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Thread: Decline of Steelers’ Woodley puzzling

  1. #1
    Legend fordfixer's Avatar
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    Decline of Steelers’ Woodley puzzling

    Decline of Steelers’ Woodley puzzlinghttp://triblive.com/mobile/3188450-81/woodley-game-green

    By Mark Kaboly






    Published: Tuesday, December 25, 2012, 7:02 p.m.




    So, what‘s wrong with LaMarr Woodley?


    That‘s the question that‘s being asked on the heels of his most unproductive season, including Sunday‘s one-tackle, one-assist, no-sack game against Cincinnati.


    Woodley, who has been hampered by hamstring and ankle injuries this year, had been one of the more dominant pass rushers in the league over the past five years, but he has only four sacks and 12 pressures all season. He hasn‘t had a pressure or a sack since Nov. 4 against the Giants — some 195 snaps.


    Against the Bengals, it was much of the same.


    Woodley rushed the passer 26 times (his second most this year), with 20 of those coming one-on-one against tackle Andre Smith, who had allowed seven sacks and 24 hurries coming into the game.


    Woodley rushed Andy Dalton nine times over the final 14 snaps of the game but never got a hand on the Bengals‘ quarterback.


    But what may be more concerning than that is Woodley‘s play in the run game. Woodley has been just as dominant a run-stopper over his career but struggled with Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham.


    Woodley took part in defending 17 run plays, with 11 of those coming while being one-on-one blocked by tight ends Gresham or Orson Charles.


    In defense of Woodley, he has been asked to drop into coverage a lot this year. He was asked to cover either a tight end or a back 21 times against the Bengals. Woodley has dropped into coverage 35 percent of the time this year.


    OTHER OBSERVATIONS


    • With Keenan Lewis not 100 percent, the onus of following A.J. Green around the field fell to Cortez Allen. Despite Green catching 10 passes for 116 yards, Allen more than held his own. Green was involved in 63 plays and Allen lined up across from him 43 times, allowing six catches for 60 yards while picking off a pair of passes. When the Steelers went to the nickel, either Curtis Brown or Josh Victorian covered Green. Despite Allen‘s success, the Steelers switched up coverages late in the game. Lewis covered Green on four of Cincinnati‘s final six plays, including allowing Green‘s 21-yard reception with eight seconds left to set up the game-winning field goal. Lewis had covered Green four other times over the previous 57 plays.


    • A week after Ben Roethlisberger said he was disappointed that they didn‘t run more no-huddle, Ben Roethlisberger got more of an opportunity Sunday. The Steelers ran five no-huddle plays with varying success. Roethlisberger completed a 7-yard pass to Heath Miller; overthrew Mike Wallace for what looked like a sure touchdown and hooked up with Antonio Brown for the game‘s only offensive score — a 60-yard pass. The other times the Steelers ran the no huddle didn‘t work very well, as Rashard Mendenhall was stopped for a negative run on a key third down and Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 3 yards.


    • Roethlisberger, like many right-handed quarterbacks, feels more comfortable throwing the ball to the right rather than across his body to the left. Against the Bengals, it was the opposite. Heading into last week‘s game, Roethlisberger had 95 attempts and 10 touchdowns when he threw to the right. Against the Bengals, Roethlisberger attempted only two passes outside the numbers and to the right, with one of them being the most influential play of the game — Reggie Nelson‘s interception with 14 seconds left. The week before, 11 of Roethlisberger‘s 36 attempts were to the left. The Week 7 win over Cincinnati, Roethlisberger attempted 13 passes outside and to the right.

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  2. #2
    Oh noes!!! LaMarr Woodley is in permanent severe decline!!!
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  3. #3
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    Not puzzling...he would be a better 4-3 DE. It is the dropping into coverage and the running involved with chasing RBs and TEs that are causing his leg problems.
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  4. #4
    Pro Bowler supersteeler's Avatar
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    I don't know if he's in a decline, the way he's being used has a part in it like dropping into coverage. I think the main reason is the injuries slowed him down, he wasn't playing at 100%. I think if we had that dominate NT, our DE ends would be more productive and our LB's as well.
    I believe Woodley has to train in the off season like no other and lose some of that weight which could also be a factor. It's tough to have that speed when your not 100% and when you combine that with his weight it limits his production.

    He played DE in college , but I don't see the Steelers going to a 4-3 anytime soon. Even with all the injuries we sustained this defense was one of the best in the league and would of been better if we had a healthy Lamar and James Harrison all season. Harrison missed quite a few games and with Woodley injured during the course of the season it hurt us as they are the focal point in the 3-4.

    At any rate if Lamar takes the training seriously in the off season and loses some weight we may see a meaner leaner LB getting back to his days of dominating. He has an obligation to the team to be in the best shape possible when they break camp next season, with the money he's making we need more production for sure, but nothing can be done about the injuries other than what I mentioned.
    Our conditioning coach has a responsibility too in this, something is wrong when you have the injuries this team had this season. Not only on defense but offense too....way too many.

    Lamar is part owner of a bowling league now and will be bowling in competition, nothing wrong with that but he better put that ball down in April and start running the federal St. extension.

