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hawaiiansteel
08-06-2012, 07:27 PM
Butler to Woodley: “Don’t come to camp weighing 290″

August 6th, 2012
By Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review


LaMarr Woodley already has sack years of 11.5, 13.5 and 10 within the first three seasons as the Steelers’ starting outside linebacker.

Woodley is the only player in NFL history to record at least two sacks in four consecutive postseason games and has 11 sacks in eight playoff games.

Impressive to all … except for maybe his position coach Keith Butler.

Even though Woodley has put up staggering numbers (44 sacks in 57 starts) since becoming a starter in 2008, Butler believes that Woodley could be one of the best who ever played the game — if he wants to.

“LaMarr, like a lot of players, sometimes it takes a few years to understand what the league is all about and how competitive the league is,” Butler said. “A lot of guys come in the league and have a lot of natural ability. At some point in time they realize they have to work in order to stand out in this league. If you don’t work, you are just going to be another guy — a good player, but not a great player.”

Butler was referring to Woodley’s on-again, off-again weight issues.

Listed at 265 pounds, Woodley showed up at camp last year overweight, which led to a slow first month of the season followed by a hamstring injury later in the year that kept him out six games and parts of two others.

“Wood has to decide if he wants to be a great player,” Butler said. “When he decides that, he is going to be a bear.”

Woodley had his least productive year finishing with nine sacks and only 39 tackles. The first four games, he had 1.5 sacks and 16 total tackles.

“He just wasn’t in shape,” Butler said. “He’ll tell you that. If he don’t tell you that, I’ll tell you that, I don’t care. He has to get his big butt in shape, I tell him that all of the time: Don’t come to camp weighing 290.”

Woodley took Butler’s advice and came into camp close to his listed weight, but had been nursing a sore groin that kept him out of full-contact practice for four days. He returned fully for Sunday’s practice at their facility on the Southside.

“He has gotten himself in shape this year,” Butler said. “I am pleased at where he is at this year.”

Woodley has been dominant in the past, and especially in the big-time games. His sack of Kurt Warner late in Super Bowl XLIII sealed the game for the Steelers. Even last year when teammate James Harrison was out with an orbital bone fracture, Woodley picked up his game and collected 7.5 sacks in the four games Harrison was out. The Steelers are 5-2 in postseason games when Woodley records a sack.

“I am always rising up to the challenge,” Woodley said. “My goals are to get back to the Super Bowl and win it. When you set that high goal there, everything else just plays out. I really don’t need to set personal goals.”

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2012/08/06/butler-woodley-has-to-decide-if-he-wants-to-be-great/

hawaiiansteel
08-06-2012, 09:32 PM
Steelers' menacing Woodley says sacks all a part of big goal

August 6, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://c4241337.r37.cf2.rackcdn.com/2012/218/565/woodley_420.jpg

Woodley rushes the passer during workouts at the Steelers South Side facility.

Halfway through the first season of his monstrous contract, LaMarr Woodley was matching it with a feverish pace on the field, one that would place him above all linebackers in Steelers history.

And if anyone cares to look, that's some history.

Woodley had nine sacks through the first eight games of 2011, an 18-sack pace that if achieved would have obliterated James Harrison's team record of 16 set when he earned the NFL defensive player of the year award in 2008.

He was also just warming up, recording 7 1/2 sacks in games 5-8, the first time since sacks became an official stat in '82 that a Steelers player had at least two in four consecutive games.

Then, his hamstring gave out and it practically wiped out the entire second half for him. He did start two more games but reinjured it in the second quarter Dec. 4 against Cincinnati and left again in his next game in the third quarter Dec. 19 in San Francisco.

He finished with those nine sacks, enough to tie James Harrison for the team lead.

What could have been another NFL defensive player of the year season for a Steelers player ended with him not making the Pro Bowl. Woodley shrugged in a that's-the-way-the-cookie-crumbles kind of way while talking about it, the same way he did when he reported to training camp a year ago entering the final year of his contract. The Steelers took care of that by signing him to a six-year, $61.5 million deal, and Woodley believes things will again take care of themselves in 2012.

"I get another year to do it again," Woodley said. "That's how I look at it. Last year I didn't do it because of injury. But, every year you come back you have another opportunity to do the same thing. I look forward to having another good season and helping my team out."

He was derailed a few days last week with something new, a groin injury. He says it is not serious and acknowledged that last year's experience with his pulled hamstring has caused him and his coaches to be more cautious this time.

"Exactly," said Woodley, who returned to practice full time over the weekend. "I'm good to go. Just a few days off."

The hamstring injury and its fallout prompted him to train a little differently after last season. He worked to strengthen the hamstrings and the muscles around it.

"I worked on flexibility this offseason. It wasn't a thing where I felt it before I pulled it. It was something that just happened. I felt like this offseason I really worked to make sure it doesn't happen again, but muscles [are] muscles sometime."

