View Full Version : Notebook: Woodson praises his former team

09-21-2008, 12:44 AM
Notebook: Woodson praises his former team
By the Tribune-Review
Sunday, September 21, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 89314.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_589314.html)

NFL Network analyst Rod Woodson said he hasn't seen any weaknesses on the Steelers through the first two weeks of the season and added that they look like the "best overall team" in the AFC.

He made another interesting observation about his former team.

"They looked tired at the end of the year," said Woodson, who starred as a defensive back for the Steelers from 1987-96. "I think you saw a young head coach in Mike Tomlin, who worked them pretty hard. I think they weren't used to doing that, working that hard throughout the year and they wore down."

The Steelers lost four of their last five games in 2007 after starting the season 9-3.

Outside linebacker James Harrison has said he hopes Tomlin eases up on the players in December to preserve their legs. Woodson said he sees that happening.

"I think that Mike understands the team better," the 11-time Pro Bowler said. "I think he made his point last year of being well-conditioned and playing tough throughout the whole year. Everybody's talking about the NFC teams but after two weeks the (Steelers) look phenomenal."

Time well spent: Hurricane Ike forced the postponement of last Sunday's Ravens-Texans game but it may have aided in the development of rookie quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco, the Ravens' first-round pick in last April's draft, used the unexpected bye week to work on things such as making the correct reads on blitzes and his accuracy on short and intermediate throws.

"You can look at it in a couple of different ways," Flacco said of the Ravens not playing last Sunday, "and I'm going to look at it like it was a good thing. I'm going into my second game as prepared as I can be."

Flacco, who started his college career at Pitt and transferred to Delaware, led the Ravens to a 17-10 win over the Bengals in his NFL debut.

He completed 15 of 29 passes for 129 yards and did not throw an interception. His numbers would have been better had the Ravens not dropped five passes, including one by tight end Todd Heap that might have gone for a touchdown.

Flacco did account for one of the Ravens' scores with a 38-yard touchdown run.

If Flacco wins his second NFL start today he will put the visiting Browns in an early hole.

Cleveland enters the 4:15 p.m. game with an 0-2 record.

"I'm looking for Joe to do well this game as he did the first game," Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason said.

Extra points: The Giants might miss Jeremy Shockey's hands more than they do his mouth. Giants tight ends have yet to catch a pass this season, and they have a relatively unproven group at the position. New York traded the disgruntled Shockey, whose 371 receptions are fourth on the Giants' all-time list, to New Orleans in the offseason...The Colts, who play a division game today against the Jaguars, are 28-8 in their last 36 games against AFC South foes...New Orleans has 156 rushing yards as a team. Rookie running back Matt Forte, who played his college ball at nearby Tulane, has rushed for 215 yards.