Timmons already feels at home

Transition to NFL for the Steelers' first-round pick could be eased by the number of fellow former Florida State stars on the roster.

Lawrence Timmons is already getting that down home feeling about being one of the newest members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And no, it's not because his father Lindsley played basketball at Duquesne University in the mid-'70s.

Timmons, whom the Steelers selected with the 15th pick in the first round of the NFL draft, said Monday he feels that old southern hospitality in Pittsburgh, mostly because the team already has three of his former Florida State teammates – cornerback Bryant McFadden, linebacker Marcello Church and wide receiver Willie Reid – on the roster.

"I am sure they will take me under their wing with me not knowing anything right now, I am going to need somebody to kind of look up to," the 6-1, 233-pound linebacker said Monday. "Those guys are a good group of guys to look up to."

None of those players know the pressure of being a No. 1 pick. McFadden was the Steelers' second-round pick in 2005, while Reid was a third-round selection in 2006. Church, meanwhile, was signed by the team as a free agent last month after sitting out the 2006 season because of an injury suffered in his senior season at Florida State.

They can, however, help the 20-year-old true junior with the transition to the NFL.

"It is just a good feeling to have those guys because you don't really have the butterflies when you see guys you used to play with in college," Timmons said.

That comfort level may allow the Florence, S.C., native to be more at ease and pick up the intricacy of the Steelers' defense more quickly.

The Steelers will initially have Timmons line up on the second team at inside MAC linebacker and right outside linebacker behind James Harrison with an opportunity to win the starting job. It was a position of need since Harrison, the team's top backup outside linebacker the past couple of seasons, was bumped up the depth chart when the team released Joey Porter in March.

"We're going to create a competitive environment," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "Guys are going to get an opportunity to compete. That's what football is about. Those decisions will be made inside the white lines, as it should be. We look forward to creating that climate."

Given that Timmons' strength – coverage – would be considered Harrison's weakness, the two could be used in a rotation at times.

One place Timmons expects to help the Steelers out right away is on special teams, a role he attacked with reckless abandon at Florida State. Playing behind Ernie Simms, the 10th pick in last year's draft by Detroit, in his first two seasons for the Seminoles, Timmons found one of the best ways to make an impact was on special teams.

And despite his overall lack of height – though he is taller than the 5-11 Harrison – Timmons blocked three punts in the past two seasons for the Seminoles. He also scored a touchdown on a blocked punt, one of three touchdowns he scored in his final season at Florida State.

"The coaches down at FSU had a lot to do with that," said Timmons. "They always wanted the best for me and they always pushed me. If I ever slacked up a little bit, they would always make me give more. I thank the coaches, how they worked really hard and continued to push me."

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.

Front page image courtesy of FSU Sports Information.


Steel City Insider Top Stories

\r\n\r\n\r\nLawrence Timmons is already getting that down home feeling about being one of the newest members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.\r\n\r\n

And no, it's not because his father Lindsley played basketball at Duquesne University in the mid-'70s.\r\n\r\n

Timmons, whom the Steelers selected with the 15th pick in the first round of the NFL draft, said Monday he feels that old southern hospitality in Pittsburgh, mostly because the team already has three of his former Florida State teammates – cornerback Bryant McFadden, linebacker Marcello Church and wide receiver Willie Reid – on the roster.\r\n\r\n

\"I am sure they will take me under their wing with me not knowing anything right now, I am going to need somebody to kind of look up to,\" the 6-1, 233-pound linebacker said Monday. \"Those guys are a good group of guys to look up to.\"\r\n\r\n

None of those players know the pressure of being a No. 1 pick. McFadden was the Steelers' second-round pick in 2005, while Reid was a third-round selection in 2006. Church, meanwhile, was signed by the team as a free agent last month after sitting out the 2006 season because of an injury suffered in his senior season at Florida State.\r\n\r\n

They can, however, help the 20-year-old true junior with the transition to the NFL.\r\n\r\n

\"It is just a good feeling to have those guys because you don't really have the butterflies when you see guys you used to play with in college,\" Timmons said.\r\n\r\n

That comfort level may allow the Florence, S.C., native to be more at ease and pick up the intricacy of the Steelers' defense more quickly.\r\n\r\n

The Steelers will initially have Timmons line up on the second team at inside MAC linebacker and right outside linebacker behind James Harrison with an opportunity to win the starting job. It was a position of need since Harrison, the team's top backup outside linebacker the past couple of seasons, was bumped up the depth chart when the team released Joey Porter in March.\r\n\r\n

\"We're going to create a competitive environment,\" said head coach Mike Tomlin. \"Guys are going to get an opportunity to compete. That's what football is about. Those decisions will be made inside the white lines, as it should be. We look forward to creating that climate.\"\r\n\r\n

Given that Timmons' strength – coverage – would be considered Harrison's weakness, the two could be used in a rotation at times.\r\n\r\n

One place Timmons expects to help the Steelers out right away is on special teams, a role he attacked with reckless abandon at Florida State. Playing behind Ernie Simms, the 10th pick in last year's draft by Detroit, in his first two seasons for the Seminoles, Timmons found one of the best ways to make an impact was on special teams.\r\n\r\n

And despite his overall lack of height – though he is taller than the 5-11 Harrison – Timmons blocked three punts in the past two seasons for the Seminoles. He also scored a touchdown on a blocked punt, one of three touchdowns he scored in his final season at Florida State.\r\n\r\n

\"The coaches down at FSU had a lot to do with that,\" said Timmons. \"They always wanted the best for me and they always pushed me. If I ever slacked up a little bit, they would always make me give more. I thank the coaches, how they worked really hard and continued to push me.\"\r\n\r\n

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.\r\n\r\n

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