And sacks become turnovers sometimes. The Steelers noticeable failure to produce turnovers on defense might be laid right at the feet of the injuries to Woodley and Harrison, who missed five games that included a one-game NFL suspension. The sacks and pressures on quarterbacks took a dive, thus robbing the defense of likely more fumbles forced -- Harrison had seven in 2008 -- and all those interceptions that hurried quarterbacks throw.

"We were hurt everywhere at every position," Woodley said. "That just hurt all the way around, we didn't get as many turnovers and we didn't put our offense in good field position. This year we have another opportunity to do that."

Woodley also has another chance, at just 28, to take another crack at that sack record, and to stay on track as one of the best quarterback menaces in the NFL.

"Yeah I have goals -- get back to the Super Bowl and win it," Woodley said. "When you set the high goal right there, everything else just plays out. When you're playing to get there you know the part you have to play out there on the football field.

"Personal goals, I don't even need to say. As far as team goals, help the team get back to the Super Bowl and win it and everything else will fall into place."

Roethlisberger skips practice

Ben Roethlisberger said his left foot is fine after he missed practice one day after it was stepped on Saturday near the end of drills.

He said it is not sprained -- he wore no bandage or extra support on it -- and that he will return to practice Tuesday. The players have today off.

"It's good. No worries," Roethlisberger said after watching practice. "I think coach [Mike Tomlin] was giving it to me anyway, two days in a row -- today, and tomorrow we're off anyway. I just got it stepped on, nothing big."

Tomlin, who mocked a question about his quarterback's injury Saturday, called Roethlisberger "day to day" and that "he should be fine."

A long way to practice

The Steelers traveled 100 miles round-trip to practice Sunday. The heavy, day-long downpours prompted Tomlin to move practice indoors at the team's facility on the South Side. And coming from east of the city is not an easy trip on the weekends. The Squirrel Hill Tunnel that funnels traffic on the Parkway East into town has been closed on the weekends recently and the detour usually time-consuming.

So, the buses headed south on their own detour, went through Duquesne and Homestead, past Kennywood and in the back way to the South Side for a 4 p.m. practice.

Once there, more trouble. They went from Friday night lights in Latrobe to Sunday night no lights when the electricity conked out at their indoor field during a storm. Practice was stopped for a dozen minutes before they came back on.

"I thought they put a nice exclamation point on a good competitive weekend through a variety of unusual circumstances and they responded," Tomlin said of his players. "From Friday night lights, to short-yardage and goal-line [situations Saturday] to the logistics of coming down here and performing. I like the way the group is showing they're capable of playing anytime we roll the ball out under any circumstances."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/menacing-woodley-says-sacks-all-a-part-of-big-goal-647792/#ixzz22oNox8jv

Captain Lemming
08-07-2012, 10:22 AM
"Yeah I have goals -- get back to the Super Bowl and win it," Woodley said. "When you set the high goal right there, everything else just plays out. When you're playing to get there you know the part you have to play out there on the football field.

"Personal goals, I don't even need to say. As far as team goals, help the team get back to the Super Bowl and win it and everything else will fall into place."

Gotta love that. Hey Wallace, take that to heart. Be a key cog in a SB victory and everything else will fall into place. Including the big bucks. Some fool WILL overpay you. Just ask Larry "he threw the ball right at me" Brown.

Woodley is always a postseason beast. Now he finally comes to camp in shape it is scary what he can be.

Shoe
08-07-2012, 11:15 AM
Thank you Coach Butler, for stating what was perfectly clear to anyone who was paying attention.

RuthlessBurgher
08-07-2012, 04:04 PM
He was also just warming up, recording 7 1/2 sacks in games 5-8, the first time since sacks became an official stat in '82 that a Steelers player had at least two in four consecutive games.

Perhaps this is the "new math" I'm unaware of, but if you had at least two sacks in 4 consecutive games, wouldn't the minimum amount you could have over that stretch be 8 sacks, not 7.5?

hawaiiansteel
08-19-2012, 03:03 AM
Huge Opportunity For Woodley To Be #1 Pass Rusher For The Steelers

Aug 18th, 2012 by Dominic Di Tolla

http://cdn.fansided.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/58/files/2012/08/6414554-211x300.jpg?5dc56d

You knew it was bound to happen. At some point, James Harrison’s body had to start deteriorating due to his hard-nosed play and his age (34 currently). With Deebo’s knee being scoped and already with back issues, #92 is in danger of missing a decent amount of time this season, and is at the age where Outside Linebackers start to see the quality of their play decline. Then when you add in the fact that he will be one of the more expensive players for the franchise to keep post-2012 ($6.5+ mil due in 2013), the Steelers could sure use another Outside Linebacker to step up either this season or the next to take Harrison’s spot and strike fear into opposing Quarterbacks. Luckily for Pittsburgh and “Steeler Nation” alike, a Pro Bowler is already on their roster.

Because the Front Office already had salary cap issues, were intent on and allowed veteran dead-weight to hang around on the roster, did not address other positions of need (particularly Offensive Line), and did not use the money to lock up other talented players already on the team (#17), I am still not what you would call the biggest fan of the $61.5 million dollar extension that the club signed LaMarr Woodley to last season. Quibbles about the size and the nature of the extension aside, I am however glad that the Steelers extended Woodley for one very important reason. Why you may ask? Well, because if there is anything the Steelers currently need which they appeared not to need in August of 2011, it is experienced and quality depth at the Outside Linebacker position.

