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Old 01-08-2009, 01:36 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...1633149251.txt

By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 11:58 PM EST
PITTSBURGH — This is a story about LaMarr Woodley. Remember him?

You may recall that Woodley was a very hot topic during the first half of the season. He practically matched James Harrison big play for big play.

After eight games, both ranked among the league sack leaders. Harrison, the Steelers’ right outside linebacker, had 10. Woodley, the left outside linebacker, was right behind at 9.5.

But over the last eight games of the regular season, Harrison pulled ahead in the battle for the team sack lead.

Harrison’s final tally of 16 is one reason why he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Woodley’s total of 11.5 suggests that he wore down in his first full season as a starter. Yes, he may have appeared on the cover of the Dec. 22 edition of Sports Illustrated, hovering over Baltimore’s Joe Flacco. But that photo wasn’t an image of Woodley sacking the Ravens’ rookie quarterback. It was just a picture that showed Woodley knocking Flacco to the ground after he got rid of the football.

In the four games the Steelers played in December, Woodley didn’t have a sack.

“Some people say I may have hit a wall but I don’t think I hit a wall,” said Woodley, who was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. “I just haven’t been able to get the sacks I had been getting earlier in the year.

“But when you look at it all, are we still winning? Yeah. We’re still winning. Am I getting sacks? No. But am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? Putting pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run? I’d say yes to that.”

Woodley is right. None of the Steelers’ coaches are worried about the way he’s played.

At mid-season when Woodley and Harrison were throwing down opposing QBs with regularity, it looked like both would be named to the Pro Bowl. Harrison did land an invite to the NFL’s all-star game. Woodley did not. But that’s OK. His time will come. He’s going to be a star.

Right now, all he wants to do is help the Steelers reach and win the Super Bowl. They can take another step in that direction Sunday by beating the visiting San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field.

For most of the game, Chargers right tackle Jeromey Clary will be assigned to block Woodley. On Nov. 16 when the Steelers edged the Chargers in an 11-10 decision at Heinz Field, Clary did a solid job on Woodley, who had three solo tackles but no sacks or quarterback hits.

But don’t be surprised if Woodley ends his sack drought Sunday.

He’s refreshed after the bye week.

And even though the Steelers lost last season in a wild-card game to Jacksonville, the rookie played very well. He didn’t let the pressures of playoff football affect him.

Even though he didn’t start, it was Woodley who led all pass rushers with two sacks.

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

Sounds to me like Woodley has something to prove on Sunday.

Sorry Rivers, pick your poison - Harrison or Woodley!
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

Without Woodley, Harrison doesn't quite have the same impact, IMO. He was a beast last year with Haggans on the other side too, but this year he was ridiculous.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

I don't think Woodley has slowed. Sack totals aren't indicitive to how one plays. I never liked the sack stat as a main barometer. I think QB hurries are just as important.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch



I've seen woodley all over the QB, and runningbacks. He may not have gotten sacks in december, but he wasn't invisible

This article would fit joey porter though
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

and i doubt that evryone in the 1st half of the season was targeting woodly has someone who would be as destructive has he was.. it was his 1st yr starting no one knew that he would be killing the sacks... i just think that it's more of teams game planning for him now since ppl know what he can do
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

Woodley provided the pressure the caused the Romo pick six to Deshea that won the game.

You don't need sacks to make a total impact.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

Sundys game sounds like a good time to bust out the Woodley jersey my daughter got me for Christmas.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

2 words............Film Study.

Nobody had much film on Woodley from last year. Its very possible that opposing RT's got to know some of his tendencys after watching a couple months of Woodley's game film. He bull rushes and tries to dip and rip the outside shoulder for the most part. He needs to try and rip inside or use a club move more often to keep the blockers honest.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Woodley tires down the stretch

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyoder6 View Post
and i doubt that evryone in the 1st half of the season was targeting woodly has someone who would be as destructive has he was.. it was his 1st yr starting no one knew that he would be killing the sacks... i just think that it's more of teams game planning for him now since ppl know what he can do
^^^^^
This. Exactly.
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