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Old 01-21-2011, 12:11 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Woodley, Jets' Harris go way back to Michigan days

Woodley, Jets' Harris go way back to Michigan days
By Scott Brown
Friday, January 21, 2011

They met at an awards banquet in high school, became good friends while playing together at Michigan and are tight enough that New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris had the good sense to make a pre-emptive strike last Sunday.

Harris had played a pivotal role in the Jets' 28-21 upset of the New England Patriots. LaMarr Woodley, of course, wanted to know how he had let tight end Alge Crumpler chase Harris down at the end of a 58-yard interception return early in the game.

"Before I texted him, he texted me and said, 'Shut up, LaMarr, don't say nothing,' " Woodley said. "He knew I was going to talk trash."

The two won't be able to exchange such pleasantries Sunday, because they are not on the field at the same time. But each could figure prominently in the outcome of the game that will send the winner to Super Bowl XLV.

Harris is one of the Jets' defensive stalwarts, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound tackling machine so respected by his teammates that they voted him New York's MVP this season.

"Heck of a player," Woodley said of Harris, "good guy."

Not that the guy taken one pick ahead of Harris in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft is a spare part on arguably the best defense in the league.

Woodley turned in his third consecutive season with at least 10 sacks, joining fellow outside linebacker James Harrison as the only players in Steelers history to accomplish that feat.

The 6-2, 265-pound Woodley also intercepted two passes, returning one of them for, ahem, a touchdown.

He did get an explanation as to why Harris, who has yet to make himself available to the media this week, didn't take his pick to the house last Sunday.

Crumpler chased him down at the Patriots' 12-yard line, and the Jets came away with no points when Nick Folk missed a field goal.

"He said he was tired, because they went the length of the field and he had to run all the way back," Woodley said.

When asked if he would ever let a tight end catch him from behind on an interception return, Woodley smiled.

"Never," he said. "I told him that."

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