? Maybe the Steelers did work a trade, that could explain the quick appearance … except that during the previous trade, Goodell's No. 2 guy, Gene Washington, announced the news. Nope, this is bad. Goodell's got the Steelers pick in his hands and it's … Jeebus. It's Timmons.\r\n

And this is what it sounds like inside the mind of a crazy man. As I perused the Internets for the immediate Steelers Nation reaction, I noticed something: everybody was panning the pick. And when I write everybody, I just mean fans. Not scouts, or guys who actually watch game tape for a living. Just a bunch of people who buy draft magazines, read internet sites and watch a lot of television. It was at this point I reminded myself that while it was okay to disagree with the pick, I was really in no position to be offering my expert advice on why it was an awful pick. Since I'm not an expert. I begrudgingly decided that I was going to give this kid a chance. And I'm not kidding -- Timmons is 20 years old, and only started one year in college.\r\n

A ha! You might say. All the more reason to steer clear of him -- he's inexperienced, raw, and has been described as having a lot of \"upside.\" Which, if we're being honest, is a euphemism for \"he might be great, but chances are he'll wash out.\" But here's the thing: I know it's fun to make the argument that the Steelers have historically found their 'tweener 3-4 outside linebackers with late Day-1 or even Day-2 picks. Joey Porter, after all, was a third-rounder, and Clark Haggans wasn't drafted until the fifth round. Yeah, and when the Steelers started playing the 3-4 defense you could count on one hand (one finger?) the number of teams also employing this scheme. Now it would be easier to just add up the clubs that don't play some version of the 3-4. My point: you can't argue that Pittsburgh stretched for a linebacker in the first round because they used to find late-round gems to man the position. Everybody's looking for those same gems; they're usually long gone by the time Sunday roles around.\r\n

This isn't to say you still can't call Timmons a stretch -- hell, I thought he was -- but when the Steelers made him their guy with all the alacrity of LenDale White slurping his way through the Titans' buffet line, you have to think maybe Tomlin and Kevin Colbert know something we don't. (By the way, anybody remember all the gnashing of teeth when the Steelers didn't take White last year? Tennessee used another second-round pick on a running back this weekend. I'm really bummed Pittsburgh didn't pull the trigger on that deal.)\r\n

Could Timmons be the next Alonzo Jackson? Um, no. First of all, invoking Jackson's name is just lazy. Jackson couldn't play defensive end in college and he couldn't play defensive end or linebacker in the NFL. Physically, he and Timmons couldn't be more different. And other than the fact that they attended the same school, there's really no reason to compare them. Plus, if I remember correctly, Bill Cowher fell in love with Jackson, and he was largely responsible for the Steelers taking him in the second round. Who the hell knows how things would've turned out if Cowher had called in sick that weekend. I'm almost sure Cowher had nothing to do with the Timmons pick too. Whatever, I'm declaring a moratorium on Alonzo Jackson references. Trust me, it's for the best.\r\n

So while Timmons won't be the next Jackson, that's not to say he won't be a bust. But I'm just not comfortable making that proclamation 24 hours after the team called his name. I got nowhere to be; I can wait to see how this movie ends. Not to mention, I want to witness Timmons playing right outside linebacker -- Peezy's position. At 237 pounds, I can't imagine how it'll work, but he has two things going for him: one, Dick LeBeau is his defensive coordinator; Richard will make it work. Two, playing with Troy Polamalu. I relish the idea of watching these two wreak havoc.\r\n

If that doesn't get you, how about this:\r\n

Tomlin: [regarding LaMarr Woodley and Timmons] ...Not only that, we feel like we really took a step forward in making sure that special teams is a legitimate phase of our football team. Any time you get a 235 pound guy, a 265 pound guy, both of them can run and can play on their feet, I feel they will provide immediate help for us in that area as well.
Remember special teams? You know, the unit that cost the Steelers at least two games last season.\r\n

I'm not saying we shouldn't question what the Steelers do -- God knows I wouldn't have a job if that were true -- I just think we need see how things work out before passing judgment. I mean, when the team drafted Ricardo Colclough in the second round, we were all convinced Pittsburgh was getting a solid cornerback and super return guy. We were willing to give him a chance. But after we actually saw Colclough try the return thing everybody knew that little experiment wasn't going to work. Well, everybody but Cowher. And as fans, we were well within our rights to rip Cowher a new one for single-handedly losing the Bengals game and sending Colclough to a lifetime of therapy.\r\n

It's not that you shouldn't be critical … or fanatic, it's just that you should only do it with good reason. Otherwise people quit taking you seriously.\r\n

