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Old 05-19-2010, 07:18 AM   #1
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Default Steelers OLB Woodley not planning holdout

Mod please kill this thread it's a duplicate. Sorry about that.

Steelers OLB Woodley not planning holdout
By Scott Brown
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley said his contract situation won't cause him to skip any offseason practices or hold out when training camp starts at the end of July.

"Things that you can't control you don't worry about," Woodley said Tuesday following practice.

Woodley, whose 13 1/2 sacks last season were tied for third in the NFL, is heading into the final year of his contract. The Steelers traditionally sign key players such as Woodley to long-term extensions before they get to the final year of their contract — and they still have time because their policy is to negotiate until the start of the regular season.

The uncertain labor situation, however, could complicate contract negotiations for the Steelers and other NFL teams.

The collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of this season, and the owners could lock out the players if a new deal isn't forged before next March. Under the current rules, Woodley would not become an unrestricted free agent for two more years.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he is not worried about Woodley's contract situation becoming a distraction.

"One of the attractive things about LaMarr Woodley is he is a football-first guy," Tomlin said. "He's committed to working for 2010, and that's our mentality. Like a lot of things, those (contract) questions will be answered in time."

Troy Polamalu was notable by his absence from the Steelers' South Side practice facility Tuesday, but it should not have come as a surprise. The strong safety has missed most of the Steelers' voluntary offseason practices in prior years as he has opted to train in California.

Polamalu, who played in parts of just five games last season because of separate injuries to his left knee, did participate in minicamp practices a little less than three weeks ago. They are the only offseason practices that players are required to attend.

"I tend to focus on the guys who are here, and that's probably a good approach to have with voluntary offseason conditioning and work and so forth," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said when asked about Polamalu. "As a coach, you can be a miserable person worrying about the ones who aren't (here). You can have a productive day if you focus on the ones that are (here), and I tend to do that."

Hines Ward did some light running yesterday as the veteran wide receiver is still recovering from a strained hamstring he sustained at the end of April.

"Hines is progressing well with the hamstring injury," Tomlin said. "He's running a little bit; he's getting treatment. We expect him to continue to get better and join us at some point."

Outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson is expected to miss most of the remainder of the Steelers' offseason practices because of a league rule that prohibits undergraduates from taking part in voluntary drills while still in class. Gibson, a fourth-round draft pick, is working toward his degree at Ohio State and is expected to graduate next month. Rookie defensive end Doug Worthington, who is also an Ohio State product, already has graduated and practiced yesterday.


1 — Career starts made by Dennis Dixon

49 — Career starts made by Byron Leftwich

50 — Career starts made by Charlie Batch


"He's a rookie and we're in shorts." — Coach Mike Tomlin, when asked how running back Jonathan Dwyer has looked during offseason practices.

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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