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Galax Steeler
04-13-2009, 07:25 AM
During the hot days of training camp when any rookie struggles with the adjustment to the NFL, a new playbook, and everything that comes with it, LaMarr Woodley did his part to help out his roommate and fellow linebacker Bruce Davis.

Woodley, in just his second season, understood what the rookie Davis was going through having been there himself just a year earlier. Woodley was a number two draft pick in 2007, making a switch from defensive end at Michigan to outside linebacker with the Steelers. Davis, the team’s third round pick in 2008, was in the same shoes making the position switch as well.

So whenever he got the chance, Woodley was in Davis’ ear. Sometimes it was on the way to the practice field, in the locker room, at dinner or in their room at night, Woodley stayed on Davis, encouraging and helping him.

“Playing the same position, making the same switch, I knew it was going to be tough for him,” said Woodley. “I stayed on him and told him to get in his playbook. I told him I would help him, but I was still learning. I just wanted to see him get better because I know what type of player he can be and he can help us go out there and win football games.”

At night, when a nap seemed to be the perfect thing, Woodley would ask Davis questions to see how well he knew the playoff. And Davis learned fast not to disappoint his new-found mentor.

“Wood wasn’t going to let me be lazy or average,” said Davis. “He was on me every day. On the way to practice, on the field, he was always like what are you doing, have you done anything today. Just like a big brother does, just like I do with my little brother when I go home, what are you doing, get on the ball. It was all that kind of stuff. It was the same thing.”

As the season wore on, and Davis’ playing time was limited to just seeing action on special teams in only five games while being inactive the rest of the season, Woodley didn’t let up.

“He noticed that I was having a bit of a tough time with some stuff,” said Davis. “Not playing wears on you. I was second guessing my talent and skills and he was there to tell me to keep working. He told me it’s a process and it’s ongoing. He was there to help me with everything mentally, whether it was learning the playbook or just keeping focused and not getting down on myself. It’s a blessing to have him.

“I am a lot more comfortable now. I don’t want to say I know everything just yet, but I am not second-guessing myself, am I doing the right thing. I can go out there and be comfortable and not think. I can just line up and do it.”

Davis still might have to wait his turn, with Woodley and James Harrison as the team’s starting outside linebackers, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact in situational defenses or on special teams.

“Watching him he has a lot of speed, he is a good rusher,” said Woodley. “That transition from playing defensive end to outside linebacker was a challenge for him. I know that because I did the same thing. He definitely has the ability to rush the passer. Once he fully understands playing outside linebacker he is going to be a great player.

“Watching him through college and here, I think this year he will be able to come in here and help us put pressure on the quarterback and our sack rate will go up.”

http://news.steelers.com/article/104384/

Steelman16
04-13-2009, 07:53 AM
This is the first positive thing I've heard about Davis since he was drafted. Now maybe I'll SEE something positive.

:thumbsup:

GBMelBlount
04-13-2009, 08:14 AM
“Wood wasn’t going to let me be lazy or average,” said Davis. “He was on me every day. On the way to practice, on the field, he was always like what are you doing, have you done anything today. Just like a big brother does, just like I do with my little brother when I go home, what are you doing, get on the ball. It was all that kind of stuff. It was the same thing.”

Great read. I am hopeful for Davis but I can honestly say I love Woodley's attitude as much as his play.

lamberts-lost-tooth
04-13-2009, 08:27 AM
I would still like to see Davis add a little bulk...but Woodley's opinion carries a great deal of credibility with me.

Good news.:tt02:

steelballs
04-13-2009, 08:28 AM
This is the kind of story that makes the Steelers the franchise that they are.
Unselfish, team oriented to a fault.

SteelMember
04-13-2009, 10:13 AM
This is the first positive thing I've heard about Davis since he was drafted. Now maybe I'll SEE something positive.
:thumbsup:

Me Too!

Great read. I am hopeful for Davis but I can honestly say I love Woodley's attitude as much as his play.

There's nothing like being a team player. The unselfishness to help someone who is after "your" job says a lot.

I would still like to see Davis add a little bulk...but Woodley's opinion carries a great deal of credibility with me.
Good news.:tt02:

I agree.
His size makes me think he is more suited to play the strong (sam) side. :noidea:

stlrtruck
04-13-2009, 10:38 AM
It's nice to see some future leadership on the team. Could Woodley become the leader this year on the field? Seeing as Harrison doesn't talk much, Polamalu is the silent assassin?

Fire Haley
04-13-2009, 10:56 AM
This is the first positive thing I've heard about Davis since he was drafted.

This is first of any kind of thing I've heard about Davis since he was drafted.

I suppose that's a good thing since the guys he's behind are healthy.

lilyoder6
04-13-2009, 11:26 AM
go davis go davis go...
lol
i would love to see him come out on the field 4 situational defenses with timmons..

triphahn
04-13-2009, 02:40 PM
Same type of thing Bettis did with Parker. Its why they don't have to dip into other teams free agents. Rely on the draft and build from within.

