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stillers4me
05-17-2007, 07:24 PM
I always wondered how these kids felt after getting the news that they have been drafted by the NFL......it sounds that even though Woodley seemed overwelmed, he has what it takes to succeed with the Steelers.......alot of heart and the desire to be a champion. The Steelers can make winners out of guys like this!! (perhaps 'ole Marv in Cinci should hire him to speak to the Bungals about being positive role models.....:wink02:) Hopefully he'll be a winner for us.......he sounds like a very good, humble and bright young man.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ys-woodleydiary051707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Rookie diary: LaMarr Woodley

By LaMarr Woodley, Special to Yahoo! Sports
May 17, 2007

Editor's note: LaMarr Woodley, a Michigan defensive end selected in the NFL draft by the Steelers to play linebacker, will share his introduction to the league with Yahoo! Sports through periodic diary entries leading up to the 2007 regular season.
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It's been a long few weeks. I've gone through the NFL draft, the first minicamp of my career, and I'm just trying to get myself healthy and get ready for training camp. I'm anxious to get started. This has been the longest process of my life. You would think something like this is going to be easy, but it really isn't.

It all started on draft day when my cell phone was cutting off all day. I tried to get it fixed in the morning, but it kept shutting off. So I was really nervous, looking at my phone during the whole draft, wondering if it was still on and waiting for a team to call. When the 46th pick came up, I really didn't think the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to take me, but then my phone rang and I recognized the Pittsburgh area code.

Someone on the phone asked, "LaMarr Woodley, how would you feel about coming to Pittsburgh?" I don't even know who it was. Even now, I still have no idea. A name was given, but I didn't hear it. Pretty soon, I was talking on the phone with coach after coach after coach. I don't even know all the people I was talking to. I had my family all cheering and some people were running after me, but I was waving them away because I was talking to the coaches. It was kind of crazy.

After a while, I went out and got a chance to talk to my family. We all hugged and laughed. Then my brother, Tony Tatum, from Atlanta played a highlight video he had made for me that said I was his hero. My brother is a backup singer on tour with R&B artist Keith Sweat, and he was singing on the video. It was a very touching moment.

That night, I went to bed and slept well. I was tired, and the long wait was over.

In the days after the draft, I went to the YMCA in Saginaw, Mich., every day and worked out. I want to drop about 12 pounds and get down to 260. The Steelers sent the defensive playbook out to me, too. I really didn't understand it at first, coming from a defensive end standpoint. I'm moving to linebacker and was looking at it from that viewpoint, so I wasn't getting it at first. But I will be working hard on that all summer.

I also went to my high school a few days after the draft – Saginaw High School – and spoke to some students about the experience. There were a lot of football players there. I just talked to them about how to handle yourself on and off the field and how to keep your reputation clean.

You can never change where you're from. When you come from a place like Saginaw, you play with heart. And you can never teach heart. I was telling them that and trying to encourage them. So much is going on in the city where young kids don't believe in themselves anymore. So I want to go back there and be a positive role model.

Last week, I drove to Pittsburgh in what turned out to an interesting trip. It was a long drive, like 4frac12; to five hours, but the more confounding aspect of the trip was the toll booths, which I did not anticipate. I got to the first one, and I didn't really have any money on me. I asked if they took a debit card and they said they could only take cash or check. The toll was $7.50, but I only had like four dollars in my pocket. The next thing you know, I'm trying to scrape together another $3.50 in change. Thankfully, I had a thing filled with some coins. Then I came to another toll booth, and the lady told me it was another $3. I couldn't believe it. I asked again if they would take debit. I thought maybe she would feel sorry for me and let me go through. She was like, "Nope, cash or a check." So I went back to the coins and counted out $3. This went on for three more toll booths. (Hopefully, you'll never have to scrounge for change again, LaMarr!)

After that, I headed for my financial advisor Marty Blaze's house when I got to Pittsburgh. I knew his street and address, so I entered it into the navigation system in my car. The problem was he actually lives in another little city near Pittsburgh. So I ended up on the right street but in the wrong city, outside of some stranger's house. So I call Marty and I was like "Man, I'm outside your house." And Marty was like, "I don't see you." He's telling me to pull around the corner and park. When we figured it out, I realized I was like 20 miles away from where I needed to be.

As for minicamp, I was one of the first ones here, along with some of the offensive linemen. I was excited to get going. When I got out there, I was trying to remember everything in my head. I realized how tough it was going to be to move to linebacker. I remembered some of the plays, but I was pretty much just out there running around and doing what I could. I was rusty in the linebacker drills. I even fell down at one point.

It's like a whole new world on the field. I'm reading offenses, learning new words and trying to remember all the plays. I'm memorizing it pretty well, but I think that's why I've been out there playing slow. I'm thinking all the time and I think that's why the speed of the game feels faster than it really is. If you come in with the knowledge, it will slow down. But the first practice was definitely eye-opening.

