Yes, little Mrs Varley only "re-caps" other stories... But I thought I'd post it anyway....
Competition will be tough at linebacker
Friday, May 30, 2008
By Teresa Varley
Competition is expected to heat up when the Steelers head to training camp this summer and linebacker is one position where it will be interesting.
Second-year linebacker LaMarr Woodley is aiming to take over at outside linebacker where the left side was vacated by the departure of Clark Haggans via free agency. And last year’s first-round pick Lawrence Timmons also will be in the mix, battling for playing time inside.
“I feel more prepared this year,” said Timmons. “I am getting a lot of reps this year. I am more relaxed. There isn’t as much pressure. I feel a lot better.”
Veteran James Farrior can see the improvement in the two young linebackers during the team’s OTA’s and likes the progress they are making.
“You can tell they aren’t rookies any more,” said Farrior. “We have guys looking up to them now. I am looking forward to good things from both of them.”
He is also looking forward to the competition for playing time as he feels it will make the linebackers a better unit overall.
“It’s going to be exciting to see which guys really want the position and step up and make a contribution,” said Farrior. “We are going to go with the guys who are making plays. It’s wide open right now. It keeps you on your toes. I think that will work for the good of the whole group.”
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Farrior has been a regular at the OTA’s, but thinks that they are much more beneficial for the younger players.
“They didn’t invent this stuff for the old veteran guys,” said Farrior, who is entering his 12th season. “We’ve been here and been through it all. We know what we have to do. We are out there to help the young guys along and give them a better understanding of the defense.
“That’s what they made it for, the younger guys who don’t have the full grasp of what they are doing. For them to come out here and practice it over and over again it’s going to help out the whole defense in the long run.”
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Defensive end Aaron Smith had a special visitor at practice this week – Flat Stanley. The paper cutout is popular with kids as they send it around the country to see where it can visit and have a photo taken.
Smith received his Flat Stanley from his nephew, Logan Smith, a grade school student in Virginia. He brought it out on the field with him after practice and had a picture taken.
“He mailed it to me and my brother called and said it was coming,” said Smith, who has young kids of his own. “My wife told me I had to take it to work and get a picture with it.”