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calmkiller
05-15-2008, 02:45 PM
http://news.steelers.com/article/89280/


Woodley looking to take the lead
Thursday, May 15, 2008

By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

All around him rookies were being paraded in and out of the Steelers offices, from the training room, to the locker room to the weight room, just getting a feel of the lay of the land during their first visit to Pittsburgh as a member of the black and gold.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley just kind of smiled, knowing what it was like for him a year ago when he was one of those rookies, his head spinning with so much new stuff being thrown at him.

He is happy to have a year under his belt, happy to know the ropes a little more now. But that doesn’t mean he can sit back and relax.

“It’s nicer now, not being a rookie out there on the field not knowing what you are doing,” said Woodley. “But now I have to be a leader. You have other guys behind you now. We have some young guys who were drafted at our position and we lost a few guys that were here for a while at our position. I need to step up and be a leader now.”

Even though he is only in his second season, and there are veterans such as James Farrior, Larry Foote and James Harrison at the linebacker position, Woodley is confident he can take on that leadership role.

“Young guys can be leaders by being vocal and going out there and doing what they have to do on the football field,” said Woodley. “You also have to be a leader off the field. I think that is me. Over my years playing football that is the type of guy I was. I was a leader on and off the field.”

With the departure of Clark Haggans via free agency Woodley doesn’t just have a leadership role he wants to step into, he would like nothing more than to win the starting outside linebacker spot that Haggans held.

“I am definitely competing for the position; that is the first goal,” said Woodley. “I want to come out of OTA’s as the starter going in to camp and after that go in to the season as a starter. Then it’s about helping this team win and get to where we need to be.”

He has been preparing himself for that battle since last season ended, starting to work out just a little over a week after the team was eliminated from the playoffs.

“I feel like I didn’t play many snaps anyway so my body wasn’t worn down,” said Woodley. “I was building up to get ready for this season right away. That was pretty much my whole offseason. I didn’t travel much. I just stayed home with the family and worked out.”

He hopes that it pays off. He played in 13 games last year with 13 tackles and four sacks. It was a just a taste and he is ready to go full force to become a starter.

“I had a little game experience so I know what to expect,” said Woodley. “I had a few plays here and there, but now if you go in to the games as a starter you are going to play more and you have to be in better shape.”

costanza2k1
05-15-2008, 02:51 PM
This is the type of article that gets me excited for the season! Our LB group has the potential to be very dominant this season! Can't wait for Blitzburgh to come back this year instead of seeing our Safeties and Corners blitzing and get stone walled by pussy RBs. That was extremely annoying. We need a pass rush like the 90s and we may just have the talent again. Go Steelers!

NKySteeler
05-15-2008, 02:59 PM
As long as the D-line can get the job done, our LBs' will be dominant. But it still all starts up front... The injury to Smith last season exposed the weakness of depth, and possibly age... But if they produce, the success will be spread throughout the LBs and DBs as well.

Not that it was the greatest of examples, but the last few seasons the Bengals have had problems on the line, and the guys behing them had to try to pick-up the slack, and the entire unit suffered... Now I am in NO WAY comparing that unit to ours. Just the effect of an "up front" pressence, that's all...

Jigawatts
05-15-2008, 03:10 PM
This is the type of article that gets me excited for the season! Our LB group has the potential to be very dominant this season! Can't wait for Blitzburgh to come back this year instead of seeing our Safeties and Corners blitzing and get stone walled by pussy RBs. That was extremely annoying. We need a pass rush like the 90s and we may just have the talent again. Go Steelers!

That's something that was really troublesome about our defense. Every time someone came crashing up the middle and I thought the QB would get killed, the blitz was picked up.

Usually it was a good pick up by the opposing team, but I'd like to see someone plow through that and still get to the QB.

Flasteel
05-15-2008, 06:16 PM
Now that's the kind of attitude I really appreciate in a player. The job at LOLB is without a doubt his to lose and he's got the mind-set of competing for it. He's not talking about the expectations of starting, but fighting for a job and setting an example on and off the field.

It looks like we struck gold in more ways than one.

I know it's not a rational way to project his potential production as a starter, but if we gave him an average of ten snaps in those thirteen games and calculated his sack production per snap, it would come out to one sack every 32.5 plays. Assuming that he averages 60 plays a game as a starter (and starts all 16 games), if he were to maintain that same ratio, he would have 29.5 sacks in 2008. :shock: :lol:


jhansle, you have your filter on a little to tight there brother. The word "assuming" was just altered to "bad word".

