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Woodley upset that football is “turning soft”

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley celebrates after he sacked New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the second quarter during the NFL AFC Championship football game in Pittsburgh AP

LaMarr Woodley was only just getting started when he criticized the NFL via Twitter for the “Steelers Rule” which will fine teams for excessive player safety rules infractions.

“Man, they’re getting ridiculous.  Football is turning soft now,” Woodley told Rich Gannon and Adam Schein on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday. “Too many fines.  Too many penalties protecting the quarterback every single play.  Defensive guys can’t be defensive guys no more.”

Woodley seems to believe that fines in general aren’t an effective deterrent.

“Man, I think it’s so stupid.  I mean, it’s football.  I mean, that’s what you signed up for.  You signed up, when you played football you knew it was going to be an aggressive game.  There’s a chance of you getting hurt and having serious injuries.  So that’s what you signed up for.

“So I think having all the fines and penalties is stupid because it is taking away from the game.  We knew what we were signing up for when we started playing football.  We knew that.  Everybody knows that.  Every quarterback knows that.  Roger Goodell knew that.  I don’t know if he ever played football so maybe he don’t really understand the hard hitting of the sport,” Woodley said.   (Goodell was the captain on his high school team.)

Ultimately, complaints about Goodell’s measures for player safety are to be expected.  And they won’t make much of a difference.  It sounds like fining teams won’t change Woodley’s approach.

“We didn’t get six Lombardis by playing soft football,” Woodley said. “We got them by playing aggressive football, hitting teams hard, and I don’t think that’ll ever change.  I don’t care how many times we get fined, that’s just the way we play football.  And that’s why we’re gonna keep racking up Lombardis, because that’s how we play football.”

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53 Responses to “Woodley upset that football is “turning soft””
  1. Southpaw says: May 25, 2011 4:39 PM

    QB’s are a bunch of divas and crybabies…

    They have rules against being hit below the knees, above the neck, after they let go of the ball, after they throw an interception, and when they’re in the act of sliding. They have rules that let them throw the ball out of bounds in case theyre going to get hit, and they have 5+ guys on the field with the sole purpose of protecting them.

    Take off the skirt, and be a man. Play football. I’m sick of the rules rapidly becoming more and more strict.

  2. allinblindsevenduece says: May 25, 2011 4:46 PM

    What I don’t understand is the “Launching” term. Open field on a defenseless player I understand, but is there stipulation about a goal line stand if a running back “Launches” for the score or a first down. Not really being fair or competitive in my opinion.

  3. thephantomstranger says: May 25, 2011 4:46 PM

    So they complain that the owners see them as pieces of meat and don’t care about the physical toll football takes on their bodies, but they also complain when rules are put into place to protect them better.

  4. semperfi24 says: May 25, 2011 4:47 PM

    If Woodley is that upset about Hines Ward on DWTS, imagine how pissed he is going to be when he hears about the new rules changes….

  5. Scotty M says: May 25, 2011 4:47 PM

    I don’t blame Woodley. This rules are getting a little out-of-control and the NFL is starting to make it too easy for the QBs.

  6. ygkr85 says: May 25, 2011 4:49 PM

    I’m playing the smallest violin in the world, just for you LaMarr.

    Shhhhhhhhhh. Play the game. Pray you can live a productive life when you are 50+.

  7. btaggs says: May 25, 2011 4:50 PM

    Woodley seems to believe that fines in general aren’t an effective deterrent.

    if it isn’t an effective detterent, then why are you complaining about it? Idiot.

  8. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: May 25, 2011 4:53 PM

    I got an idea. Why doesn’t everyone get off the ‘roids and HGH that’s making the players so damn big and fast that a death on the field is imminent, and then we could go back to the old rules?

  9. justanotherdummy says: May 25, 2011 4:54 PM

    As time passes, people try to make their activities safer. That is just how it is. Boats have better life rafts, fighter jets got ejection seats with 0/0 capability. Cars have seatbelts and football players no longer wear leather helmets. The NFL players will adapt to the new rules, they always have, regardless of their complaints. I understand football is a high risk, collision sport played by elite athletes who understand the risks associated with their chosen profession. But I find it difficult to criticise the league for trying to prevent injuries. Launching and using the dome of a players’ helmet as the point of a spear should be a penalty. I have a suggestion. Maybe try to hit with the shoulder and wrap up with the arms? It was good technique when my grandfather played in the 30’s, still a good idea now.

  10. 2mannings1cup says: May 25, 2011 4:54 PM

    Is it going to take the death of a team member in the middle of a regular season game for these guys to realize the purpose of these rules? Football continues to evolve, as should the players. Grow up and play the game.