With “Deebo’s” status already discussed, the Steelers are not exactly setting the world ablaze in the pass rushing department as they enter the 2012 campaign. Top backup Jason Worilds is on the shelf nursing a bum wrist, and who knows when he will be ready to play. Chris Carter is a talented player ready to break out but still without any significant game experience. Veteran Free Agent pickup Brandon Johnson is likely to split time on the Inside, used in pass coverage in sub-packages, and star on Special Teams where he has excelled in the past. And raw UDFA Adrian Robinson is on the roster but will likely be a Special Teams contributor this season if he makes the team.

Because of this, Pittsburgh needs all hands on deck in the pass-rushing department this season, and Woodley will be counted on to step up his game and lead the charge. If the Steelers Defense wants to improve on the paltry Turnover statistics which they put up in 2011, it starts with the pass-rush and attacking the Quarterback on a consistent basis, and this is where Woodley unquestionably helps this team the most.

Final Thoughts

In a recent post by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.com (via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), Linebackers Coach Keith Butler is ready to see Woodley take “the next step” and emerge as an elite player. Unlike 2011, Butler wants Woodley motivated and hungry to step his game up in 2012 and become a the “great” player (DPOY like Harrison) he knows that he can be, not a “good” one (48.0 career Sacks) which Woodley already is.

The stage is thus set for #56 to become the next terrific 3-4 Outside Linebacker which this system has produced and helped to achieve greatness since the early 1980′s. As I alluded to before, Pittsburgh’s pass-rush and improvement in said department will be of the utmost importance this season, and could be the biggest thing between success and failure for this team in 2012. Pittsburgh will be inserting Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown into the lineup quite a bit this season, and there is no better way to help young and inexperienced Corners (inexperience as a starter for Lewis) than a fantastic pass rush.

A hampered Deebo playing not at 80%, a PUP List Deebo, or Deebo not around come 2013-2014 is bad. An injured Worilds, plus Carter not panning out compounding those events is even worse. Regardless if events do transpire in these directions or not, the soon to be 28 year-old former Wolverine will be asked to be the “Head Honcho” at Outside Linebacker sooner rather than later.

With these things in mind, Woodley must answer the proverbial “bell” and answer it now. Woodley has at least a three to four year window to be the #1 guy on his depth chart at the position, and be the most feared option on the Steelers’ Defense when the opposition breaks down game tape for the week. Will he take what Butler said to heart and be “great?” Or will Woodley just be content to be “good?”

I am sure that I can speak for all of Steeler Nation when I hope that it is the former.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/08/18/huge-opportunity-for-woodley-to-be-1-pass-rusher-for-the-steelers/

Discipline of Steel
08-19-2012, 08:04 AM
Perhaps this is the "new math" I'm unaware of, but if you had at least two sacks in 4 consecutive games, wouldn't the minimum amount you could have over that stretch be 8 sacks, not 7.5?

7.5 / 4 = 1.875 or 2 if you round that to a whole number.
But where he said Wood had at least two in four consecutive games is incorrect.
I guess journalists are allowed to round numbers if it will help support their arguement :)

NorthCoast
08-19-2012, 10:55 AM
It was abundantly obvious to anyone that watches the Steelers that Woodley had a very slow start to last season. I remember a lot of board comments on this and some were saying he was just a slow starter. This article tells us a different story. He came into 2011 out of shape and it took more than a month to work it off. Butler is right on for the comments. This season will be a tight one in the AFC North and the Steelers can't afford to give LaMarr a month of mulligans.

flippy
08-19-2012, 12:44 PM
If everyone plays like Woodley come playoff time, they can all show up looking like Fat Albert.

As violent a sport as this is, it might be worth pacing yourself.

This could just be the equivalent of Franco running out of bounds.

skyhawk
08-20-2012, 12:31 AM
Woodley look fat a and slow to me tonight v the Colts.

D Rock
08-20-2012, 12:45 AM
Woodley look fat a and slow to me tonight v the Colts.


I actually thought he looked pretty trim compared to his normal size. I also thought he also looked slow though...although that is based solely on the free rush he got on Luck where he picked up the sack.

I know he had some stutter steps in making sure he didn't have to go for the running back, but even after that he didn't accelerate particularly quickly.

ikestops85
08-20-2012, 12:58 PM
Woodley look fat a and slow to me tonight v the Colts.

I also thought he looked fat and slow. His arse looks to be the size of a dump truck and I can't imagine him trying to cover a back coming out of the backfield. I hope this was just perception on my part and not reality.

Oviedo
08-20-2012, 03:24 PM
I also thought he looked fat and slow. His arse looks to be the size of a dump truck and I can't imagine him trying to cover a back coming out of the backfield. I hope this was just perception on my part and not reality.


He looks like a 4-3 DE which is what he should be. It is a waste to have him drop into coverage.
:stirpot