Found February 17, 2013 on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog:
According to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette an unnamed player on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster called out LaMarr Woodley. Woodley had his second straight injury riddled season in 2012, but unlike 2011 when he was on the field he was ineffective. During the start of the 2011 season Woodley was being considered for the defensive player of the year award, but a serious hamstring injury plagued him for the rest of the year. 2012 was supposed to be Woodley’s chance to come back from injury and show that he could be a dominant defensive force along the lines of James Harrison in 2008. However, another hamstring injury cost him multiple games and rendered him ineffective for most of the season. When the season ended and the dust had cleared many began to get on Woodley’s case for not being in shape during the 2012 season. It is believe by many that Woodley’s conditioning may be one of the biggest reasons for his hamstring injuries. The first to call out Woodley in the media was Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. His article “LaMarr’s lament? Who knows?” states: “No one, not any player or coach or executive, let down these 2012 Steelers more than one LaMarr Dewayne Woodley. And it might not be close.” After that many fans started to join the bandwagon that Woodley was very much to blame for the Steelers 8-8 record in 2012. Many fans are even ready to give up on Woodley and send him packing even though prior to the middle of 2011 he hadn’t missed a game and had been a dominant defensive force. In Kovacevic’s article Ziggy Hood was quoted as saying the following: “There’s more to LaMarr’s sacks than just him,” Hood said. “He didn’t start off healthy and … some plays, you just don’t get there. There were some games he played well and just wasn’t blessed with the opportunity to make a play. I wouldn’t say he had a down year. He played well when he had a chance.” Hood’s quote is true; the Steelers outside linebackers are asked to do a lot more than just get sacks and accumulate sacks. The run defense was much better with Woodley on the field because of his ability to hold the edge, but his explosiveness in pass rushing wasn’t there. It’s not hard to blame him for losing a step, however, anyone who has suffered a hamstring injury knows that it is very difficult to work through. That dosen’t, however, excuse the fact that Woodley’s hamstring injuries may have been prevented by better conditioning during the off-season. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has protected Woodley in this area stating that Woodley weighed the same as he did during his best season in 2009. Just because his weight was the same doesn’t mean that he was in the same shape and conditioned the same though. That brings us to Ron Cook’s article on Woodley that was published today. In his column he quotes and unnamed player as saying the following: “He was awful,” one teammate said of Woodley’s performance last season. “He tells us he works out, but we didn’t see it. He wasn’t in shape. That has to be a reason why he was always hurt.” Both of those quotes are pretty strong and incriminating of Woodley. Now there is the fact that without a name to line to the quote it holds less meaning because, as others have speculated, it could be made up. However, if it is true to sparks multiple concerns: Is Woodley focused on football and on being a star in the NFL? If other players saw Woodley slacking off why didn’t a leader step up and talk with him? Is Woodley content with his big contract? There are a lot of questions that can be asked, but sadly as a fan outside the walls of the Steelers facilities it is almost impossible to get any answers. The Steelers need Woodley to return to form in 2013; especially if they are forced to cut James Harrison this off-season. Hopefully for Woodley and Steeler Nation he will be back to his normal self in 2013 and we can put this all behind us, but if he struggles again next off-season will be even worse for a player once thought to be a future winner of a defensive player of the year award. The post Unnamed Teammate Calls out LaMarr Woodley for Poor Performance during 2012 Season appeared first on SteelBlitz Steelers Blog.
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