LasVegasGuy
05-15-2008, 06:22 PM
As a fan I keep forgetting Woodely was our second round pick. Where in the world is Timmons? It's hard not to start thinking of him as a bust.

Flasteel
05-15-2008, 06:36 PM
As a fan I keep forgetting Woodely was our second round pick. Where in the world is Timmons? It's hard not to start thinking of him as a bust.

Well I guess it didn't take long for a Timmons=bust comment. :lol:

C'mon man, give the kid a break. I love the move inside and think he's got the potential to be explosive for our inside blitz packages plus he's a three-down linebacker who looks like he can stay with any TE or RB in the league.

Let's see what he can do when given the opportunity to compete with Foote befor we go labeling him or considering him a bust. I hated the pick by the way, so I'm not trying to defend any original stance with him.

NKySteeler
05-15-2008, 06:41 PM
I personally did not care for the Timmons pick either.... But I do know that the Steelers predominantly do not start too many rookies... I am approaching the coming season with an open mind about him. But I do want to see some production.

LasVegasGuy
05-15-2008, 06:51 PM
As a fan I keep forgetting Woodely was our second round pick. Where in the world is Timmons? It's hard not to start thinking of him as a bust.

Well I guess it didn't take long for a Timmons=bust comment. :lol:

C'mon man, give the kid a break. I love the move inside and think he's got the potential to be explosive for our inside blitz packages plus he's a three-down linebacker who looks like he can stay with any TE or RB in the league.

Let's see what he can do when given the opportunity to compete with Foote befor we go labeling him or considering him a bust. I hated the pick by the way, so I'm not trying to defend any original stance with him.


I didn't technically label him a bust but I am starting to think he might be one. I see progression coming from Woodely while Timmons seems to be just standing around. I guess we will know by the end of this season what the future holds for Timmons.

costanza2k1
05-15-2008, 07:12 PM
I don't know about calling Timmons a bust unless he continuously shows signs of suckage like Alonzo Jackson and inconsistency like Nate. He as my support even more now since he's the underdog, once he displays signs of bust I'm ready to join the league and put him into the all time suck team. Until then, go Timmons!

AngryAsian
05-16-2008, 12:29 AM
As a fan I keep forgetting Woodely was our second round pick. Where in the world is Timmons? It's hard not to start thinking of him as a bust.

Well I guess it didn't take long for a Timmons=bust comment. :lol:

C'mon man, give the kid a break. I love the move inside and think he's got the potential to be explosive for our inside blitz packages plus he's a three-down linebacker who looks like he can stay with any TE or RB in the league.

Let's see what he can do when given the opportunity to compete with Foote befor we go labeling him or considering him a bust. I hated the pick by the way, so I'm not trying to defend any original stance with him.


I didn't technically label him a bust but I am starting to think he might be one. I see progression coming from Woodely while Timmons seems to be just standing around. I guess we will know by the end of this season what the future holds for Timmons.


I think with early injury and the need for more outside LB help, Woodley was called up to the plate more often, because the coaching staff already knew this kid would fly as an 3-4 OLB, having the size and not to mention the motor to get the qb pressure. Timmons is smaller and didn't have the size to immediately be affective on the outside. I think that a move to the inside would be great. He has the ahtletecism to man up on some of the prolific AFC TEs we're schedule to face.

But I have to agree with LVGs reservations regarding Timmons' efficacy on our squad. Out of sight is out of mind. I have a feeling though that Timmons will start showing more this season than he did last. One thing for sure, this camp is pivotal for him.... he needs to come out of the gates prepared physically and mentally to make the best of his opportunities, if he's going to crack the starting line-up. One thing for sure.... this team is getting younger and more talented.

LasVegasGuy
05-16-2008, 12:40 AM
I think with early injury and the need for more outside LB help, Woodley was called up to the plate more often, because the coaching staff already knew this kid would fly as an 3-4 OLB, having the size and not to mention the motor to get the qb pressure. Timmons is smaller and didn't have the size to immediately be affective on the outside. I think that a move to the inside would be great. He has the ahtletecism to man up on some of the prolific AFC TEs we're schedule to face.

But I have to agree with LVGs reservations regarding Timmons' efficacy on our squad. Out of sight is out of mind. I have a feeling though that Timmons will start showing more this season than he did last. One thing for sure, this camp is pivotal for him.... he needs to come out of the gates prepared physically and mentally to make the best of his opportunities, if he's going to crack the starting line-up. One thing for sure.... this team is getting younger and more talented.