  11. pizzon says: May 25, 2011 4:56 PM

    roger goodell is trying to make the nfl inthe likeness of what HE wants and yet he keeps using the term this is what the fan wants. every pol that Ive read says states that the true NFL fan and not the casual observer who reallly is clueless about the game doesnt see what the commissioner sees and wants. if he really is about the fans then stop with all the ridiculous rule changes and play football. all goodell and he owners are trying to do is control the players every movement. I think they call it micromanagement of the game. personally I dont care if they strike till next season as long as goodell is gone when it is all said and done then it will be worth the wait. this guy is ruining the game and really needs to go.

  12. carlgerbschmidt says: May 25, 2011 4:57 PM

    You didn’t rack up the last one, now did ya? You stealers might perform better if you spent a little less time running at the mouth and a littel more time running on the field.

  13. dirtydrynn27 says: May 25, 2011 5:00 PM

    Lamarr would you like some cheese with that whine???

  14. lacharger2112 says: May 25, 2011 5:00 PM

    in the near future 297 consecutive starts for a QB will be average! It’s getting harder and harder to even bruise a QB these days.

  15. yzguy431 says: May 25, 2011 5:05 PM

    rugby anyone?

  16. duanethomas says: May 25, 2011 5:06 PM

    Don’t lead with your helmet and you will be fine.

    Lead with your helmet and you plus your organization will be fined.

    I hope I cleared that up for you LaMarr, and I have some cheese for your whine.

    Fromundercheese. Want some?

  17. cleonslamminsalmon says: May 25, 2011 5:08 PM

    He should be more worried about how soft he played in the Super Bowl…

  18. possiblecabbage says: May 25, 2011 5:13 PM

    Isn’t it sort of justification of the “Steeler Rule” that the Steelers are really the only players who you hear complaining about this? I mean, there are other very good defenses who play very similar schemes as the one they use in Pittsburgh who neither receive a ton of fines nor complain incessantly about it.

  19. tiredofthestupid says: May 25, 2011 5:15 PM

    As I have pointed out numerous times, every generation thinks when things change, it is for the worse.

    Physics being what they are, players have reached a tipping point. They are now big enough and fast enough and strong enough to inflict devastating hits that bypass the protective gear they have on.

    Few people in the NFL tackle with proper form and most are TRYING to hurt the opposing player or inflict the most damage as possible.

    If the game becomes too brutal, the game will go away.

    And I don’t want to hear about the MMA. They actually had to CREATE rules and safety measures BEFORE they became a legitimate/licensed pro sport–and I am pretty sure those old MMA guys think the new gen of MMA guys are “soft”, too.

  20. malblack says: May 25, 2011 5:16 PM

    It’s predictable that almost all of the players complaining about the fines play defense. I didn’t here the “it takes away from the game of football” when chop blocks were outlawed in order to protect the knees of defenders.

  21. mjbudenz says: May 25, 2011 5:16 PM

    Funny how defensive players cry about football becoming soft when they are the first ones to complaing about a quarterback making a perfectly legal block to their legs. They want to hit, but not be hit.

  22. wigwam101 says: May 25, 2011 5:20 PM

    Think football is soft now? Just wait till the Feds decide they need to intervene to ensure that no one gets hurt playing the game. Football will go the way of playground games like dodge ball, keep away, and tag.

  23. geo1113 says: May 25, 2011 5:26 PM

    If the NFL doesn’t do anything about injuries, then Congress will come in and do something about it.

  24. riverhorsey says: May 25, 2011 5:37 PM

    it’s football Woodly, you’re not out there to literally kill people just because you feel like taking an extra step before you hit some guy.

  25. pistol0928 says: May 25, 2011 5:41 PM

    LaMarr is right.

    When you take a job you sign up for the risk (injuries) and rewards (getting paid millions and being a semi-celebrity). If you do not want to RISK the injury then don’t sign up and reap the rewards, it is that simple.

  26. paperlions says: May 25, 2011 5:48 PM

    I agree with Woodley, they are getting soft. I say do away with helmets altogether….then let’s see how often defenders lead with their head without seeing what they are hitting.

  27. andrejohnsonforpresident says: May 25, 2011 5:50 PM

    Are you kidding? I would like to see most of you put on pads and play with these guys. Nfl talent of today is full of ped’s and monsters of human beings. When you have 230+ pound men with around 8-10% body fat hitting people that is HIGHLY dangerous. They don’t just tackle either its more like a human missle. I don’t care what any vet says there has never been players of this size/speed/skill on the field all at once. Even with smaller guys back in the day, the horror stories of whats wrong with vets now is scary. I’m afraid to see what players of the past 15 years will be like 20-30+ years from now. Bring on the safety even if these idiots are to dumb to do it for themselves. O and of course woodly would complain about this rule, he’s one of the basic reasons it has to be put into place.

