PITTSBURGH -- It's been eight years in the making, but Lawrence Timmons finally has been recognized for having a Pro Bowl season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers believe that recognition has been long overdue for their stellar inside linebacker.
"Well, we've talked about that a few times the last few years, and in my opinion he can get out on the field with anybody in the National Football League and play well,'' Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. "And I think that's what an All-Pro is, and I've said that repeatedly.
"And it's very rewarding to see guys like that recognized. Things have a way of working out, as long as you keep hanging in there. Lawrence never says anything, but I know how he's got to be feeling good inside. And he earned it. He's a great player.''
Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons having excellent season.
LeBeau noted that Timmons has had to play all the linebacker spots throughout his career, inside and outside, as injuries to various players over the years has strapped the team's depth. All the while, Timmons has been an iron horse, nearly indestructible, and excelled at any position.
"I feel like all that made me stronger, because no matter where I played I feel like I could do it,'' Timmons said. "I feel like I could come out of it and be stronger for it.
"So, every time I went into a situation like that, I felt that way. It's a great accomplishment. We do this for the love of the game. I do enjoy the accolades, but just doing this, living my dream daily, that's what it's all about.''
Timmons always has been more of a lead-by-example guy, someone who doesn't say much but lets his actions do the talking. That changed the past two years since he has been the signal-caller on defense and a role model for the club's young backers. Still, he's not too outspoken. But Cam Heyward is.
"If anyone deserved it L.T. did,'' Heyward said. "He's a hard worker, comes to work every day and doesn't say a lot. But he doesn't need to, because his play speaks for itself. For any guys climbing up the ranks, he's a guy to follow.
"From Day 1, he's always worked hard, and you appreciate it. And you want someone like that to be rewarded for it. And we were all happy to see Lawrence make it. There are a lot of good linebackers in this league right now, but L.T.'s been one of the center guys for a long time right now. So, it was long overdue.''
LeBeau reiterated that while national recognition has been fleeting for Timmons, the Steelers always believed he was a Pro Bowl performer.
"Even though that inside backer position was probably his best position the year that we were strapped outside with some injuries, and he went and played great outside,'' LeBeau said. "So, he's done everything. ... He has excelled at everything we've asked him to do.
"And he's been an All-Pro performer in my eyes and in production's eyes, but sometimes you have to be around for a few years before they look around and say, 'this guy's pretty good.' And I think that's all that happened.''
Notes: All the Steelers practiced Wednesday and will take Christmas off. The club practices again Friday to prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. The winner wins the AFC North Division, but both teams have qualified for the playoffs.