James Harrison rarely holds back when it comes to controversial comments.
Larry Foote’s a congenial chatterbox on and off the field.
And among great Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers of the recent past, Joey Porter was known for his trash talking and James Farrior for his vocal leadership.
Something about the position, maybe.
Then, of course, there’s Lawrence Timmons, arguably the best linebacker for the best statistical defense in the NFL. Timmons hardly fits the mold of a loud and rambunctious Steelers linebacker — past or present.
But he’s just as productive, if not more. And he will be in focus when his Steelers (6-3) face the Baltimore Ravens (7-2) in an AFC North showdown Sunday night.
“Man, if Lawrence says more than two words to you, I guess you’re his friend,” Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton quipped. “I might not be his friend. I don’t think he’s said more than two words to me since he’s been here.”
Quiet and mild-mannered in the Steelers’ locker room, Timmons maintains a steely focus when he’s in the heat of battle. And the Steelers will need that this week.
The freakishly athletic former first-round pick is in his fourth season as a starter, but he’s still the junior member of a veteran Pittsburgh corps. With Harrison and Foote in their 30s and LaMarr Woodley shaking off nagging hamstring injuries, Timmons has been the Steelers’ most consistent playmaker at linebacker.
Timmons has yet to be selected for a Pro Bowl.
“I think Lawrence has been playing at a Pro Bowl level for several years now,” LeBeau said.