Hard Hat Award (Game #1, vs.
Stiller LB Larry Timmons and center Maurkice Pouncey are the co-winners of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
Timmons had a monster game, leading the defense in tackling, playmaking, and intensity. He shut down the vaunted Falcon rushing attack, led by Turner, with superb sideline-to-sideline play. He led the front 7 with 9 solo tackles, and these weren�t cheesy lil� stack jumps or shoestring nips. He stuffed Turner on a 3d & 1 in the 1Q, then slashed in to drop Turner for a 2-yard loss in the 2Q and another 3-yard loss later in that quarter. Timmons nearly won the game with a strip of Ryan late in the game, but it was ruled inc. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what linebacking is all about as an ILB in the 3-4 defense, and other ILBs on this team, as well as coaches, should take note.
Pouncey, the highly touted rookie 1st rounder, made his first NFL start in his 1st NFL game. Sure, he dabbled in some preseason games, but the D-side schemes are typically bland and veteran defenders are usually going only 95%. Pouncey played like a grizzled veteran, getting quickly off the snap and engaging linemen and LBs with leverage and sound positioning. His adroit quickness and pulling instantly reminded me of the great Dermontti Dawson. This was evidenced on Mendy�s 13-yard dash up LG in the 4Q. You�d expect a rookie center to have some growing pains, but in Mo�s case, it didn�t last any more than the 1st 2 or 3 snaps. Maturity wise and ability wise, this guy is advanced far beyond his years.
Others receiving consideration from The Committee were Dennis Dixon, who clawed through a rocky 1st half; Rashard Mendenhall, with some good, tough running, Hines Ward, Troy Pola, and James Harrison. Those with no chance whatsoever at the award this week included Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton.
Kudos to Timmons and Pouncey for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas!