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fordfixer
06-17-2008, 01:05 AM
Can Woodley possibly live up to the hype?
Monday, June 16, 2008 | Posted by Kyle Chrise
http://www.realfootball365.com/index.ph ... lers/11621 (http://www.realfootball365.com/index.php/articles/steelers/11621)



The bar is set pretty high this season for a number of Steelers. You have Ben Roethlisberger trying to prove he's worth that new Scrooge McDuck-like contract. There's Troy Polamalu, who's attempting to overcome his injuries and reclaim his spot as one of the best safeties in football. Left Tackle Marvel Smith is returning after back surgery with plenty to prove. He's anchoring an offensive line that gave up nearly four dozen sacks last year. But one Steeler is facing expectations that are almost impossible to meet, and he's played only 80 career NFL defensive snaps.

Now that Clark Haggans has moved on to Arizona, second-year linebacker LaMarr Woodley is expected to inherit the starting job on the left side. As a rookie, Woodley turned heads with four sacks during the 2007 season and two more in Pittsburgh's playoff loss to Jacksonville. That performance has led many in the media and quite a few in the locker room to believe Woodley will become the next great Steeler LOLB, continuing in the tradition of Brian Hinkle, Kevin Greene and Jason Gildon. Dozens of publications are predicting double-digit sacks from Woodley this season (ROLB James Harrison led the team with 10 in 2007). Some of his teammates, including defensive captain James Farrior, say they're expecting Woodley to reach the quarterback a dozen times this year. At least one report is already naming him one of the league's best at his position. It sounds like the 23-year-old should already buy a ticket to Honolulu (it's not a bad idea considering how fast airfare prices are going up).

A dozen sacks would surely cause Steeler Nation to fill the stands with No. 56 jerseys. But is the preseason hype setting up Woodley to be a letdown in his first season as a starter? The last time Pittsburgh had that kind of firepower was back in 2001, when Gildon had 12 sacks. Remember, though, when Gildon had his Pro Bowl breakout campaign in 2000, it was his seventh year with the team and fifth season as a starter. Woodley is being called on to produce similar numbers as a second-year player, not to mention a first-time starter.

If you ask the team's coaching staff, the key to Woodley's success is going to rely on him sticking to the game plan. Linebackers coach Keith Butler says "everybody talks about playmakers and that kind of stuff, but playmakers make plays because they execute the defense." He says Woodley is still learning how to do that. But the good news is he's a fast learner. Butler says he's probably as far along as any guy who made the transition from defensive lineman in college to linebacker in the NFL.

Woodley is facing one tough task. He could surpass his predecessor, but some would still consider him a letdown. However, it sounds like he has the head to handle it. Woodley certainly has the strength. In fact, the only things that may prevent Woodley from becoming the next Pittsburgh superstar are the expectations he's been given. And that's why Woodley has the biggest challenge of any Steeler this year

AngryAsian
06-17-2008, 01:15 AM
Yes.

fordfixer
06-17-2008, 01:20 AM
I would have to agree :tt1

Flasteel
06-17-2008, 01:32 AM
Yes, he is Lamarr Woodley.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
06-17-2008, 08:27 AM
Woodley will tie the Steeler's regular season sack record of 15...My prediction!

Oviedo
06-17-2008, 08:50 AM
Woodley will have 10-12 sacks

BIG FAN
06-17-2008, 09:09 AM
I believe Woodley will definitely be a force to be reckoned with.
To be honest, I dont look at all the buzz about him as hype. I think he showed enough last season in a limited capacity to prove he's a player every bit the caliber he's touted as. I also think 10-12 sacks as well.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
06-17-2008, 10:01 AM
If not Woodley, then Harrison.....or both. Last year Harrison had 10 sacks, but that was with Haggans opposite him. No problem, block Clark with the TE, then you have multiple options in blocking Harrison. This year, any team trying to block Woodley with the TE will find out quickly that he is not Clark Haggans. The OC will then have to pick his poison, worry about the LOLB or the ROLB. Wood does have the advantage of being under the cover of Smith, but if the O overplays that side, all the more room for Harrison to roam.

