how does lifting free weights help in avoiding you ankle getting rolled up on?
Not much. But it could make all the connecting structure a little more solid to aid such an injury being as severe, hypothetically.
which of the injuries the players suffered could have been avoided by lifting better in your opinion

spence? decastro?? ben? woodley? troy? harrison?
You know I'd only be guessing. But my GUESS is that Harrison's injuries have nothing to do with the lack of free weights, as he is an animal in the weight room. Spense was too severe to be prevented from any training technique. Probably same with DeCastro. Woodley certainly COULD be a case where if he did more free weight working out, he could have prevented his hammie from popping every season in the last few. He is NOT known to work out much. His body fat is way too high to be playing OLB in the NFL. Had he been doing squats, who knows? Had working out made him drop 25 lbs of fat, who knows? Would his hammie pop if he was 25 lbs lighter? Not sure. Possibly. No one knows for sure, as you must realize. Troy's hippie mode training? Could very well be somewhat of a potential element. Had he mixed in some squats with his hippie board stuff? Who knows? Maybe it would have made him less likely to blow out his calf every other play.

The point is: Pgh seems to shy away from free weight training. And it doesn't seem like the best of ideas. Many of you have worked out with free weights and realize it is a tremendous aid in many ways. We don't even fully understand why, but we know it is far superior to ANY machine work.