Alright, enough with the preaching.\r\n

As weird as this draft started, it couldn't have ended much better. What made things so … weird this year was that most of us had no idea what the Steelers were planning, even on Saturday. We've already discussed Timmons, but I think part of the reason I warmed to him -- maybe subconsciously, who knows -- was because Pittsburgh grabbed Woodley a round later. In my mind Timmons + Woodley = Porter. I know the math isn't perfect, but replacing Peezy -- or at the very least, adding depth -- was a concern heading into the weekend. Pittsburgh's first two picks go a long way in solving both problems. Not to mention the special teams angle Tomlin mentioned above.\r\n

Maybe the best thing to happen to Timmons in terms of winning over skeptical fans was Matt Spaeth. If you want to see some Steelers' fans mobilize, let the front office make a seemingly ridiculous draft pick. Man, fast and furious. Guess who loved it, though? That's right, me. Way back in February, I wrote a column suggesting the Steelers should think about grabbing a tight end on Day 1, preferably one who could block and catch (crazy notion, I know). And as long as Spaeth can block, he should be fine. Like I wrote at the time, there's no reason not to like Jerame Tuman -- he does his job -- but shouldn't Pittsburgh want more from the position than a glorified guard? If you need more convincing, here's what Football Outsiders' and FOXSports.com's Mike Tanier had to say:\r\n

Matt Spaeth, tght end, Steelers: The Steelers have an excellent young tight end named Heath Miller, so why did they select Spaeth? Two tight-end sets have become very popular in the NFL, and teams like the Patriots have demonstrated that you can do more than just run the ball with two big guys on the field. Spaeth is the best blocker in this year's draft class, so he can stay at home to protect Ben Roethlisberger or seal off linebackers on running plays while Miller splits the seam. Spaeth is the second coming of Mark Breuener, a tough blocker who started for the Steelers for nearly a decade.
I'll take that.\r\n

By now, it's no secret I've been pimping Daniel Sepulveda all off-season. I can honestly say that the highlight of my sports-related life is seeing the Steelers trade up to grab him in the fourth round. Sad? A little. But in my mind, definitely worth it. It certainly says something when an entire fan base is energized by the hometown team drafting a punter. Only in Pittsburgh, I guess. If nothing else, Sepulveda insures the Steelers have at least one Day-2 pick on the 53-man roster.\r\n

I have no idea what to think about the rest of Pittsburgh's draft. Ryan McBean has practice squad written all over him, but hell, maybe he'll be the next Mark Anderson. Cameron Stephenson seems like a Chris Kemoeatu-type guy, although I suspect some of that has to do with his appearance. Just like virtually everybody only compares black quarterbacks to other black quarterbacks, I think it only makes sense to compare Pacific Islanders to Australians who look like Pacific Islanders. Stephenson could be the next Alan Faneca … or the next Bo Lacy. History suggests the latter, but I'm willing to wait and find out. If William Gay is three-quarters the player Deshea Townsend is, then this pick would almost be enough to make up for last year's Orien Harris/Charles Davis/Omar Jacobs/Cedric Humes fiasco. All I know about Dallas Baker is that the University of Florida is to NFL wider receivers what Tiffin University is to NFL wide receivers. His nickname -- Touchdown Maker -- is cute and all, but I don't like his chances. That said, Lee Mays made the club in 2002 as a sixth-round pick, so anything's possible.\r\n

I'm not worried about that now, though. I'm still high-fiving myself over that Sepulveda pick.\r\n","mobileBody":" \r\n\r\nI'll be honest; I wasn't thrilled about the Pittsburgh Steelers taking linebacker Lawrence Timmons with the 15th overall pick last weekend. Of course, I was only going on what others had told me, or what I read in the days and weeks leading up to the draft, so it was kinda hard to defend my position. That said, you don't have to be Mike Mayock to realize that if a guy shows up to his Pro Day out of shape, he probably doesn't take this whole professional football player thing very seriously.\r\n

And apparently, a lot of Steelers fans felt the same way I did. It's not like the Timmons pick snuck up on any of us -- there had been rumors that he was the guy -- and head coach Mike Tomlin couldn't quit gushing about him following his Pro Day. (Imagine how much Tomlin would've loved him if Timmons actually didn't look like he needed a respirator halfway through his workout.) But as April 28 approached, and we got clues into what the 14 teams in front of Pittsburgh might do, it became increasingly clear the Steelers had two options: (1) hope a highly-rated player slipped thanks to one of the clubs in front of them pulling a Millen; or (2) trade down and accumulated picks.\r\n

