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fordfixer
10-03-2009, 02:46 AM
Woodley wants to get back to the sack

By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, October 3, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 46207.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_646207.html)

Quarterback pressures are fine if you're into those type of statistics, said Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

Woodley, however, knows the more devastating effects that sacks can have on opposing quarterbacks.

"Pressure's all right,'' Woodley said. "But the thing about getting sacks is the team loses yards, putting the quarterback on the ground, maybe losing a fumble, giving our offense a chance to get the ball.

"That's the thing about getting the big sack.''

Woodley should know. He recorded 15 1/2 sacks in his first two seasons, including 11 1/2 sacks in 2008.

He has an NFL-record two sacks in four straight playoff games and has eight career sacks in the postseason.

Entering Sunday night's game against San Diego at Heinz Field, though, Woodley is tied for third on the team with five quarterback pressures but doesn't have a sack.

"I've got to pick that part of my game up,'' he said.

That's been easier said than done for Woodley and his defensive teammates.

Through the first three games, teams are relying on a short passing attack against the Steelers. Opposing quarterbacks are taking shorter drops and getting rid of the ball quicker to avoid sacks.

The result is that, whereas last year the Steelers recorded 51 sacks, averaging just more than three per game, this year they have just five, an average of fewer than two per game.

In 32 third-down passing situations of five yards or more against the Steelers this season -- including 27 passes out of the shotgun -- opposing quarterbacks are 15-of-32 for 132 yards and a touchdown with one sack.

"When we played Tennessee, the Bears and Cincinnati, the quarterback was doing a great job of not holding the ball as long,'' Woodley said. "When a quarterback's not holding the ball, you can't really get that much pressure. So we have to take advantage of the opportunities we do get when he holds the ball longer than three seconds. I don't think we've been doing a good job of that.''

Even Woodley admits the difficulty trying to reach the quarterback in three seconds or less.

"I've never seen a rusher get back there with a three-step drop,'' he said. "When you see teams going with a three-step drop, they're just trying to hit the underneath stuff -- they're not worried about the deep ball.''

Woodley said the way to counter that strategy is for the defense to put teams in passing situations so they have to throw downfield.

"When they hold the ball, we need to take advantage of it and get back chasing the quarterback,'' Woodley said.

Woodley has been an intimidating pass rusher, using his blend of strength and first-step quickness to overpower blockers and create havoc in the backfield.

In last year's divisional playoff game against San Diego, Woodley recorded two sacks for a total of 18 yards in losses.

The Steelers posted four sacks in a 35-24 win against the Chargers that sent them to the AFC Championship game.

"It's real important when you apply pressure to the quarterback,'' Woodley said. "The quarterback gets rattled a little bit and wants to get rid of the ball. It gives your secondary an opportunity to get an interception. We did a good job of that last year and we need to pick it up again this year.''

BradshawsHairdresser
10-03-2009, 02:29 PM
Let's hope Woodley starts getting some sacks and quits playing like he's in the sack.

He has been one of the biggest disappointments thus far this season, IMO. If he was playing like he played last season, you would see a big improvement in our defensive performance. We need to get a lot more pressure on the opposing QBs.

Shoe
10-03-2009, 05:33 PM
Let's hope Woodley starts getting some sacks and quits playing like he's in the sack.

He has been one of the biggest disappointments thus far this season, IMO. If he was playing like he played last season, you would see a big improvement in our defensive performance. We need to get a lot more pressure on the opposing QBs.

While I am disappointed in him Hairdresser... I'm gonna stop short of calling him a disappointment. (if that makes sense :? )

What he said in the piece (short passing game limiting sack opportunities) does make sense. But even still, I do not see the pressure, I do not see the stoutness, I do not see the intensity (in the last 2 games; first game was great)--that goes for the entire defense, not just him.

BradshawsHairdresser
10-03-2009, 05:52 PM
Let's hope Woodley starts getting some sacks and quits playing like he's in the sack.

