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Thread: Woodley tackles weighty issue

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    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Woodley tackles weighty issue

    Woodley tackles weighty issue

    By Alan Robinson
    Published: Monday, August 26, 2013



    LaMarr Woodley prepared for what might be the most important season of his career by effectively eliminating his offseason.

    Aware of all the talk that more Woodley made for a lesser player, he began working out for 2013 only a few weeks after 2012 ended — and after he healed from a painful, cumbersome high ankle sprain.

    He didn't believe his weight — listed as 265 pounds but believed to be more — hampered his play, even as his sacks dwindled from 13½ in 2009 to only four the past 1½ seasons.

    But the perception among his teammates and coaches appeared to be different. So, aware that fellow pass rusher James Harrison might not return and he could be breaking in a new partner at outside linebacker, Woodley shed pounds and took on more responsibility as a leader of the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense.

    At the same time the 28-year-old Woodley was training in Arizona, safety Troy Polamalu, age 32, was doing the same in California. As a result, the two players most responsible for the success and/or failure of the defense look to be in their best shape in seasons.

    Already this preseason, they've made the type of did-you-see-that plays they once made regularly but produced only infrequently during injury-stalled 2012 seasons.

    “We have to get back to doing what we're doing,” Woodley said Monday. “When you look at me, look at Troy, all of our stuff is based on big plays. When he doesn't make big plays, people are asking what's going on. If my sack number goes down, you're wondering what's going on with LaMarr Woodley.

    “When you go from nine sacks (in 2011) to four sacks, a lot of eyebrows are being raised.”

    The Steelers' sacks and turnovers produced are way down from a few seasons ago, and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is making it a priority to boost both numbers. First-round draft pick Jarvis Jones already appears to be making a difference with his ability to create fumbles.

    Woodley hopes that by rushing the passer more and dropping into coverage less than he did last season, Steelers' sack numbers will jump. They've gone from 51 in 2008 to 35 in 2011 and 37 last season.

    “People have got to find excuses for you, or say things about you, when your numbers drop,” Woodley said of the talk he was overweight. “But it's all about how you handle it at the end of the day, and coming back this year and bouncing back and trying to get back to the Super Bowl.”

    Woodley wound up training in Arizona after accepting an invitation that teammate Ryan Clark made for years.

    “He's as slim as we've ever seen him,” Clark said. “I've never seen him look so good. … He was very committed, committed to his diet, committed to his training.”

    Against the Redskins last week, Woodley bulldozed through multiple players for a sack, something he couldn't do last season while being slowed by a hamstring injury and the high ankle sprain.

    “(I) didn't have any explosion, any push-off (in 2012),” he explained.

    Harrison and Woodley were largely responsible for the Steelers amassing more sacks than all but three teams since Woodley's rookie season.

    Woodley doesn't doubt he can be just as effective with Jones and Jason Worilds playing alongside him. During the Chiefs preseason game Saturday, the Steelers kept a fresh tandem on the field at all times by rotating the three from series to series.

    “I'm comfortable with both of them,” he said.

    http://triblive.com/sports/-topstori...#ixzz2d9r40Cqj

  2. #2
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    We'll see how performance increases. I still say he would be a star as a 4-3 DE who didn't have to drop into coverage.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    We'll see how performance increases. I still say he would be a star as a 4-3 DE who didn't have to drop into coverage.
    No doubt about it....although, I still think he'll have over 10+ sacks for us this year.

    On a side note, last year, Woodley was as big (if not bigger) as Heyward is this year. Heyward looks in great shape and I know he wanted to trim down a bit but I don't think he's got the size for a 3-4 DE.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    We'll see how performance increases. I still say he would be a star as a 4-3 DE who didn't have to drop into coverage.

    Well, we will never know so it's a moot point.
    Last edited by Shawn; 08-28-2013 at 09:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Heyward is 6' 5" and is currently carrying about 290 lbs...

    If the Steelers are sending the DEs after the QB more this season (as opposed to being gap pluggers) the weight loss should only help him...

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    Administrator steelz09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    Heyward is 6' 5" and is currently carrying about 290 lbs...

    If the Steelers are sending the DEs after the QB more this season (as opposed to being gap pluggers) the weight loss should only help him...
    Depends if he's still going to have to beat 2 o-lineman to get to the QB. A lean 290 lbs against 600-650 lbs..... which one do you think will win?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by steelz09 View Post
    Depends if he's still going to have to beat 2 o-lineman to get to the QB. A lean 290 lbs against 600-650 lbs..... which one do you think will win?
    If that's the case, I doubt the additional 10-15 lbs aren't going to make the difference...

    Do you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelz09 View Post
    Depends if he's still going to have to beat 2 o-lineman to get to the QB. A lean 290 lbs against 600-650 lbs..... which one do you think will win?
    If that's the case, someone else will be free to roam.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Discipline of Steel View Post
    If that's the case, someone else will be free to roam.
    T-I-M-M-O-N-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let him attack!!!!!
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    T-I-M-M-O-N-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Let him attack!!!!!
    IMO Timmons could have a monster year. He was easily our best defender last year and it is a shame that he was not given his due with a pro bowl berth...he definitely earned it. However, as good as he was, how many times did we see him break loose into the backfield only to watch him not quite wrap up the QB? If he can add that to his game this season then he will be a monster at ILB, sharing status with only Patrick Willis and Luke Kuechly (who I believe will turn in a breakout year).

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