If this tandem is even going to think about approaching Greene/Lloyd status, then it doesn't matter who gets to the QB first, because the other won't be far behind. :lol:

steelblood
06-17-2008, 10:03 AM
Yes and No. This is a complicated situation. If Woodley stays healthy and doesn't wear down in the second half (rotating in Davis and Arnold Harrison will help), he'll get the sacks. He had 2 and 1/2 as part of a rotation in a playoff game. However, Woodley does not move real well in space. So he will be a liability in coverage and quicker backs will have an easy time running around him. Woodley will probably develop the veteran savy that allows him to at least be an adequate player in space, but it will take time. Woodley can certainly be as good as Hinkle or Gildon. Kevin Greene may be a stretch, but we'll see. He is a similar player to Greene in that he is a power rusher who does not play real well in space.

RuthlessBurgher
06-17-2008, 11:10 AM
LaMarr Woodley can kill two stones with one bird.

SteelHoss
06-17-2008, 03:03 PM
This young man can handle it. In the tradition of great Steeler LBs...I salute the next one...Lamar Woodley! :Beer

BURGH86STEEL
06-17-2008, 05:17 PM
Woodly is going to make mistakes. I doubt he will live up to the expectations some set for him this season. Going into this 3rd season is when I think it will all come together for him. We will have to wait and see what happens.

AngryAsian
06-17-2008, 05:26 PM
Woodly is going to make mistakes. I doubt he will live up to the expectations some set for him this season. Going into this 3rd season is when I think it will all come together for him. We will have to wait and see what happens.


I'm not sure about the 15 sacks but I do think that this young man has a maturity about him that will pave the way for him to not only garnish the respect of his team mates but to lead them as well. I think that this guy will be the breakthrough story for our team and will be the backbone of our LB corps that has been missing for years.

BURGH86STEEL
06-17-2008, 05:52 PM
Woodly is going to make mistakes. I doubt he will live up to the expectations some set for him this season. Going into this 3rd season is when I think it will all come together for him. We will have to wait and see what happens.


I'm not sure about the 15 sacks but I do think that this young man has a maturity about him that will pave the way for him to not only garnish the respect of his team mates but to lead them as well. I think that this guy will be the breakthrough story for our team and will be the backbone of our LB corps that has been missing for years.

I still think he will be thinking instead of reacting to plays. The only way that can be fixed is playing time. I think he will be a good pass rusher. The pass coverage aspect of the position and continued learning of the play book will probably be his biggest obstacles this season. Time will tell if he can add the leadership some of the other current and former Steelers LBs do/did.

buckeyehoppy
06-17-2008, 06:21 PM
If not Woodley, then Harrison.....or both. Last year Harrison had 10 sacks, but that was with Haggans opposite him. No problem, block Clark with the TE, then you have multiple options in blocking Harrison. This year, any team trying to block Woodley with the TE will find out quickly that he is not Clark Haggans. The OC will then have to pick his poison, worry about the LOLB or the ROLB. Wood does have the advantage of being under the cover of Smith, but if the O overplays that side, all the more room for Harrison to roam.

If this tandem is even going to think about approaching Greene/Lloyd status, then it doesn't matter who gets to the QB first, because the other won't be far behind. :lol:

At the risk of touting someone from That School Up North, I believe Woodley has the goods to surpass any of Haggans accomplishments over the last three seasons.

I saw enough of Woodley as an Ann Arbor Annie to know that he could be hell against the pass. Screw Alan Branch. Woodley was the straw that stirred the drink on the Ann Arbor Annie D in 2006.

Even as a rookie, I loved what he brought to the table in his limited action. Barring injury, Woodley will bring everything Greene ever did with the upside fact that he is only at the start of his career. Greene was a seasoned vet when he joined the Steelers.

AngryAsian
06-17-2008, 06:29 PM
If not Woodley, then Harrison.....or both. Last year Harrison had 10 sacks, but that was with Haggans opposite him. No problem, block Clark with the TE, then you have multiple options in blocking Harrison. This year, any team trying to block Woodley with the TE will find out quickly that he is not Clark Haggans. The OC will then have to pick his poison, worry about the LOLB or the ROLB. Wood does have the advantage of being under the cover of Smith, but if the O overplays that side, all the more room for Harrison to roam.