He has been one of the biggest disappointments thus far this season, IMO. If he was playing like he played last season, you would see a big improvement in our defensive performance. We need to get a lot more pressure on the opposing QBs.

While I am disappointed in him Hairdresser... I'm gonna stop short of calling him a disappointment. (if that makes sense :? )

What he said in the piece (short passing game limiting sack opportunities) does make sense. But even still, I do not see the pressure, I do not see the stoutness, I do not see the intensity (in the last 2 games; first game was great)--that goes for the entire defense, not just him.

It goes ESPECIALLY for him, IMO. How many tackles does he have this season? Three?
He's been virtually INVISIBLE...I hope that big contract didn't go to his head, but he sure seems like his intensity has been dialed down.

RuthlessBurgher
10-04-2009, 12:23 AM
He has an NFL-record two sacks in four straight playoff games and has eight career sacks in the postseason.

Oh, 2 X 4 = 8. Thanks, Professor. Does he think Pittsburghers are so stupid that they don't realize that having 2 sacks in each of his 4 career playoff games gives him 8 sacks in the postseason? I didn't even have to take off a shoe and start counting toes to figure out that complex mathematical conundrum...the answer was right at my fingertips!!!

D Rock
10-04-2009, 05:23 AM
He has an NFL-record two sacks in four straight playoff games and has eight career sacks in the postseason.

Oh, 2 X 4 = 8. Thanks, Professor. Does he think Pittsburghers are so stupid that they don't realize that having 2 sacks in each of his 4 career playoff games gives him 8 sacks in the postseason? I didn't even have to take off a shoe and start counting toes to figure out that complex mathematical conundrum...the answer was right at my fingertips!!!

To be fair, he never said Woodley has only played in four games. It would be possible for him to have 2 sacks in 4 straight games but also have 11 career sacks had he played more games, and if that was the case your outburst about being able to do math wouldn't exist.

Shoe
10-04-2009, 01:41 PM
It goes ESPECIALLY for him, IMO. How many tackles does he have this season? Three?
He's been virtually INVISIBLE...I hope that big contract didn't go to his head, but he sure seems like his intensity has been dialed down.

Yeah, I can't really argue with you... he has been invisible thus far. I'm hopeful though, because his history (dating to college) has always been that of a leader, self-starter. Let's hope it's just been a quiet stretch of games lumped together, and not what you mentioned (big head).

JTP53609
10-05-2009, 12:48 PM
once he gets clicking along with harrioson and polamalu gets back, the defense will get better, i hate to say this i really do, but farrior looks old out there, and that is no knock, he was playing at a high level for 12 years, but he just looks like a 35 mlb out there right now....

BradshawsHairdresser
10-05-2009, 01:03 PM
once he gets clicking along with harrioson and polamalu gets back, the defense will get better, i hate to say this i really do, but farrior looks old out there, and that is no knock, he was playing at a high level for 12 years, but he just looks like a 35 mlb out there right now....

You're right, but even more of a concern is that WOODLEY looks old...

frankthetank1
10-05-2009, 04:54 PM
woodley has been so dissapointing this season. i have always loved woodley ever since he was at michigan but maybe they should start to rotate woodley and timmons in passing situations. timmons's pass rushing skills especially from the outside are great. fox is a solid MLB, so why not mix it up? i dont think it could hurt and maybe it would help woodley out in this rough stretch

NW Steeler
10-05-2009, 05:12 PM
Wood was about a half second late getting to Rivers several times last night. Like some have said, maybe with Troy back that makes the QB hold the ball for a little longer, which could make a big difference in our sack tally. It was nice to see Harrison bury Rivers' head into the turf last night at the end of the game.

grotonsteel
10-05-2009, 05:35 PM
Woodley and Timmons have been a disappointment so far.

Hopefully with Troy back in the lineup Defense should pick up. 4th Q showing by the defense in last 3 games was horrible and they definately were not running out of breath against Cincy or Chargers.