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Old 08-06-2009, 04:00 AM   #1
Galax Steeler
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Default Woodley still learning to play OLB

LATROBE - Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley has a message that might send chills up the spines of NFL quarterbacks.


He's hasn't reached his peak as a linebacker, but he's getting closer as the Steelers work on their first week of training camp at Saint Vincent College.

That has to be a scary thought for opposing quarterbacks, who were sacked 17.5 times by Woodley during the 2008 season, including six in three playoff games.

"I'm not all the way there yet," said Woodley, who's going into his second year as a starter. "I've still got a long ways to go."

Scary indeed.

But it's likely a realistic approach for Woodley, a second-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2007. Primarily a defensive end for the Wolverines, Woodley spent his first season learning how to be a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Last season was his first real opportunity to turn theory into performance.


So what's he expecting to do in his second season as a starter?

"I expect to be better," said Woodley, who set an NFL record with at least two sacks in each of the Steelers past four playoff games.

"I believe we can be better. We can't be that same defense as last year. We definitely have to improve in all areas, slowing down the run a little more, stopping teams from scoring a little more. That's what makes a better team."

An improved Woodley would help do that.

He and fellow outside linebacker James Harrison combined for 27.5 sacks last season, the most by a duo in team history. And Woodley's final sack of the 2008 campaign was a big one. He hit and forced a fumble against Arizona's Kurt Warner that was recovered by defensive end Brett Keisel late in the fourth quarter that clinched Pittsburgh's record sixth Super Bowl championship.

"He is a natural," said safety Ryan Clark. "I think some people are just natural at certain things. I feel like he is a natural pass rusher. It doesn't hurt that you have James Harrison on the other side, and the guys that we have on this side. When there was a guy one on one, he was usually whipping that guy.





"I think that is the biggest thing; you look at who can you block?"

Not Woodley for the most part.

"Teams can't concentrate on just me because James is going to get them," said Woodley. "They can't concentrate on just James because I'm here. And if they try to focus on both of us, some of the guys in the middle are going to clean things up."

Odds and end zones

Head coach Mike Tomlin held a number of veterans out of practice Wednesday, including wide receiver Hines Ward, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, linebacker James Farrior, defensive end Travis Kirschke, cornerback Deshea Townsend, safety Troy Polamalu and running back Mewelde Moore. ... Sitting out because of injury were guard Darnell Stapleton (knee), center Justin Hartwig (toe) and defensive end Sonny Harris (groin). ... Tight end Heath Miller (sports hernia) returned to practice. ... West Virginia head football coach Bill Stewart and his staff attended both practice sessions Wednesday. ... The Steelers will hold two practices today, the second of which (3 p.m.) is open to the public.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/...eelers-Woodley
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

I hope Woodley is a Steeler for a long time...
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

I liked him when we drafted him and I think he will be one of the top LBs in the league for years.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

The next progression should be how to circumvent the NFL rules protecting Tom Brady, I mean QBs.

You know the rule that basically states if a defensive player is on his knees, he can't continue to drive to the QB (but why let basic fundamental football get in the way of the game)!
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

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The next progression should be how to circumvent the NFL rules protecting Tom Brady, I mean QBs.


You know the rule that basically states if a defensive player is on his knees, he can't continue to drive to the QB (but why let basic fundamental football get in the way of the game)!


Yes the Brady Rule. Maybe we should push for the Tap rule that states if the defensive player is on his knees and he touches the QB then this it is a sack. Of course Ben will have to get special provisions for this rule to apply to him because it seems the league does not think he is elite enough for the same protection.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

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Yes the Brady Rule. Maybe we should push for the Tap rule that states if the defensive player is on his knees and he touches the QB then this it is a sack. Of course Ben will have to get special provisions for this rule to apply to him because it seems the league does not think he is elite enough for the same protection.
Notice the same thing happened to Carson Palmer and nothing was done about that hit. (maybe a little different but it would have been a penalty with the new rule) But Golden Boy goes down the same way and all of a sudden there is a new pansie rule in place. Ben will get absolutely brutalized and murdalized out there and the flags will stay in the pockets. We all know it is a blatant double standard but nothing will be done about it. Harrison gets held on every play, but because he is so good, they won't throw a flag. What kind of crap is that? Harrison should have had twice the number of sacks he had last year if the holding was not allowed. I hope Timmons gets 15-20 sacks this year while they try to concentrate on holding Woodley and Harrison. That would be poetic justice. We got rid of our weak link in Foote. Now the dogs can be unleashed. No weak links in the LB corps any more.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

Woodley and Mendenhall were at the VIP reception at camp last night signing autographs. Good lord, the guns on that guy. He had arms like legs and legs like people...
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

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Notice the same thing happened to Carson Palmer and nothing was done about that hit. (maybe a little different but it would have been a penalty with the new rule) But Golden Boy goes down the same way and all of a sudden there is a new pansie rule in place. Ben will get absolutely brutalized and murdalized out there and the flags will stay in the pockets. We all know it is a blatant double standard but nothing will be done about it. Harrison gets held on every play, but because he is so good, they won't throw a flag. What kind of crap is that? Harrison should have had twice the number of sacks he had last year if the holding was not allowed. I hope Timmons gets 15-20 sacks this year while they try to concentrate on holding Woodley and Harrison. That would be poetic justice. We got rid of our weak link in Foote. Now the dogs can be unleashed. No weak links in the LB corps any more.

I totally agree with your statement. I could not have said it better.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

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Yes the Brady Rule. Maybe we should push for the Tap rule that states if the defensive player is on his knees and he touches the QB then this it is a sack. Of course Ben will have to get special provisions for this rule to apply to him because it seems the league does not think he is elite enough for the same protection.
Ha.....
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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Default Re: Woodley still learning to play OLB

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I hope Woodley is a Steeler for a long time...
Same here. What a beast he was last year, and that was only his 2nd season playing OLB. I can't wait to see him this year. I firmly believe that we have the best group of LBs in the league.
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