I hope you are right. If Timmons and Woodley become the studs we are going to be set at linebacker for many years. It reminds me off old time Steeler football where you didn't dare go over the middle.

steeld95
05-16-2008, 01:35 PM
I think Timmons is gonna surprise alot of people by the end of the year. It just looked like the game was moving to fast for him last year. He was thinking too much out there instead of just playing the game. He has all the physical tools. If the game slows down for him this year, I think we will see a huge improvement.

Woodley is the man. When he got on the field last year, he usually made his presence known. He is gonna have some big years for us!

Jigawatts
05-16-2008, 01:42 PM
I think Timmons is gonna surprise alot of people by the end of the year. It just looked like the game was moving to fast for him last year. He was thinking too much out there instead of just playing the game.

Though I expected much more out of a first round pick, I believe Timmons was having a
hard time absorbing all the new information. Hopefully he's digested everything and will just react and do what he needs to do.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
05-19-2008, 01:09 PM
I am looking forward to seeing what Timmons will do this year. He had some very strange circumstances last year which led him to where he is.

He was drafted to compete at OLB, a position that was vacated when Porter was released. 3-4 OLB is a new position to Timmons and would have required a learning curve. He was to compete with JH, a player with knowledge of the position and upside, but also an injury history, and limited starting experience.

Timmons injures himself at the beginning of camp, and at the same time Harrison steps up and grabs the position, performing as well as the FO could have possibly hoped. With the way JH performed, iit is unlikely that he could have been beaten out by anybody for the starting spot.

Now, with a starting ROLB solidly in place, the team tries to find the quickest way for Timmons to crack the starting lineup. It doesn't look like there will be an opening at either OLB spot anytime soon, so he is moved to the inside. It is mainly because of his versatility that they can consider this move. Foote is the target as the LB that can soonest be overtaken.

Timmons is now learning a new position. Foote is a steady, yet unspectacular player. He rarely stands out, for either his great plays or big whiffs. Not the most difficult player to beat out, but it also wouldn't be like Hartwig being handed the job over Mahan.

I would be very happy if Timmons grabs the spot by the end of the year. Hopefully he can stay healthy and contribute on ST and in spot duty for awhile before grabbing the starter's spot. Obviously I'd be happier if he starts from the first game, but because he is not stepping into an open position, it would be reasonable if he starts by years end.

AngryAsian
05-19-2008, 01:20 PM
I am looking forward to seeing what Timmons will do this year. He had some very strange circumstances last year which led him to where he is.

He was drafted to compete at OLB, a position that was vacated when Porter was released. 3-4 OLB is a new position to Timmons and would have required a learning curve. He was to compete with JH, a player with knowledge of the position and upside, but also an injury history, and limited starting experience.

Timmons injures himself at the beginning of camp, and at the same time Harrison steps up and grabs the position, performing as well as the FO could have possibly hoped. With the way JH performed, iit is unlikely that he could have been beaten out by anybody for the starting spot.

Now, with a starting ROLB solidly in place, the team tries to find the quickest way for Timmons to crack the starting lineup. It doesn't look like there will be an opening at either OLB spot anytime soon, so he is moved to the inside. It is mainly because of his versatility that they can consider this move. Foote is the target as the LB that can soonest be overtaken.

Timmons is now learning a new position. Foote is a steady, yet unspectacular player. He rarely stands out, for either his great plays or big whiffs. Not the most difficult player to beat out, but it also wouldn't be like Hartwig being handed the job over Mahan.

I would be very happy if Timmons grabs the spot by the end of the year. Hopefully he can stay healthy and contribute on ST and in spot duty for awhile before grabbing the starter's spot. Obviously I'd be happier if he starts from the first game, but because he is not stepping into an open position, it would be reasonable if he starts by years end.


First, I want to welcome you to the board. I'm so happy to see a lot of the quality posters from TL are coming over here and sharing the knowledge base. As for your comment, I think your assessment of Timmons is spot on. I think that his athleticism will really come forward this year and maybe the shift to the inside will not only enable him to crack the starting lineup but help the team out, because now we'll have a very quick and athletic inside presence, a necessity when dealing with the TEs in the AFC.

One thing that I look forward to with regards to the maturation of this LB squad, is their possible interchange-ability at the various positions. I'm hoping that this crew makes a name for themselves this year.... a name worthy of some kind of nickname moniker. The SteelCurtain and Blitzburgh were great team identities.... but this squad should merit something on their own. We, the fans, have to start brainstorming quick before the season starts.