Then I hurt my hamstring on the first day of minicamp. I'm sitting there on the sidelines thinking, "Man, these dudes probably think I'm soft and the coaches are probably disappointed." I didn't know if people thought I might have been faking it. All this stuff was running through my head, and I just wanted to push myself to go back out there again even though I was hurt. I knew if I did that I could hurt it a lot worse, and I didn't want to be sitting for weeks trying to heal. So I sat out and iced it up even though I really didn't want to. Basically, I just spent the first three days of camp asking questions and going through mental reps in my head.

I can see that I'm going to really like my coaches and being here. Coach Mike Tomlin is really laid back. You can really talk to him. Some other coaches, it can take time to get comfortable with them. But I think he's going to be really cool. I'm just trying to get to know all of them and let them know me.

Now I've got my goals ahead of me. I want to get this hamstring healed. Then I want to lose that weight and get the plays down. I'll have to go look for a place to live in Pittsburgh. Right now I'm in a temporary apartment that was set up by the team. I'm not going to go crazy. I'll just look at a few places and see what it's like. It's not like I'm a first-round pick and I have all of this money to spend. I'm smart with my money. I'm going to find a place that's affordable for me.

What I know for sure is I'm staying in Pittsburgh right up through training camp. That's the only way I'm going to get better. There is no time for a rookie to take a vacation. I have the rest of my career to think about things like that. Right now, it's time to focus and work my way to the top of the position. I know I have the heart. Now I just have to work to catch up with everything else.


Welcome to the Steelers, LaMarr! :tt02:

GBMelBlount
05-17-2007, 08:46 PM
I'm so friggin pumped for this season I can hardly focus on anything else!

I really believe that the first four picks of this draft will contribute early to help drive this team back to the big game.

GO BURGH!

DEJA

What a story. Turnpike tolls, etc. This is a guy I am really pulling for! We'll see on first four.

RoethlisBURGHer
05-17-2007, 09:20 PM
I am so pumped,the season can't get here fast enough.

Being a huge Ohio State fan and a huge Big 10 guy,I watched a lot of Michigan games.

I loved watching Woodley play his college ball,he has a motor that never stops.He's gonna be one helluva linebacker for the Steelers.

Is it training camp yet?

GBMelBlount
05-17-2007, 09:24 PM
I am so pumped,the season can't get here fast enough.

Being a huge Ohio State fan and a huge Big 10 guy,I watched a lot of Michigan games.

I loved watching Woodley play his college ball,he has a motor that never stops.He's gonna be one helluva linebacker for the Steelers.

Is it training camp yet?

Agreed. I think this is the guy I am most fired up about. :tt02:

Stlrs4Life
05-17-2007, 09:45 PM
Sounds like a very level headed guy.


As far as the tolls, he must have had most of them in Michigan, cause in Ohio, and Pa the only ones you pay is when you get off the turnpike.

RoethlisBURGHer
05-17-2007, 11:33 PM
Sounds like a very level headed guy.


As far as the tolls, he must have had most of them in Michigan, cause in Ohio, and Pa the only ones you pay is when you get off the turnpike.

Well,there's the one when he gets off the Michigan Pike to get on the Ohio Pike,then the Ohio to PA toll,then the toll to get off in PA.

Maybe he stopped off once or twice to get food or drink.

The Duke
05-18-2007, 12:00 AM
More than anything I want to see this guy training and not injured. But still he seems like he'll be a great player

Preacher
05-18-2007, 01:23 AM
I REALLY like something that I read...

He DROVE to the city. Not flying. ESPECIALLY not first class. Not with a lot of money in his pockets.

I just love this kid.

Wants to work.... save his money... play with heart.

Yeah.. he is a Steeler!

abgroove
05-18-2007, 07:44 AM
I hope he keeps that same attitude throughout. Let's get him signed. I am anxious to see him on the field.

Buzz05
05-18-2007, 08:27 AM
Wants to work.... save his money... play with heart.

Yeah.. he is a Steeler!

Thats the thing that caught me most about him. He kept talking about HEART. You can tell he isnt some kid just trying to make it. He sounds like a man. You dont hear many rookies talking about heart and what they need to do

. He just got one fan in his corner...this guy right here. :thumbsup:

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
05-18-2007, 08:40 AM
seems like he has a good head on his shoulders.....
Cool guy....cant wait to see him bring the "WOOD"

msafford
05-19-2007, 08:11 AM
I am so pumped,the season can't get here fast enough.

Being a huge Ohio State fan and a huge Big 10 guy,I watched a lot of Michigan games.

I loved watching Woodley play his college ball,he has a motor that never stops.He's gonna be one helluva linebacker for the Steelers.

Is it training camp yet?

Even though I live in Ohio...I will fully admit that I'm a big Michigan fan. I know what you're saying, but hey....my folks graduated from U of M and most of my relatives are from MI. :smile:

I watched a lot of Michigan games as well, and I totally agree. Woodley's motor is unbelieveable. I just think of the Michigan/Notre Dame game where Woodley and company basically raped Quinn and his mighty Rainbow Warriors. (wait that's Hawaii....ehh...close enough) I just have this vision of the Steelers/Browns. Woodley sacking Quinn and saying, "remember me?"