LATROBE, Pa. – Having a player like Lawrence Timmons is a dream for new inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky. Not only is the nine-year veteran a Pro Bowl player, but he has all of the other characteristics that go along with it. He is versatile, intelligent, hard-working and a leader.
"He has been here for a long time and isn't 30 years old," said Olsavsky of the 29-year old linebacker. "He has a lot in the tank. He knows what the goal of the organization is and he wants to keep pursing the goal.
"He had been in the background for a lot of his career because there were other guys who were getting the attention. Now Lawrence, I won't force him to be a leader, but he is such a dynamic leader with how he plays. I just want him to keep coming like that."
Olsavsky jokes that sometimes his versatility can be a detriment to Timmons, as he is always being asked to do more.
"I feel bad for him sometimes," said Olsavsky. "He is really intelligent, really knows the defense, and can play any position of the four linebackers. You keep asking him to do this, and do that. You ask a lot of him, because he can do it."
One of the things Timmons has done is help bring along second-year linebacker Ryan Shazier, the team's No. 1 draft pick last year. Olsavsky likes what he is seeing so far from the young linebacker, but isn't ready to give a full evaluation just yet.
"He has matured. He was a young kid coming out," said Olsavsky. "Ryan is a good player. I am interested in can he be as good as he wants to be. He has a lot of talent, God given talent, and wants to get the most out of it. I am not going to look at the growth until the end of the season. I will take it day to day and as long as he is getting better, we're seeing that God given talent on display and that is good. If that stops happening, I step in. He is a great kid and loves playing football."