Unfortunately, the Miami Dolphins taking Ted Ginn, and Brady Quinn base-jumping from the top-3 all the way to the bottom third of the first round wasn't enough. Every player I had convinced myself was a worthy selection at 1.15 was long gone. Levi Brown was off the board by the fifth pick; Jamal Anderson eighth; Patrick Willis 11th; and my personal favorite, Adam Carriker, gone at 1.13. By now, I was so desperate I was willing to forego my \"no CBs in the first round\" rule and would've been happy with Darrelle Revis. I still didn't think the Steelers needed a cornerback -- at least this early in the proceedings -- but who else was worth a mid-first-round pick? The Jets, in an early effort to ruin my weekend, traded up -- to 1.14 -- and promptly drafted Revis. Thanks Manboobs Mangenius. Thanks a lot.\r\n

Now my only hope was a trade down. Quinn was still unemployed, though by the time Pittsburgh went on the clock, the commissioner had sequestered the world's best-coiffed caveman in a private Green Room. Might some team -- any team -- want to trade up and take Quinn at 15? God, I certainly hoped … wait, why is Roger Goodell walking to the podium with so much time left on the shot clock? Maybe the Steelers did work a trade, that could explain the quick appearance … except that during the previous trade, Goodell's No. 2 guy, Gene Washington, announced the news. Nope, this is bad. Goodell's got the Steelers pick in his hands and it's … Jeebus. It's Timmons.\r\n

And this is what it sounds like inside the mind of a crazy man. As I perused the Internets for the immediate Steelers Nation reaction, I noticed something: everybody was panning the pick. And when I write everybody, I just mean fans. Not scouts, or guys who actually watch game tape for a living. Just a bunch of people who buy draft magazines, read internet sites and watch a lot of television. It was at this point I reminded myself that while it was okay to disagree with the pick, I was really in no position to be offering my expert advice on why it was an awful pick. Since I'm not an expert. I begrudgingly decided that I was going to give this kid a chance. And I'm not kidding -- Timmons is 20 years old, and only started one year in college.\r\n

A ha! You might say. All the more reason to steer clear of him -- he's inexperienced, raw, and has been described as having a lot of \"upside.\" Which, if we're being honest, is a euphemism for \"he might be great, but chances are he'll wash out.\" But here's the thing: I know it's fun to make the argument that the Steelers have historically found their 'tweener 3-4 outside linebackers with late Day-1 or even Day-2 picks. Joey Porter, after all, was a third-rounder, and Clark Haggans wasn't drafted until the fifth round. Yeah, and when the Steelers started playing the 3-4 defense you could count on one hand (one finger?) the number of teams also employing this scheme. Now it would be easier to just add up the clubs that don't play some version of the 3-4. My point: you can't argue that Pittsburgh stretched for a linebacker in the first round because they used to find late-round gems to man the position. Everybody's looking for those same gems; they're usually long gone by the time Sunday roles around.\r\n

This isn't to say you still can't call Timmons a stretch -- hell, I thought he was -- but when the Steelers made him their guy with all the alacrity of LenDale White slurping his way through the Titans' buffet line, you have to think maybe Tomlin and Kevin Colbert know something we don't. (By the way, anybody remember all the gnashing of teeth when the Steelers didn't take White last year? Tennessee used another second-round pick on a running back this weekend. I'm really bummed Pittsburgh didn't pull the trigger on that deal.)\r\n

Could Timmons be the next Alonzo Jackson? Um, no. First of all, invoking Jackson's name is just lazy. Jackson couldn't play defensive end in college and he couldn't play defensive end or linebacker in the NFL. Physically, he and Timmons couldn't be more different. And other than the fact that they attended the same school, there's really no reason to compare them. Plus, if I remember correctly, Bill Cowher fell in love with Jackson, and he was largely responsible for the Steelers taking him in the second round. Who the hell knows how things would've turned out if Cowher had called in sick that weekend. I'm almost sure Cowher had nothing to do with the Timmons pick too. Whatever, I'm declaring a moratorium on Alonzo Jackson references. Trust me, it's for the best.\r\n

So while Timmons won't be the next Jackson, that's not to say he won't be a bust. But I'm just not comfortable making that proclamation 24 hours after the team called his name. I got nowhere to be; I can wait to see how this movie ends. Not to mention, I want to witness Timmons playing right outside linebacker -- Peezy's position. At 237 pounds, I can't imagine how it'll work, but he has two things going for him: one, Dick LeBeau is his defensive coordinator; Richard will make it work. Two, playing with Troy Polamalu. I relish the idea of watching these two wreak havoc.\r\n