If this tandem is even going to think about approaching Greene/Lloyd status, then it doesn't matter who gets to the QB first, because the other won't be far behind. :lol:

At the risk of touting someone from That School Up North, I believe Woodley has the goods to surpass any of Haggans accomplishments over the last three seasons.

I saw enough of Woodley as an Ann Arbor Annie to know that he could be hell against the pass. Screw Alan Branch. Woodley was the straw that stirred the drink on the Ann Arbor Annie D in 2006.

Even as a rookie, I loved what he brought to the table in his limited action. Barring injury, Woodley will bring everything Greene ever did with the upside fact that he is only at the start of his career. Greene was a seasoned vet when he joined the Steelers.


I will have to defer the scouting reports from their collegiate days to the likes of you, Hoppy and Shawn. You guys are my brothers in Steeldom, but I have to wonder about your collegiate allegiances.... especially in that second rate conference... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o2/nickknx865/sec_logo.gif

Steely76
06-17-2008, 07:26 PM
He is a similar player to Greene in that he is a power rusher who does not play real well in space.

Maybe he just needs a spacesuit.


http://files.turbosquid.com/Preview/Content_on_10_17_2003_17_40_07/spacesuit.3DS_thumbnail1.jpgb22c0191-8749-4b74-a527-9d2d5ed850df.jpgLarge.jpg

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
06-18-2008, 08:16 AM
Woodly is going to make mistakes. I doubt he will live up to the expectations some set for him this season. Going into this 3rd season is when I think it will all come together for him. We will have to wait and see what happens.


I'm not sure about the 15 sacks but I do think that this young man has a maturity about him that will pave the way for him to not only garnish the respect of his team mates but to lead them as well. I think that this guy will be the breakthrough story for our team and will be the backbone of our LB corps that has been missing for years.

AIM HIGH BABY!!!

AngryAsian
06-18-2008, 07:55 PM
Woodly is going to make mistakes. I doubt he will live up to the expectations some set for him this season. Going into this 3rd season is when I think it will all come together for him. We will have to wait and see what happens.


I'm not sure about the 15 sacks but I do think that this young man has a maturity about him that will pave the way for him to not only garnish the respect of his team mates but to lead them as well. I think that this guy will be the breakthrough story for our team and will be the backbone of our LB corps that has been missing for years.

AIM HIGH BABY!!!


I feel you bro, on the "AIM HIGH" sentiments... I predicted 12 sacks this year. Not as high as yours but still pretty up there... up there enough to secure a place in the hearts of Steeler Nation as the new Beast LB we've been missing for awhile. I just hope that with the emergence of Woodley, this will inevitably increase Harrison's sack numbers as well.

stlrz d
06-18-2008, 08:00 PM
I'm going to predict 8 sacks. As a full time player he'll have to do more than just rush the passer.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
06-19-2008, 08:29 AM
Woodly is going to make mistakes. I doubt he will live up to the expectations some set for him this season. Going into this 3rd season is when I think it will all come together for him. We will have to wait and see what happens.


I'm not sure about the 15 sacks but I do think that this young man has a maturity about him that will pave the way for him to not only garnish the respect of his team mates but to lead them as well. I think that this guy will be the breakthrough story for our team and will be the backbone of our LB corps that has been missing for years.

AIM HIGH BABY!!!


I feel you bro, on the "AIM HIGH" sentiments... I predicted 12 sacks this year. Not as high as yours but still pretty up there... up there enough to secure a place in the hearts of Steeler Nation as the new Beast LB we've been missing for awhile. I just hope that with the emergence of Woodley, this will inevitably increase Harrison's sack numbers as well.

