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mesaSteeler
05-03-2010, 10:25 PM
Harris: Woodley not looking over his shoulder
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_679005.html
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, May 1, 2010

John Harris is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports columnist and can be reached at 412-481-5432 or via e-mail.
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The Steelers selected two outside linebackers among their top four picks in the NFL Draft, and it just so happens that sackmaster LaMarr Woodley is entering the final year of his contract.

I won't jump to conclusions, but the addition of rookies Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson still has me scratching my head.

Talent-wise, Worilds and Gibson make sense. They both possess the ability to play in the league for a long time. But they can't play from the bench.

The Steelers feature two of the best outside linebackers in the league in Woodley and James Harrison, so they add two players at the same position relatively early in the draft?

Am I missing something?

"We've got two pretty good outside linebackers that are starters right now," veteran linebackers coach Keith Butler said. "Since I've been here, we've never had a rookie linebacker start in this system. I spend 90 percent of my time teaching young guys where do they line up and what are they looking at."

Is Harrison, who turns 32 next week, suddenly too old?

Are the Steelers planning to allow Woodley to walk when his contract ends following the 2010 season?

Is the team hoping to pressure Woodley into agreeing to a deal more favorable to their terms?

"I don't focus on that. Where I'm at is where I'm at. I'm still here right now," Woodley said Friday on the first day of the Steelers' only mandatory minicamp of the offseason.

"I don't look at the draft like a threat. Those guys came in today, I did my part making sure they learn this defense. I'm not one of those selfish guys that says: 'Oh, this guy's here to take my spot' and not teach him. If me and James get hurt, those guys have to be ready to step in and play."

Woodley wants to re-sign with the Steelers, but he won't use the minicamp or voluntary practices as a personal forum to advance his contract negotiations.

Some players attempt to force a deal with the threat of a boycott from team activities. Deal or no deal, Woodley said he will attend every offseason practice -- even the ones that aren't mandatory.

"Either way, I'm going to be out there," said Woodley, a second-round pick in 2007 who already has 29 career sacks. "I'm going to be at training camp at the end of July. And I'm going to be playing football in September.

"People ask about my contract situation. That's between my agent and the front office. They control that end. I'm looking forward to being here right now, playing ball, controlling things I can control."

Like it or not, Woodley understands he can't control what occurs off the field.

"I'm trying to win football games," he said.

Woodley admitted that the dreaded 30 percent rule, which stipulates a player's total compensation as part of a contract extension cannot exceed 30 percent in an uncapped year, could be a potential roadblock to getting a deal done.

"Getting the contract done, maybe -- I don't know," said Woodley, whose base salary was $460,000 last season. "But that's not my main focus."

Woodley said he didn't take the Steelers' heavy emphasis on drafting linebackers personally. Instead, he said he attempted to explain to family members and friends why the Steelers drafted two players at his position.

"People are texting me -- 'Why are y'all steady drafting outside linebackers?'" Woodley said with a smile. "I don't know. I don't pay attention to stuff like that.

"My numbers are pretty good, but I haven't played my best football yet. I can get more sacks, put more pressure on the quarterback and cause more fumbles.

"My first year as a starter, I started off good, fell off at the end and picked it up in the playoffs. Last year, I started off bad and picked it up at the end. If I can play at the beginning of the year like I do at the end of the year, it'll be dangerous."

Not to mention expensive for the Steelers.

Merchant
05-03-2010, 10:35 PM
Can't believe he was only making $460,000 last season while guys like JaMarcus Russell are making $8 million or so. In the words of Deion Sanders.. PAY THE MAN!

devilsdancefloor
05-03-2010, 10:50 PM
Hopefully Omar can figure something out to get the man his money work around the 30% rule will be a challenge. maybe a short term deal and once the cap is back a longer term deal:noidea::noidea:

Men of Steel
05-03-2010, 11:37 PM
:blah:.........

does this guy seriously not know why we took two lbs????

