View Full Version : On the Steelers: LaMarr Woodley's turn to star

01-14-2011, 07:14 AM
On the Steelers: LaMarr Woodley's turn to star
Few Steelers have turned up their game more in the postseason
Friday, January 14, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana /Post-Gazette

LaMarr Woodley (56) jokes with Ziggy Hood before morning practice Thursday. Woodley has eight career postseason sacks.

It is playoff time, which can only mean it is LaMarr Woodley time again.

Woodley plays well during the season; he has played out of his mind in the postseason.

Woodley and fellow outside linebacker James Harrison are the only Steelers in history who have at least 10 sacks in each of their first three seasons as starters. In the postseason, though, Woodley asserts himself even more.

In four postseason games since his rookie year in 2007, Woodley has eight sacks -- two in each game, starting with Jacksonville in 2007. It is an NFL record of sorts because no one has done it before through four post-season games.

Baltimore was a part of that -- Woodley had two sacks against the Ravens in the 2008 AFC championship game.

Baltimore often has brought out the sacking best in Woodley -- until this season. Woodley had three sacks in two games against Baltimore in '09 and 3 1/2 in three games against the Ravens in '08.

The Ravens, however, shut him out in two games this season. Have they found the secret to keeping him off Joe Flacco? Woodley said they have adjusted to him lately by "bringing the back over there or the tight end over there. Sometimes, when they release, they give me a little chip or line up in a certain spot to close the space down, to change my rush a little bit."

Woodley cannot explain his voraciousness in the playoffs.

"Just great play-calling at the right time and guys doing what they're supposed to do and allowing us to make the play," Woodley said. "So far so good. That's the goal, keeping it up; usually when I keep it up, we win."
40 yards in 32 seconds

The Ravens said Troy Polamalu's sack/fumble play that turned the Dec. 5 game in the Steelers' favor in Baltimore taught them a lesson. The Steelers had discovered a glitch that has since been corrected.

Did the Steelers learn anything in a similar vein from their Oct. 3 game when Joe Flacco completed four consecutive passes to move 40 yards in 32 seconds and score the winning touchdown with 36 seconds left in Heinz Field?

"That 40-yard drive helped us during the season," claimed cornerback William Gay.

"It allowed us to see what we needed to do in situations like that."

The Steelers previously had stopped a Ravens drive from Baltimore's 33 to the 2, where they could not convert on third or fourth down and turned the ball over to the Steelers with 2:40 left and the Steelers leading, 14-10.

But the Steelers only managed to get out to the 3 -- thanks to two false-start penalties -- and had to punt it back to Baltimore. Thanks to another 10-yard holding penalty on the punt, the Ravens started at the Steelers' 40 with 1:08 to go.

The Steelers were in their nickel package with Gay the extra defensive back.

Flacco completed two short passes to Anquan Boldin to the 28. He completed another short pass to T.J. Houshmandzadah that went for 10 yards to the 18.

The Steelers sent Ike Taylor on a corner blitz on the next play, and he nearly got to Flacco.

"I was pretty close," Taylor said.

But Houshmandzadah flashed open on the right side of the end zone, beating Bryant McFadden, and Flacco delivered the ball that put Baltimore in front 17-14 with 36 seconds left.

"They made a great pass," Gay said. "It was a great drive, and they won the ballgame. We used that as a learning tool for the rest of the season. If we're put in that situation again, we know what to do.''
Cowher returns

Bill Cowher attended his first Steelers practice in more than four years and said he was ready to jump right back into the action -- a raquetball match against Kevin Colbert.

Cowher and Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, played raquetball almost daily against each other when they were together with the Steelers.

Cowher, an NFL analyst for CBS, returned to the team's facilities for the first time since he resigned as coach after the 2006 season. He was to interview James Harrison, Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger for the CBS pregame show Saturday. He spent time walking the sideline with Colbert, talking to players such as Roethlisberger and Ward and team president Art Rooney.

"He gave me my first start in this business, so I love the guy, I really do," Keisel said. "It's great to see him come back. He looks good, he looks happy and. hopefully. he'll bring us some luck."
DBs return

Troy Polamalu and Bryant McFadden returned to practice and both will start Saturday.

Polamalu looked as if he were joining some teammates to growing hockey-like playoff beards, but said to get a good look at the stubble because "this is my last day."
Rush ahead

The Steelers' total yards rushing increased from 1,793 in 2009 to 1,924 yards in 2010. That's a net gain of 131 yards. Most of that increase came from their quarterback on scrambles away from pressure. Roethlisberger had 84 yards rushing in 2009 and 176 the past season, or 94 of that 131-yard increase.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11014/1117819-66.stm#ixzz1B0zjROMD

01-14-2011, 08:58 AM
Ravens had a glitch? They fixed the glitch?

We shall soon see. I'm guessing the glitch is still behind the center though.

01-14-2011, 08:59 AM
Ravens had a glitch? They fixed the glitch?

We shall soon see. I'm guessing the glitch is still behind the center though.

That's so funny but true

01-14-2011, 10:08 AM
If Woodley can come up big, then no doubt about it he deserves an extension or at least the franchise tag.