12 sacks would be outstanding! Throw in 60+ tackles and the guy might make the Pro Bowl in his second year. I am confident he is the "Beast" we have been missing since Greene. I expect Harrison to equal his numbers at the least with Woodley playing opposite. I noticed something about Haggans for the last 1 1/2 years. It was something that also became evident in Porters final years. Haggans was getting block 1 on 1 by RBs & TEs. We all saw last year what happened when a team tried to block Harrison with a RB or TE... They got "Owned"! Woodley has GREAT lower body strength to go with his above average upper body. Playing DE in college really developed his body. He gets great push when he engages a taller OL. He just runs over RBs & TEs. Then he has the speed to go around the edge so he could be the complete package once he develops better cover skills. Now the Steelers have two outside pass rushers that will require help if the scheme requires a TE or RB to block them on passing downs. That alone will give opposing OC headaches all week!

AngryAsian
06-19-2008, 09:56 AM
12 sacks would be outstanding! Throw in 60+ tackles and the guy might make the Pro Bowl in his second year. I am confident he is the "Beast" we have been missing since Greene. I expect Harrison to equal his numbers at the least with Woodley playing opposite. I noticed something about Haggans for the last 1 1/2 years. It was something that also became evident in Porters final years. Haggans was getting block 1 on 1 by RBs & TEs. We all saw last year what happened when a team tried to block Harrison with a RB or TE... They got "Owned"! Woodley has GREAT lower body strength to go with his above average upper body. Playing DE in college really developed his body. He gets great push when he engages a taller OL. He just runs over RBs & TEs. Then he has the speed to go around the edge so he could be the complete package once he develops better cover skills. Now the Steelers have two outside pass rushers that will require help if the scheme requires a TE or RB to block them on passing downs. That alone will give opposing OC headaches all week!


Both Harrison and Woodley are built the same. They both have that squatty, low-center of gravity type body that's ideal when trying to get leverage. I think that Woodley makes better use of his frame than Harrison. Regardless, with both at the outside positions no offense could possibly account for both trucking in. Woodley is indeed an instant upgrade from Haggans.

RuthlessBurgher
06-19-2008, 10:22 AM
12 sacks would be outstanding! Throw in 60+ tackles and the guy might make the Pro Bowl in his second year. I am confident he is the "Beast" we have been missing since Greene. I expect Harrison to equal his numbers at the least with Woodley playing opposite. I noticed something about Haggans for the last 1 1/2 years. It was something that also became evident in Porters final years. Haggans was getting block 1 on 1 by RBs & TEs. We all saw last year what happened when a team tried to block Harrison with a RB or TE... They got "Owned"! Woodley has GREAT lower body strength to go with his above average upper body. Playing DE in college really developed his body. He gets great push when he engages a taller OL. He just runs over RBs & TEs. Then he has the speed to go around the edge so he could be the complete package once he develops better cover skills. Now the Steelers have two outside pass rushers that will require help if the scheme requires a TE or RB to block them on passing downs. That alone will give opposing OC headaches all week!


Both Harrison and Woodley are built the same. They both have that squatty, low-center of gravity type body that's ideal when trying to get leverage. I think that Woodley makes better use of his frame than Harrison. Regardless, with both at the outside positions no offense could possibly account for both trucking in. Woodley is indeed an instant upgrade from Haggans.

They are both thick, but Woodley has a couple of inches and about 25 pounds on Harrison. Opposing offenses may need to block down on Wood with a TE (in addition to the RT), leaving Harrison with more one-on-one situations.

Oviedo
06-19-2008, 10:41 AM
12 sacks would be outstanding! Throw in 60+ tackles and the guy might make the Pro Bowl in his second year. I am confident he is the "Beast" we have been missing since Greene. I expect Harrison to equal his numbers at the least with Woodley playing opposite. I noticed something about Haggans for the last 1 1/2 years. It was something that also became evident in Porters final years. Haggans was getting block 1 on 1 by RBs & TEs. We all saw last year what happened when a team tried to block Harrison with a RB or TE... They got "Owned"! Woodley has GREAT lower body strength to go with his above average upper body. Playing DE in college really developed his body. He gets great push when he engages a taller OL. He just runs over RBs & TEs. Then he has the speed to go around the edge so he could be the complete package once he develops better cover skills. Now the Steelers have two outside pass rushers that will require help if the scheme requires a TE or RB to block them on passing downs. That alone will give opposing OC headaches all week!