DEPTH.

like if special teams doesnt need any help...
and WHAT IF... woodley or harrison go down during the season. who steps in?
and harrison isnt gettin any younger. who takes his place?

and this guy seriously cant make sense as to why they drafted two great talents at lb?
NEXT... :coffee:

steelreserve
05-04-2010, 12:19 AM
I wouldn't worry about it if I was in Woodley's shoes. More like, these guys will help our special teams, which desperately needed it, and in a few years one of them might take over Harrison's spot. I still think we jumped the gun and made a big reach here, to the detriment of other positions that needed replenishment far more urgently.

SteelKnight
05-04-2010, 12:44 AM
It is tough to retire as a Steeler as a LB. Usually they want more than the Steelers are willing to pay and they CAN be replaced.

Woodley is worth 5-6 mil/year to the Steelers. If he wants more, let him walk. Worilds will take over next year. If Worilds (or Gibson) is not ready, they shift Timmons to OLB and put Foote in at ILB for a year (If Farror is still playing). If not, Fox can even do ILB. Worilds will be ready though.

Really I feel 4-5.5m/y is the right amount to spend.

I am not even a tiny bit worried. I got worried when we were going to lose Greene, Lloyd, Gildon, Chad Scott, Nickerson, and Porter. Each time we did fine. We'll do fine again. They won't break the bank. He's going to have to decide if he wants to be a Steeler because whatever they offer him, someone will offer more. Look at DeMarcus Ware (6 year 78 mill...crazy).

Galax Steeler
05-04-2010, 04:43 AM
There is no dought in my mind that Woodley will be resigned. I think the drafting of the outside linebackers was for when Harrison is slowing down so we would have the replacement not to mention to boost our special teams.

BlastFurnace
05-04-2010, 07:23 AM
Pay the Man

Prok
05-04-2010, 09:50 AM
I wouldn't worry about it if I was in Woodley's shoes. More like, these guys will help our special teams, which desperately needed it, and in a few years one of them might take over Harrison's spot. I still think we jumped the gun and made a big reach here, to the detriment of other positions that needed replenishment far more urgently.

Agreed. I think if anyone would be looking over his shoulder it will be Harrison.

No way in hell I can see us letting Woodley get away. He WILL get a big deal with us IMO.

And to be brutally honest, Harrison is only a temper tantrum or two away from the dog house. Not to mention the age factor. JMO

BlastFurnace
05-04-2010, 10:17 AM
It is tough to retire as a Steeler as a LB. Usually they want more than the Steelers are willing to pay and they CAN be replaced.

Woodley is worth 5-6 mil/year to the Steelers. If he wants more, let him walk. Worilds will take over next year. If Worilds (or Gibson) is not ready, they shift Timmons to OLB and put Foote in at ILB for a year (If Farror is still playing). If not, Fox can even do ILB. Worilds will be ready though.

Really I feel 4-5.5m/y is the right amount to spend.

I am not even a tiny bit worried. I got worried when we were going to lose Greene, Lloyd, Gildon, Chad Scott, Nickerson, and Porter. Each time we did fine. We'll do fine again. They won't break the bank. He's going to have to decide if he wants to be a Steeler because whatever they offer him, someone will offer more. Look at DeMarcus Ware (6 year 78 mill...crazy).

No way does Woodley sign for 4.5 to 5 Million a year. 6 Years ago, Joey Porter got 6 Million dollars a year and Woodley is a better OLB than Porter was. To keep Woodley, we are going to need to pay him atleat $6 Million a year.

pete74
05-04-2010, 10:27 AM
There is no dought in my mind that Woodley will be resigned. I think the drafting of the outside linebackers was for when Harrison is slowing down so we would have the replacement not to mention to boost our special teams.

Agreed. I think this will be Harrison's final year but if not next year definatly will be. I say cut Harrison next year and resign woodley for 6 mil a year which is still way less then the 11 mil Harrison is making

steel9guy
05-04-2010, 10:37 AM
Sign Woodley he is the future. Give him the MONEY!!!!

wootawnee
05-04-2010, 10:47 AM
Woodley is the man.....He had 2 sacks his rookie season in his first playoff game......He is averaging 2 sacks/playoff game........That is Reggie White status..........

Woodly is disruptive as Terrell Suggs, but can cover passes like no other big man in the league........


Come on man........