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-13-2009, 03:30 PM
Great read. I am hopeful for Davis but I can honestly say I love Woodley's attitude as much as his play.

I referenced this article (on that other Steeler fan site) back before Woodley was drafted and have referenced it his rookie year to support my belief that he would become the defensive leader in a couple years. Its a great read, so here are some excerpts from it to beat the offseason blah's.

"You'll be impressed with Michigan," Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage said, unprompted.

"They've got a defensive line that we'd all like to have," Minnesota coach Glen Mason said.

Defensive end LaMarr Woodley is the leader of a line so talented and deep that it has 25 of the team's 40 sacks. Blitzes? Who needs blitzes to pressure the quarterback?

The Michigan run defense is the best in a generation. The Wolverines are allowing only 29.9 yards per game, which, if it holds up, would be the lowest in major college football since 1959.

"LaMarr Woodley seems like he has been around forever," Mason said. "He's athletic as all get-out."

... no tailback has broken a big play against Michigan.

No one is more responsible for that than Woodley, a senior from Saginaw, Mich., and Lombardi Award finalist. Woodley leads the Big Ten with 11 sacks for 111 yards. The latter is a school record, the former is one short of the school record. He also has forced four fumbles, tied for first in the Big Ten.

"He can do it all as far as pass rush," Michigan right offensive tackle Rueben Riley said. "He can give you the bull [straight ahead]. He can go around the edge. It's troubling to figure out what he's going to do. That's what makes him good. When he's coming off that edge, it's a question mark. You don't know what you're going to get."

The 6-foot-2, 268-pound Woodley moved back and forth between linebacker and defensive end during his first three years at Michigan. He started two games on the line as a freshman on a Big Ten champion. As a sophomore, he made second-team all-conference as an outside linebacker and won Defensive Player of the Game in the Rose Bowl after making 11 tackles, four behind the line.

He played linebacker again as a junior, but moved back to the line last spring.

"Coach E [English] always asks me what I feel comfortable doing," Woodley said. "I just told him put me in a position where I can help this team win. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter where."

His quickness and speed, along with the unusual athleticism of Taylor and Branch inside, allow the Wolverines to pressure opposing quarterbacks with a four-man rush. That makes the pass defense's job a lot easier.
http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=2663860

steelerdave1969
04-13-2009, 04:01 PM
I would still like to see Davis add a little bulk...but Woodley's opinion carries a great deal of credibility with me.

Good news.:tt02:

Couldnt have said it better myself LLT.. I think this definitely says volumes about the guy that he will or is able to come in and make an impact. And just shows that helping someone along to help the team is the way to go..

PeckerWood
04-13-2009, 05:53 PM
Yes it would be great for the Steelers to have 3 pass rushing OLBers to rotate to keep them all fresh for the playoffs.

Steelman16
04-13-2009, 05:56 PM
If Davis could fill the role Woodley played in his rookie season, our LB core would be that much better. If Davis is progressing the way Wood thinks he is, then he could step into that role.

I too, would like him to add some bulk.

Vincent
04-13-2009, 06:32 PM
This is the first positive thing I've heard about Davis since he was drafted. Now maybe I'll SEE something positive.

:thumbsup:

Watching video of this kid tells the story. He has the goods. Woodley says as much. This kid will get on the field. Assuming Davis pans out, what do they do - move Silverback inside? Why not?

Assuming Woodley's assessment is accurate, Davis, Harrison, Timmons, and Wood would be a devastating LB corp.

I think Mendy, Sweed and Mundy will pan out too. And Dixon and Hills too. We may look back on the 08 draft as one of the good ones.

We need big uglies this year. And one decent CB.

Galax Steeler
04-14-2009, 05:21 AM
Assuming Woodley's assessment is accurate, Davis, Harrison, Timmons, and Wood would be a devastating LB corp.



That would be sweet.

lilyoder6
04-14-2009, 10:30 AM
that would be sick 2 move harrison inside and davis outside...

we'll just have 2 wait and see

FSUBoo
04-17-2009, 12:52 AM
Let's not forget that Farrior hasn't let up at all. He still seems to have a good few years left in him. I wouldn't want to put him out to pasture just yet. As much as I love Harrison and Polamalu and Hampton, I still think that Farrior is the heart and soul of our defense. He does the nitty gritty dirty work week in and week out.

Texasteel
04-17-2009, 07:25 AM
Let's not forget that Farrior hasn't let up at all. He still seems to have a good few years left in him. I wouldn't want to put him out to pasture just yet. As much as I love Harrison and Polamalu and Hampton, I still think that Farrior is the heart and soul of our defense. He does the nitty gritty dirty work week in and week out.

I happen to agree with you. We may have several stars on the defense, but I have a feeling that if you asked them they would tell you Farrior is the boss.