Both Harrison and Woodley are built the same. They both have that squatty, low-center of gravity type body that's ideal when trying to get leverage. I think that Woodley makes better use of his frame than Harrison. Regardless, with both at the outside positions no offense could possibly account for both trucking in. Woodley is indeed an instant upgrade from Haggans.

They are both thick, but Woodley has a couple of inches and about 25 pounds on Harrison. Opposing offenses may need to block down on Wood with a TE (in addition to the RT), leaving Harrison with more one-on-one situations.

Harrison needs to develop more than a bullrush technique on his pass rush to take his effectiveness to the next level. The fact he had 2 sacks in the last 8 regular season games showed that the league figured him out.

Flasteel
06-19-2008, 12:29 PM
12 sacks would be outstanding! Throw in 60+ tackles and the guy might make the Pro Bowl in his second year. I am confident he is the "Beast" we have been missing since Greene. I expect Harrison to equal his numbers at the least with Woodley playing opposite. I noticed something about Haggans for the last 1 1/2 years. It was something that also became evident in Porters final years. Haggans was getting block 1 on 1 by RBs & TEs. We all saw last year what happened when a team tried to block Harrison with a RB or TE... They got "Owned"! Woodley has GREAT lower body strength to go with his above average upper body. Playing DE in college really developed his body. He gets great push when he engages a taller OL. He just runs over RBs & TEs. Then he has the speed to go around the edge so he could be the complete package once he develops better cover skills. Now the Steelers have two outside pass rushers that will require help if the scheme requires a TE or RB to block them on passing downs. That alone will give opposing OC headaches all week!


Both Harrison and Woodley are built the same. They both have that squatty, low-center of gravity type body that's ideal when trying to get leverage. I think that Woodley makes better use of his frame than Harrison. Regardless, with both at the outside positions no offense could possibly account for both trucking in. Woodley is indeed an instant upgrade from Haggans.

They are both thick, but Woodley has a couple of inches and about 25 pounds on Harrison. Opposing offenses may need to block down on Wood with a TE (in addition to the RT), leaving Harrison with more one-on-one situations.

Harrison needs to develop more than a bullrush technique on his pass rush to take his effectiveness to the next level. The fact he had 2 sacks in the last 8 regular season games showed that the league figured him out.

I'm not saying that Harrison has an entire arsenal of pass-rush moves but I do think that he gets sold a little short in that regard sometimes. I've heard that he's pound for pound the strongest player on the team and his low center of gravity at 6' tall really enables him to get under the pads of any tackle he faces. Silverback is also very athletic and has a tremendous burst off the snap, so I think it's a little unfair to say that he's only got the ability to bull rush. With Woodley on the other side and hopefully Timmons being unleashed in the middle, there will be far fewer backs to chip him or step over to pick him up once he gets by his man. If Bruce Davis can prove to be a legitimate threat off the edge, he'll be able to hopefully step in and spell both OLBs to keep everyone fresh.

I see the potential for a big improvement in our pass rush for the first time in several years; if we can stay healthy (especially up front where we're thin), then this could be the best defense we've put on the field in a long time.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
06-19-2008, 02:49 PM
12 sacks would be outstanding! Throw in 60+ tackles and the guy might make the Pro Bowl in his second year. I am confident he is the "Beast" we have been missing since Greene. I expect Harrison to equal his numbers at the least with Woodley playing opposite. I noticed something about Haggans for the last 1 1/2 years. It was something that also became evident in Porters final years. Haggans was getting block 1 on 1 by RBs & TEs. We all saw last year what happened when a team tried to block Harrison with a RB or TE... They got "Owned"! Woodley has GREAT lower body strength to go with his above average upper body. Playing DE in college really developed his body. He gets great push when he engages a taller OL. He just runs over RBs & TEs. Then he has the speed to go around the edge so he could be the complete package once he develops better cover skills. Now the Steelers have two outside pass rushers that will require help if the scheme requires a TE or RB to block them on passing downs. That alone will give opposing OC headaches all week!


Both Harrison and Woodley are built the same. They both have that squatty, low-center of gravity type body that's ideal when trying to get leverage. I think that Woodley makes better use of his frame than Harrison. Regardless, with both at the outside positions no offense could possibly account for both trucking in. Woodley is indeed an instant upgrade from Haggans.

