Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley were part of the same draft class. Timmons was taken in the first round, the 15th overall pick. Woodley followed in the second round, 46th overall.
Both players received large extensions, earning them 'core player' status on the Steelers' defense. They both played in two Super Bowls and both have a ring.
With those extensive resumes, they've had up-and-down careers, when viewing their progress holistically. Woodley will likely finish in the top three in franchise history in sacks, but injury issues have plagued him over the last three seasons. He left Sunday's 23-10 win over Buffalo with a calf injury.
Timmons' demon has been inconsistency. While not playing many bad games, it's the lack of high-level games that hold him out of the conversation for best inside linebacker in the NFL.
Take out Woodley's injury, the duo combined for one of their more impressive play-by-play performances this season in Week 10. Timmons had eight tackles, including one for loss and a sack. He leads the Steelers with 78 tackles this season, which is tied for 11th in the league. He was instrumental in a Steelers' run-defensive approach focused on gap discipline. Buffalo came into the game averaging 135 rushing yards a game, and Timmons was a big part of the reason the Bills only managed 95 rushing yards and 3-for-14 on third downs.
Woodley didn't register a sack - he leads the team with five sacks and 21 hurries on the season, all only rushing the passer on 67 percent of snaps - he was instrumental in helping enforce that gap discipline, which was lacking significantly in a recent loss to the New England Patriots.
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