Pay da man............

Psyychoward86
05-04-2010, 05:45 PM
I think we signed Harrison to that long deal so we could use him as trade bait if our OLB's look like they're panning out

Merchant
05-04-2010, 05:47 PM
I love Harrison.. let's never talk about trading or releasing him shall we

Chidi29
05-04-2010, 05:48 PM
Only way we bring him back for next year is through the franchise tag IMO.

Psyychoward86
05-04-2010, 05:53 PM
Woodly is disruptive as Terrell Suggs, but can cover passes like no other big man in the league........


Come on man........

Pay da man............

LOL. Woodley sucks in coverage are you kidding me? Harrison is a lot better. Woodley cant man up against a bubble screen or swing pass for his life. I dont know why no one ever cares to mention that about him. I guess when you're racking up double digit sacks, it's hard to see any negatives or places for improvement in a player :noidea:

dislocatedday
05-04-2010, 06:47 PM
Only way we bring him back for next year is through the franchise tag IMO.

I had not thought about that. With the 30% rule in an uncapped year being the obstacle to getting a satisfactory long-term deal, this is likely the way to go for both the team and Woodley in the short-term. Are there any issues with using the franschise tag in an uncapped year? Would Woodly still get the average of the top 5 salries for that one year deal?

pete74
05-04-2010, 07:02 PM
LOL. Woodley sucks in coverage are you kidding me? Harrison is a lot better. Woodley cant man up against a bubble screen or swing pass for his life. I dont know why no one ever cares to mention that about him. I guess when you're racking up double digit sacks, it's hard to see any negatives or places for improvement in a player :noidea:

your observation is nutz. woodley isnt great but he sdure dosnt suck in coverage. he is better then average. just watch the pro bowl and you'll see what he is capable of. i cant belive that you honestly belive woodley is that bad

Chidi29
05-04-2010, 07:05 PM
I had not thought about that. With the 30% rule in an uncapped year being the obstacle to getting a satisfactory long-term deal, this is likely the way to go for both the team and Woodley in the short-term. Are there any issues with using the franschise tag in an uncapped year? Would Woodly still get the average of the top 5 salries for that one year deal?

Yep, by my calculations, a six year deal would only net Woodley a little over 9 million in base salary. And he's probably going to want more guaranteed money than Harrison and even then, it wouldn't be fair market value. Not sure if a compromise could be reached because the guaranteed would be more, but it'll take a big investment in guaranteed money to sign him.

As far as I know, there aren't any limitations to using the tag in an uncapped year. The same rules would still apply.

Psyychoward86
05-04-2010, 07:20 PM
your observation is nutz. woodley isnt great but he sdure dosnt suck in coverage. he is better then average. just watch the pro bowl and you'll see what he is capable of. i cant belive that you honestly belive woodley is that bad

if you have DVR, go watch him again. He gets a little better the 2nd half of the season (when he turns it on), but he gets embarrassed quite a bit. Oh sure, Woodley runs a nice 40, but he lacks lateral speed.

In football, gaining 4 yards everytime is a victory. Woodley gives up about that much most of the time when he's left alone to defend against bubble screens/ swing passes.

Woodley gets to be an eyesore when he tries to take on a nimble ballcarrier in space. That's a fact for steeler fans, but he's going to get better.

steel9guy
05-04-2010, 09:04 PM
Woodley is my favorite player. He won the rats game for us and if it wasn't for him who knows what wouldve happend on that final drive in the Superbowl. He's great in the clutch.

Galax Steeler
05-05-2010, 04:48 AM
I would take Woodley over about 95% of the linebackers in the league. The man knows how to get to the quarterback and make the sacks. He is a big piece of our defense. I am sure he has flaws just like every one else in the league but I am not ready to get rid of him just because he can't cover.

Steelers>NFL
05-05-2010, 11:02 AM
I would take Woodley over about 95% of the linebackers in the league. The man knows how to get to the quarterback and make the sacks. He is a big piece of our defense. I am sure he has flaws just like every one else in the league but I am not ready to get rid of him just because he can't cover.