They are both thick, but Woodley has a couple of inches and about 25 pounds on Harrison. Opposing offenses may need to block down on Wood with a TE (in addition to the RT), leaving Harrison with more one-on-one situations.

Harrison needs to develop more than a bullrush technique on his pass rush to take his effectiveness to the next level. The fact he had 2 sacks in the last 8 regular season games showed that the league figured him out.

I'm not saying that Harrison has an entire arsenal of pass-rush moves but I do think that he gets sold a little short in that regard sometimes. I've heard that he's pound for pound the strongest player on the team and his low center of gravity at 6' tall really enables him to get under the pads of any tackle he faces. Silverback is also very athletic and has a tremendous burst off the snap, so I think it's a little unfair to say that he's only got the ability to bull rush. With Woodley on the other side and hopefully Timmons being unleashed in the middle, there will be far fewer backs to chip him or step over to pick him up once he gets by his man. If Bruce Davis can prove to be a legitimate threat off the edge, he'll be able to hopefully step in and spell both OLBs to keep everyone fresh.

I see the potential for a big improvement in our pass rush for the first time in several years; if we can stay healthy (especially up front where we're thin), then this could be the best defense we've put on the field in a long time.

With the "HEALTHY" also including TROY...I think you could be 100% accurate on that statement!!!

Oviedo
06-19-2008, 03:03 PM
Troy staying healthy requires LeBeau to quit rushing him into the middle of the OL and wrestling with 300lb limemen

Flasteel
06-19-2008, 04:11 PM
I'm not saying that Harrison has an entire arsenal of pass-rush moves but I do think that he gets sold a little short in that regard sometimes. I've heard that he's pound for pound the strongest player on the team and his low center of gravity at 6' tall really enables him to get under the pads of any tackle he faces. Silverback is also very athletic and has a tremendous burst off the snap, so I think it's a little unfair to say that he's only got the ability to bull rush. With Woodley on the other side and hopefully Timmons being unleashed in the middle, there will be far fewer backs to chip him or step over to pick him up once he gets by his man. If Bruce Davis can prove to be a legitimate threat off the edge, he'll be able to hopefully step in and spell both OLBs to keep everyone fresh.

I see the potential for a big improvement in our pass rush for the first time in several years; if we can stay healthy (especially up front where we're thin), then this could be the best defense we've put on the field in a long time.

With the "HEALTHY" also including TROY...I think you could be 100% accurate on that statement!!!

Good point. Polamalu can be a special player when healthy and used correctly. I hesitate to criticize a coach like LeBeau, but I couldn't agree more with what Oviedo said about putting him up on the line of scrimmage.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
06-20-2008, 08:19 AM
Troy staying healthy requires LeBeau to quit rushing him into the middle of the OL and wrestling with 300lb limemen

I agree. Troy has enough athletic ability to make plays behind the line-of-scrimmage from the second level. I think this new LB group will take some pressure off of Lebeau feeling the need to keep Troy close to the line. I also think Troy playing "Center Field" more in the passing game will give the D more turnovers and even that "Split Second" needed to turn a pressure into a sack. I know playing him shallow, he can account for anything underneath but Timmons might be able to handle that role. His range in the deep middle could create allot of good oportunities for this D as a unit!

Oviedo
06-20-2008, 09:25 AM
Troy staying healthy requires LeBeau to quit rushing him into the middle of the OL and wrestling with 300lb limemen

I agree. Troy has enough athletic ability to make plays behind the line-of-scrimmage from the second level. I think this new LB group will take some pressure off of Lebeau feeling the need to keep Troy close to the line. I also think Troy playing "Center Field" more in the passing game will give the D more turnovers and even that "Split Second" needed to turn a pressure into a sack. I know playing him shallow, he can account for anything underneath but Timmons might be able to handle that role. His range in the deep middle could create allot of good oportunities for this D as a unit!

Agree. Troy playing back will get us critical INTs that we haven't been getting because 3 DBs are typically trying to do the job of 4 with Troy up on the line.