One of the bigger questions surrounding the Steelers' defense at the outset of the 2010 season was how Lawrence Timmons would perform in what would be his fourth season with the Steelers since being drafted in the first round of the 2007 Draft. Timmons played okay in his first three years, but the Steelers and their fans were hoping that this would be the year that he really broke through and emerged as a starr in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense.
Steelers Lounge, a newly created blog, made an interesting point in a recent post about how Timmons' emergence has allowed LeBeau to tinker with new schemes and packages. More specifically, the Steelers have yet to deploy their dime package (six defensive backs) thanks to Timmons' incredible open-field speed and ability to cover in the passing game.
It appears LeBeau has tweaked his scheme in 2010, as the Steelers have yet to go with a dime defense for one play this season. One reason may be the team’s first two opponents, the Falcons and Titans, go with more pro-style offenses and rarely send four receivers on the field. However, a more likely justification is because LeBeau simply does not want to take Timmons off the field, figuring the team is better served with Timmons remaining in the game than pulling him for safety Will Allen or Ryan Mundy.
An observant point, and one I hope remains true in future weeks. As the author said, why downgrade personnel-wise on any given play if you don't have to?