LaMarr Woodley looks at life beyond football, Pittsburgh Steelers
Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012
by Hugh Bernreuter
SAGINAW, MI — At 27 years old, LaMarr Woodley is looking ahead to when he's an NFL senior citizen.
Like when he's 30 years old or so.
Woodley brought more than a dozen of his friends from the NFL to Saginaw High Saturday for the fifth annual LaMarr Woodley Free Football Camp.
The camp drew more than 350 youth campers, who ran drills and listened to advice from NFL players such as James Harrison, Nick Fairley, Steve Breaston, Marshawn Lynch, David Harris, Brandon Graham, Courtney Upshaw, Troy Smith and Marcell Dareus.
"He does so many things ... sometimes I don't know how he does it," Octagon Sports Public Relations and Events Director Rebecca Otto said. "He's involved in everything, from this camp to the Thanksgiving food giveaway here and in Pittsburgh, toy drives in Pittsburgh, the Sack Attack charity that gives money to kids in Pittsburgh and Saginaw."
Woodley will add to his resume this month. He is a featured celebrity on MTV's Hip Hop Squares, which will air on June 19 on MTV2.
"It was fun, and I answered a lot of questions," Woodley said. "I haven't seen it, so I don't know what it's going to look like.
"I do a lot of things like that. It was a great opportunity. Hip hop and sports go together. I enjoy it. I want to take advantage of those opportunities now because you never know how long it's going to last. You get up to 32, 33 years old and that's young for a normal person but it's old for the NFL. This isn't going to last forever."
According to Otto, Woodley was the only athlete invited to star on the hip hop takeoff on Hollywood Squares.
"He's good friends with Ludacris and Snoop ... he bowled with Ludacris on the Chris Paul charity bowling event," Otto said. "And he's been in a couple hip hop videos.
"He held his own on Hip Hop Squares, but you'd expect that. It's not just that he knows a lot of people in hip hop, he also has the personality to do it."
Woodley is one of the most prolific NFL players on Twitter and is also a regular contributor to a series of pranks on YouTube.
Still, his focus is on football. His season was cut short in 2011 by a hamstring injury, but he still finished with nine sacks.
But he was not happy with the season, which ended in the first round of the playoffs in a loss to Denver.
"The Super Bowl is what motivates me ... and losing to Denver kept us from the Super Bowl last year," Woodley said. "Nothing against Denver, but losing to them pushes me this year.
"I was very fortunate to be in two Super Bowls with one win. It's always the goal. So when people ask me a question, the focus is on the Super Bowl, whether it's about Denver or Joe Flacco with the Baltimore Ravens.
"Whatever the answer is, the focus is always the Super Bowl. Ask me about the Ravens and Flacco, and I'll say they won't make the Super Bowl. Nothing against Flacco, but they're a rival, and if they make the Super Bowl, we don't. Same with Denver. Ask me about what motivates me, and I'll tell you it's losing to Denver because it kept us from the Super Bowl."
Woodley considers any season without a Super Bowl a failure.
"It's why you play," Woodley said. "It's not about the Pro Bowl. Guys go to the Pro Bowl every year. Getting to the Super Bowl is what matters. It doesn't happen for everybody. There are great players in this league who never got to play in a Super Bowl. I've been in two.
"I'm very lucky to be a Pittsburgh Steeler. I've always been a Steelers fan. I know how fortunate I am, because every year the goal for the Pittsburgh Steelers is to win that Lombardi Trophy."
But at 27, Woodley understands that longevity in the NFL is rare.
"You've got to prepare," Woodley said. "I know this won't last forever."
All I can say is thank God Ben wasn't invited to the bachelor party :P
Steelers Records: OLB LaMarr Woodley Eyes Steelers Career Sack Leader Jason Gildon
by Neal Coolong on Jun 18, 2012
An average 2012 season would put Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley tied with DE Keith Willis for 3rd all time in sacks for the Steelers (59).
Willis played 126 games. Woodley would have played 86.
No other pass rusher drafted by the Steelers with at least 48 games played has as many sacks per game (.69) as Woodley, and in five seasons - he missed nearly half of 2011 with a nagging hamstring injury - already ranks 6th with 48.5 sacks.
Kevin Greene wasn't drafted by the Steelers, but he leads the franchise with .74 sacks a game.
If Woodley continues his pace of roughly 11 sacks a season, he'll overtake franchise leader Jason Gildon (77) in 2014. Woodley turns 28 years old in November, and is under contract through 2016.
It's certainly possible he not only breaks that record, but sets a pretty high mark for whomever will follow him. Judging by the way he looked pre-injury in 2011, he could break it much sooner than 2014. Woodley had nine sacks in eight games before pulling up lame midway through the Steelers' win over New England in Week 8. He was pursuing QB Tom Brady, on his way to what could have been his third sack of one of the most dominating games of his career. It was his third consecutive game with at least two sacks, but he never recovered from the injury. With Woodley went the Steelers' pass rush last season, falling to 17th in the NFL with 35. They led the league in 2010 with 48.
Teammate James Harrison (58 sacks) holds the single season record with 16, a mark Woodley was en route to breaking. A big season for him (12 sacks) would move him ahead of Joey Porter, the player he replaced in 2007, for 4th place all time.
Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley 11th Highest Paid NFL Player in 2011
by Neal Coolong on Jun 20, 2012
According to Forbes Magazine's yearly Highest Paid Athletes article, Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley is the 11th highest paid NFL player, and 31st highest paid athlete alive, topping out at $26.5 million in salary and endorsements in 2011.
Now Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the highest paid NFL player, topping out at $42.4 million from salary and endorsements.
Woodley received a $13 million signing bonus in 2011, along with his base salary and a few bucks ($100,000) in endorsements. He had nine sacks in eight games before a hamstring injury largely derailed his season. His 48 career sacks in five seasons is the 6th highest mark in franchise history, and turning 28 this season, he's just entering the prime of his career.
The list is usually dominated by big-prize athletes like fighters (Floyd Merriweather and Manny Pacquiao are Nos. 1 and 2) and Tiger Woods (No. 3).
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 43rd overall at $23.3 million, and LB Lawrence Timmons is 78th at $18.6 million.
Here are the top 11 NFL players, along with their overall rank and their reported earnings.
10. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts (now with Denver Broncos) ($42.4 million)
12. Haloti Ngata, DT, Baltimore Ravens ($37.3 million)
13. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals ($36.8 million)
14. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions ($36 million)
15. Charles Johnson, DE, Carolina Panthers ($34.4 million)
16. Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans (now with Buffalo Bills) $33.2 million
22. Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets, $28.3 million
27. Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams, $27.8 million
28. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots, $27.1 million
30. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants, $26.6 million
31. LaMarr Woodley, OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers, $26.5 million
It's time for big LaMarr to give us some big production commensurate with his big pay. Thus far, he is way too inconsistent to be the 11th-highest paid NFL player. He disappears for games at a time...and I'm not talking about when he's injured.
He's not the 11th highest paid player...he just signed a new contract this year, so they counted his entire signing bonus for this year for the purposes of this Forbes article (when signing bonuses are prorated over the life of the contract according to the NFL salary cap). Next year, when Woodley does not receive another large signing bonus, will be nowhere near the top of this lists (he'll be back in the hundreds somewhere).
1.15 WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
2.46 TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
3.97c ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford
4.118 CB Philip Gaines, Rice
5.157 OT James Hurst, North Carolina
5.173c RB Jerrick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
6.192 CB Walt Aikens, Liberty
6.215c DE Deandre Coleman, California
7.230 NT Zack Kerr, Delaware