If that doesn't get you, how about this:\r\n

Tomlin: [regarding LaMarr Woodley and Timmons] ...Not only that, we feel like we really took a step forward in making sure that special teams is a legitimate phase of our football team. Any time you get a 235 pound guy, a 265 pound guy, both of them can run and can play on their feet, I feel they will provide immediate help for us in that area as well.
Remember special teams? You know, the unit that cost the Steelers at least two games last season.\r\n

I'm not saying we shouldn't question what the Steelers do -- God knows I wouldn't have a job if that were true -- I just think we need see how things work out before passing judgment. I mean, when the team drafted Ricardo Colclough in the second round, we were all convinced Pittsburgh was getting a solid cornerback and super return guy. We were willing to give him a chance. But after we actually saw Colclough try the return thing everybody knew that little experiment wasn't going to work. Well, everybody but Cowher. And as fans, we were well within our rights to rip Cowher a new one for single-handedly losing the Bengals game and sending Colclough to a lifetime of therapy.\r\n

It's not that you shouldn't be critical … or fanatic, it's just that you should only do it with good reason. Otherwise people quit taking you seriously.\r\n

Alright, enough with the preaching.\r\n

As weird as this draft started, it couldn't have ended much better. What made things so … weird this year was that most of us had no idea what the Steelers were planning, even on Saturday. We've already discussed Timmons, but I think part of the reason I warmed to him -- maybe subconsciously, who knows -- was because Pittsburgh grabbed Woodley a round later. In my mind Timmons + Woodley = Porter. I know the math isn't perfect, but replacing Peezy -- or at the very least, adding depth -- was a concern heading into the weekend. Pittsburgh's first two picks go a long way in solving both problems. Not to mention the special teams angle Tomlin mentioned above.\r\n

Maybe the best thing to happen to Timmons in terms of winning over skeptical fans was Matt Spaeth. If you want to see some Steelers' fans mobilize, let the front office make a seemingly ridiculous draft pick. Man, fast and furious. Guess who loved it, though? That's right, me. Way back in February, I wrote a column suggesting the Steelers should think about grabbing a tight end on Day 1, preferably one who could block and catch (crazy notion, I know). And as long as Spaeth can block, he should be fine. Like I wrote at the time, there's no reason not to like Jerame Tuman -- he does his job -- but shouldn't Pittsburgh want more from the position than a glorified guard? If you need more convincing, here's what Football Outsiders' and FOXSports.com's Mike Tanier had to say:\r\n

Matt Spaeth, tght end, Steelers: The Steelers have an excellent young tight end named Heath Miller, so why did they select Spaeth? Two tight-end sets have become very popular in the NFL, and teams like the Patriots have demonstrated that you can do more than just run the ball with two big guys on the field. Spaeth is the best blocker in this year's draft class, so he can stay at home to protect Ben Roethlisberger or seal off linebackers on running plays while Miller splits the seam. Spaeth is the second coming of Mark Breuener, a tough blocker who started for the Steelers for nearly a decade.
I'll take that.\r\n

By now, it's no secret I've been pimping Daniel Sepulveda all off-season. I can honestly say that the highlight of my sports-related life is seeing the Steelers trade up to grab him in the fourth round. Sad? A little. But in my mind, definitely worth it. It certainly says something when an entire fan base is energized by the hometown team drafting a punter. Only in Pittsburgh, I guess. If nothing else, Sepulveda insures the Steelers have at least one Day-2 pick on the 53-man roster.\r\n

I have no idea what to think about the rest of Pittsburgh's draft. Ryan McBean has practice squad written all over him, but hell, maybe he'll be the next Mark Anderson. Cameron Stephenson seems like a Chris Kemoeatu-type guy, although I suspect some of that has to do with his appearance. Just like virtually everybody only compares black quarterbacks to other black quarterbacks, I think it only makes sense to compare Pacific Islanders to Australians who look like Pacific Islanders. Stephenson could be the next Alan Faneca … or the next Bo Lacy. History suggests the latter, but I'm willing to wait and find out. If William Gay is three-quarters the player Deshea Townsend is, then this pick would almost be enough to make up for last year's Orien Harris/Charles Davis/Omar Jacobs/Cedric Humes fiasco. All I know about Dallas Baker is that the University of Florida is to NFL wider receivers what Tiffin University is to NFL wide receivers. His nickname -- Touchdown Maker -- is cute and all, but I don't like his chances. That said, Lee Mays made the club in 2002 as a sixth-round pick, so anything's possible.\r\n

I'm not worried about that now, though. 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