  28. jamaltimore says: May 25, 2011 6:12 PM

    Hate anything black and p##s, but his comments are 100% correct! There are more concussions in annualy in SOCCER than their are in the NFL ! Sounds crazy but true.

  29. Deb says: May 25, 2011 6:19 PM

    Lamarr, I love you. Now hush!!!!

    I don’t like all the rule changes, and I’m not convinced they’ll make the game safer. I’m certainly not convinced the league cares about safety as much as other ancillary issues. But it doesn’t matter because you’re going to have to learn to play within these boundaries. And the more attention you draw to yourselves, the more officials are going to scrutinize your every move. So please please hush.

  30. guppies66 says: May 25, 2011 6:21 PM

    So, I guess we shouldn’t feel sorry for you when you are 43 and your wife has to dress you and feed you.

  31. herlies says: May 25, 2011 6:24 PM

    Woodley might have another Lombardi if he had been more physical with rookie Bryan Bulaga.

  32. hobartbaker says: May 25, 2011 6:28 PM

    The league wide conspiracy against “Steeler football” started years ago when they banned steroids. Next thing it’ll be HGH. Goddamn wimps.

  33. snnyjcbs says: May 25, 2011 7:11 PM

    Tell Woodley it is a shame more NFL Players do not come into the NFL like him and a few others. Today many a player coming into the NFL is Soft. And the owners with the Pot Bellies are changing the game forever. Woodley and others are throw backs, today’s NFL should be played in Skirts, hell these players ever step on a Field with the warriors of yesteryear they would get killed except for the Woodleys and such, today’s QB? SOFT.

  34. whatsafairway says: May 25, 2011 7:20 PM

    “Man, I think it’s so stupid. I mean, it’s football. I mean, that’s what you signed up for. You signed up, when you played football you knew it was going to be an aggressive game. There’s a chance of you getting hurt and having serious injuries. So that’s what you signed up for.

    So Mr. Woodley if everyone knew what they were signing up for, why are so many of your compatriots whining about getting lifetime health insurance?

  35. krow101 says: May 25, 2011 7:26 PM

    “We didn’t get six Lombardis by playing soft football,” Woodley said. “We got them by playing aggressive football, hitting teams hard, and I don’t think that’ll ever change.”

    Actually ‘you’ got them by being the first team to use steroids on a wide scale. Everyone knows it … no matter how much the fanboys howl in protest.

  36. bigtrav425 says: May 25, 2011 7:49 PM

    He is right on with everything he said! its really as simple as he stated!…the NFL with every new rule change is going to lose fans.Some fans will stay fans but wont be as hardcore fans as they were etc etc..Woodley maybe one of my new fav players now!

  37. steelerskicktheravens says: May 25, 2011 8:05 PM

    agree 100%..maybe all the quarterbacks besides roethlisberger should put on skirts.

  38. imjinbrdgr says: May 25, 2011 8:12 PM

    It’s really about the evolution of the players, their training methods, and nutrition and additives (legal or not). Bones ligaments and brain tissue are about the same strength as they have always been while the size speed and strength of the players has increased dramatically over the years. The human body and brain just can’t take the punishment dished by a 250 to 300+ lb missile made of solid muscle with helmet on top. The players of the past were tough as hell but put some of the top players of today in the past and these bigger stronger faster guys would wreak havoc on the league. The game is still not soft and anyone who thinks it is should maybe go get a tryout and see how long they stay conscious.

    All they are trying to do is keep players on the field instead of the training room and maybe even keep them from all becoming gimps by the time they hit 40.

    On a side note, how many English classes do you think Woodley took at Michigan?

  39. capslockkey says: May 25, 2011 8:18 PM

    Too bad most of the other players don’t feel the same way with all their complaining about needing more money because they risk their bodies.

  40. qoojo says: May 25, 2011 8:33 PM

    Which is why I like some old time reporters suggestion of going to back to leather helmets without face masks. The problem will solve itself.

  41. tv426 says: May 25, 2011 8:40 PM

    Last I checked there were other teams fined more times than Pitt for illegal hits. GB was #1 and Sea was #2 if I remember correctly.

    It is just called the Steeler rule because they and their fans are the only ones who constantly bitch about it.

  42. goldsteel says: May 25, 2011 9:32 PM

    The Steelers Rule? I wonder if Art Rooney II is rethinking his ardent support in making Roger Goodell the Commissioner? Without Art’s efforts Goodell would not be the commissioner.

  43. paulieorkid says: May 25, 2011 10:21 PM

    Wood is right. Football isn’t for the feint of heart. You don’t want to assume the risk, then feel perfectly free not to. No one has a gun to anyone’s head forcing them to strap it up.