  5. #5
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    Having watched every Steeler game this season, Chadman has not noticed that Lamarr has increased his weight, like has been mentioned. Worilds- yes. But not Woodley. He's always been about that size. He could lose some bulk to increase his speed, sure- but it's not the reason he's 'declined'.

    His coverage issues have been there since he was drafted. He's not a 'great' cover LB. He's a very good bullrushing OLB however. But, as was pointed out- he's not as effective this season.

    Ok, so he's been injured. That can certainly be part of the blame there. And the Front 3 haven't been as dominating this season as in years past- that has to take some of the blame too.

    That aside, Chadman feels that Woodley has had a 'down' year (he's not the Lone Ranger there), combined with Offensive Coordinators attacking the Steeler 3-4 at it's biggest weakness- short area coverage. If the CB's sit 5-10 yards off the WR, and you dink & dunk your way up field, the LB's don't have the time to get to the QB. You add that with lower pressure coming from the DL, and the pocket simply isn't collapsing fast enough.

    We all love Ike Taylor- but he's not a good 'man' coverage CB. He's a great zone coverage guy, but he's not tight in man. And those dinks & dunks find him out. Lewis looks better at man, as does Cortez.

    A combination of things will have to come together- better pocket pressure from the DL, better coverage from the CB's & Safeties (Clark is good in run support, but his coverage skills are ordinary), and better fitness from the LB's. It's not major surgery required, but a fine-tuning. Get that right, and the Defense will go from statistically good to actually very good.
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  6. #6
    Hall of Famer SidSmythe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordfixer View Post

    • Roethlisberger, like many right-handed quarterbacks, feels more comfortable throwing the ball to the right rather than across his body to the left. Against the Bengals, it was the opposite. Heading into last week‘s game, Roethlisberger had 95 attempts and 10 touchdowns when he threw to the right. Against the Bengals, Roethlisberger attempted only two passes outside the numbers and to the right, with one of them being the most influential play of the game — Reggie Nelson‘s interception with 14 seconds left. The week before, 11 of Roethlisberger‘s 36 attempts were to the left. The Week 7 win over Cincinnati, Roethlisberger attempted 13 passes outside and to the right.
    I find this strange see that his 2 late game picks came throwing to his right. although his 1st late game pick came throwing to his left (DENVER).

    I'm right handed and I find myself better at throwing across my body b/c of the natural tendency to STEP INTO it. alot of times when you throw to the right you rely on arm strength and don't always step into it.

    One thing I don't like about the Steeler Defense is the OFFENSE dictates who rushes the QB. in base package, you never see Woodley and Harrison both rush the QB. 1 is rushing and the other is in coverage. I think WOODLEY should be rushing 80-90% of the time.
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    Woodley is a Diva!!! He cares more about being a Celebrity on Hip-Hop Squares than he did about any game this season!!

    But he's not the only player who essentially pissed the season away...

    It would appear that this team is missing alot of LEADERSHIP!!!

    I really thought that there were still enough leaders on this team, but I was big-time WRONG!!

    I'm not sure where this team stands right now, I really don't...

    If missing the Playoffs isn't reason enough to get ANGRY, and REFLECT, than I would have to
    say that this team is year's away from any type of Superbowl run.

    Extremely disappointed, and frustrated with this team that had the makings of a 7th Lombardi...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDSteeler View Post
    Woodley is a Diva!!! He cares more about being a Celebrity on Hip-Hop Squares than he did about any game this season!!

    But he's not the only player who essentially pissed the season away...

    It would appear that this team is missing alot of LEADERSHIP!!!

    I really thought that there were still enough leaders on this team, but I was big-time WRONG!!

    I'm not sure where this team stands right now, I really don't...

    If missing the Playoffs isn't reason enough to get ANGRY, and REFLECT, than I would have to
    say that this team is year's away from any type of Superbowl run.

    Extremely disappointed, and frustrated with this team that had the makings of a 7th Lombardi...

    JD
    Stick a fork in these guys.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Not puzzling...he would be a better 4-3 DE. It is the dropping into coverage and the running involved with chasing RBs and TEs that are causing his leg problems.
    Speaks more to proper training and conditioning than anything. Woodley has been in this role for a number of years, he should know how to prepare his body for what the team is asking him to do. I don't think that is much to ask for a team that is paying the guy $60M to play a game. Another piece of evidence to lack of proper off-season training is why does it take a quarter to half a season for Woodley to make his presence known on the field?
    Last edited by NorthCoast; 12-27-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  10. #10
    Hall of Famer SidSmythe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthCoast View Post
    Speaks more to proper training and conditioning than anything. Woodley has been in this role for a number of years, he should know how to prepare his body for what the team is asking him to do. I don't think that is much to ask for a team that is paying the guy $60M to play a game. Another piece of evidence to lack of proper off-season training is why does it take a quarter to half a season for Woodley to make his presence known on the field?
    I swear some of these guys just naturally made it through high school and college w/out much effort and relying on natural strength and ability. They have it in their heads they just need an hour in the weight room a day and they're golden.

    I'm sorry but someone's offseason program should be so harsh and intense, that the regular season seems like "time off"
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