I agree. But is this because of Harrison on the other side?
If this is the case, any of these rookie LBs could do his job.
In other word, how good would Woodley be without the presence
of Harrison on the other side? :noidea:

Curtain_of_Steel
05-05-2010, 11:41 AM
Is it me or are people bashing Woodley now? everyone done bashing Ben, so its time to move on?

As far as Woodley looking over his shoulder? who cares, if the Steelers are dumb enough to not work out a deal, than the Cardinals, aka Steelers West will give him a huge contract. Probably many others as well. I'm sure he would like to stay here, but its not going to be cheap.

Woodley is a product of the system/3-4, just like Harrison. Should you plug in Timmons to Harrisons spot, the same positive results would occur, IMO. Timmons speed on that end would cause the same double teams to occur and Woodley would still over power his man.

steelpride12
05-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Woodley is going to want the big money $6 mill+ and I say pay the man. He is much better than our past OLB's and is worth every penny. The LB's drafted are for depth because Harrison is getting up there in age.

Psyychoward86
05-05-2010, 07:28 PM
Is it me or are people bashing Woodley now?

No, just me lol. I love the guy, but everyone else treats him like a golden buddha that cant possibly be imperfect in any way. i just happen to think he has lots of room to improve in pass coverage.

MasterOfPuppets
05-05-2010, 08:07 PM
Woodley is going to want the big money $6 mill+ and I say pay the man. He is much better than our past OLB's and is worth every penny. The LB's drafted are for depth because Harrison is getting up there in age.
uhhhh...demarcus ware got a 7 yr 79 mill contract .... i'd say woodley will be looking for something in the high 9 to 10 mill a year deal....:noidea:

Psyychoward86
05-06-2010, 07:06 PM
uhhhh...demarcus ware got a 7 yr 79 mill contract .... i'd say woodley will be looking for something in the high 9 to 10 mill a year deal....:noidea:

Ware is still better

Prok
05-06-2010, 08:06 PM
I would take Woodley over about 95% of the linebackers in the league. The man knows how to get to the quarterback and make the sacks. He is a big piece of our defense. I am sure he has flaws just like every one else in the league but I am not ready to get rid of him just because he can't cover.

Seems taboo to discuss this amongst fellow Steelers fans but I actually think Woodley would be a dominant DE in the 4-3 if he bulked up a bit. And I think it would fit him best.

MasterOfPuppets
05-06-2010, 08:31 PM
Ware is still better

so far...yes. thats why he won't get as big of a payday. but his agent will be looking to get as close to that contract as possible. the question is, how much better is ware than woodley ? is he a million dollars a year better ? is he 2 mill a year better ? i'm thinking those in the woodley camp will be looking for between 9 to 10 mill a year. :noidea:
if you compare thier 2 and 3rd years, because woodley didn't start his rookie year and ware was just a rookie, you'll find thier stats are almost identical.

steelerdave1969
05-07-2010, 12:04 AM
Am I missing something? Yes Mr Harris you are

The Steelers love to get their LB's ready for a year or so before they throw them in to the game. These LB's in my opinion are going to be ready to battle over the job that James Harrison is gonna leave behind in the next year or two. If the Steelers dont resign Woodley it will blow my mind. He is way too talented and young to just let go after getting the young man where they want him, No Way I See Them Letting Him Go

MasterOfPuppets
05-07-2010, 12:14 AM
Am I missing something? Yes Mr Harris you are

The Steelers love to get their LB's ready for a year or so before they throw them in to the game. These LB's in my opinion are going to be ready to battle over the job that James Harrison is gonna leave behind in the next year or two. If the Steelers dont resign Woodley it will blow my mind. He is way too talented and young to just let go after getting the young man where they want him, No Way I See Them Letting Him Go
lol.... hate to burst the bubble, but its not like the steelers haven't let "young, talented " guys walk before... chad brown, mike merriweather, chris hope, etc...

Kindjunior
05-07-2010, 01:08 AM
He'll resign, being a Steeler linebacker is waay to cool to walk away from.

markymarc
05-08-2010, 01:14 PM
The FO won't let Lamar Woodley walk. They will be smart enough to make sure Woodley gets the money he deserves.