    And about these rules, they’re atrocious – and clearly conjured up by minds unworthy to the task.

    A player can’t be hit “if he hasn’t had time to protect himself.” What in the hell is that???

    Goodell is not a bad guy and I think he means well, but damn —- it’d be nice if he stopped being so meddlesome in a game America is passionate about.

    This is a game that no one is forced to play and those that do play have weighed the risk/reward situation and eagerly seek to prove their wares. Countless others would love to play too, but just don’t have the goods.

    Just let the guys play some ball.

  44. dumbaseinstien says: May 26, 2011 1:50 AM

    I realize it can be very intimidating having to go out there on that field to play against those Really Big Guys who want to tackle you real, real hard :o( You poor, poor boys who Chit-your-Britches at the sight of the men in black & gold should really just have a low fat caramel macchiato frappuccino, a seat & let the real men play the game!!!

  45. mswravens says: May 26, 2011 7:33 AM

    For a Steeler he sure is stupid (his word) when it comes to Steeler’s history. Hey stupid – YOU didn’t win 6 Lombardis, but speaking of your organization, the first 3 of those trophies was won by CHEATING! Get it? All you Steeler fans who hate Barry Bonds & Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, etc… (if you bother with baseball any more in the Burgh)…take a look in the mirror, because even your own players admit you cheated your way to the Trophy in the ’70s…(just like Stargell, Parker, etc…fueling themselves with cocaine) and because you were the only ones doing it at the time, it was REALLY effective!

    I would think most towns would be embarassed by the drug induced history of its sports teams…but not in the Burgh! Whatever…

    So here’s another whiner from the Burgh pissed off because he has to play the game within the rules & without intent to injure like his boy Harrison. wah, wah, wah…

  46. Dawggpound says: May 26, 2011 7:48 AM

    Woodley and Harrison are right. This is football not figure skating. I am sure HOF defenders like Mel Blount, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Mean Joe Greene, and others look these new rules and laugh. Same with Ray Lewis They are a frigging joke. But that seems par for the course from nfl management these days.

  47. melonnhead says: May 26, 2011 7:51 AM

    When you take a job you sign up for the risk (injuries) and rewards (getting paid millions and being a semi-celebrity). If you do not want to RISK the injury then don’t sign up and reap the rewards, it is that simple.

    —————————————————–

    On the other hand, if you want to make your own rules, start your own league.

  48. melonnhead says: May 26, 2011 7:53 AM

    maybe all the quarterbacks besides roethlisberger should put on skirts.

    —————————————————–

    Or maybe you could tell Roethlisberger to just lose his skirt and wear some pants.

  49. hamburghlar says: May 26, 2011 10:40 AM

    LOL, the jealousy for the Steelers (as per usual) is quite evident in this thread… Right @mswravens? Don’t hate cause your team doesn’t have a history… well, one that is worth talking about. Look people, NFL = hard hitting. We should be thankful that some people are still interested in playing the game how it should be played and “raging against the machine” of Goodell and Co. Now I definitely don’t want people getting seriously hurt, but the more we suck the life out of the rules, the more likely the NFL’s fanbase will start dwindling.

    And I sure hope the lockout gets settled, we don’t want Ray Lewis and Suggs on the streets any more than we have to…. They may get all stabby or bleachy again. Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife…. .

  50. raiderinpa says: May 26, 2011 1:09 PM

    Keep racking up Lombardis? you lost last year, didnt you?…

  51. steelertom says: May 26, 2011 4:16 PM

    I agree. If you dont you probably never played. This sport is not for the timid or weak. It is a MANS sport. Everyone knows the risk when you strap on a helmet, even at peewee level. It is a violent game. Oh and if you think this is about player safety, your wrong. Its about money. It always is. 18 games here we come.

  52. axespray says: May 27, 2011 5:11 AM

    I didn’t see Joe Green, Reggie White, Damarcus Ware, Brain Urlacher, Clay Matthews, Patrick Willis, or Charles Woodson headbutting fellow players the way Harrison and Woodley do, yet they’re still effective shutdown defensive players.

    Maybe if Woodley & Harrison and a couple others learned to actually “tackle”, we wouldn’t have the Tom Brady Rule or the new Steeler Rule.

    Just saying…

  53. paulieorkid says: May 27, 2011 9:28 PM

    @ raiderinpa:

    Damn dude – you are always whining and complaining. It’s non-stop with man – you are one miserable sorry-assed muthaphvkkah.

    I get it – your team has long been a punchline, but do you have to be such a sour bitter soul every moment of your life.

    Hold on – gotta go take a Jamarcus. Be back in a minute.

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