A linebacker dressed in black and gold has a way of striking fear into the hearts of many. Lloyd, Lambert, Ham. They have long been the heart of our Defense. But as we march into the season, at first glance it may look like the tenacity is lacking here, the holes gaping, injuries a-plenty and the player production not up to the standard. But I think that we will survive. Let’s take a look at the projected starting four:
Woodley. Solid pass rushing monster. That’s what I have to say about him. Next.
Harrison. He’s one big question mark. Coming off the PUP list 9 days before the season opener, what he can do and will do is really up in the air. Sure he’s phenomenal and well, a bad ass man for sure. We all know that. But how productive can any player be having not practiced, let alone played, in months. He will have all of four practices to get himself up to game speed. Is he going to be tentative on that knee? He’s been quoted as saying he’s “hoping” to play against Denver, call me crazy but I want the most hated man in football to have a little more POW in his statements about coming on the field to wreak some havoc. Makes me cringe a bit, but then again even Batman got his ass kicked his first fight back.
Foote. Larry Foote. Hmm. He’s a wild card here. Drafted in 02, he had some good years, mostly ones that had a zero near the end, like 05, 06. Right now I think he’s more of a “provides depth” player and not necessarily a starter or the proper heir to the Farrior throne…but I have to hope I’m wrong and he can be every bit as good as Farrior, at least in the short term, as a leader on the field, and more importantly as a playmaker on the Defensive side of the ball. Are we going to be praying for Sylvester to heal up faster?
Timmons. He had a tough assignment last year, being placed on the outside to cover for the wounded on several occasions. But now that he is back to his preferred place, he is going to be key and I think he’s ready to step up and be that count on guy. He’s arguably the most athletic player under LeBeau, (I will argue that point so that makes it true) and has good speed and can shed blockers. He could be given the opportunity early to call the defensive signals and be responsible for making sure others are lined up correctly, a job that was once Farrior’s but may not be best invested in Foote. Another opportunity for him to grow responsibility on the field and increase his worth. With offenses looking for Woodley and let’s hope an effective Harrison on the outside, this gives a green light for Timmons to make some plays. Big plays.