Ryan Clark: Woodley blast shows “fracture” within Steelers

AP

Over the weekend, there were a couple of different articles in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette referencing Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley’s need to work harder this offseason.

Ed Bouchette wrote one of them with the general view that the team wants to see more effort on Woodley’s part. Ron Cook got an anonymous teammate of Woodley’s to share a scathing assessment of his teammate.

“He was awful,” the teammate said. “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.”

Safety Ryan Clark has now weighed in, although he’s not taking any position on whether or not Woodley let the team down last year. He’s more upset about the fact that the unnamed teammate went public with his complaints and aired his grievances on the NFL Network Monday.

“We all have arguments with our brothers, sisters, cousins, but that stays in-house. What you talk about then stays there and it doesn’t get out to the public. So that is the problem,” Clark said. “That shows that this team that is normally close, you had the Joey Porters, the Alan Fanecas, just down the line, leader after leader, this team was close-knit. It shows there is a fracture in that. I think that is the most disappointing thing about that coming out.”

The Steelers have done a good job of reloading as key veterans shuffle off the team in recent years, but it isn’t guaranteed that the next generation is always going to pick up where the previous one left off. One comment doesn’t mean that’s what’s happening in Pittsburgh right now, but it does mean that Clark and other established leaders might have some extra work to do this offseason to keep things where they want them in the organization.

73 responses to “Ryan Clark: Woodley blast shows “fracture” within Steelers

  1. Anonymous quote from a Steelers player? This seriously disappoints me. I’m not a fan of anonymous quotes from anyone though. If you’re gonna criticize someone, put your name to it.

  2. What do the steelers, browns and bengals have in common thye last two years? Zero division titles, zero playoff wins, zero lombardis.

  3. Maybe if the team leaders had handled the Woodley problem privately, it wouldn’t have come out publicly. Less focus on hair and being “deeper” and more on being “winner”

  4. And yet, if you dare to question Mike Tomlin whatsoever, most Steeler fans get all bent out of shape. Forget the fact that he has consistently been outcoached, never does much of anything on game day, and now has allowed this kind of crap……he is beyond questioning. And I say this as a Steeler fan.

  5. The truth is the truth. Who cares. Play football and win. Clark is right. Woddley is fat and slow. Maybe this will piss them off to play better. It would also help if the Steelers were not the recruiting engine for all of the other teams in the NFL. There are more former Steeler players on other rosters than any other team. We get plucked in Free Agence because we are the NFL’s standard bearer.

  6. Yeah, it sucks to have the number one defense in the entire NFL. The Steelers better fix that quick.

    Luckily the Steelers have a $120 million dollar elite franchise quarterback who sometimes can eek out a 13-9 win when he doesn’t throw too many pick sixes.

  7. Why should this stay ‘in house’? Why can’t the fans know what’s going on? Maybe for the fortune these guys get paid there can be a little accountability?

  8. What do you know, ravenator in 5 of the first 7 posts regarding the Steelers. Don’t think for a second we’re still on your mind, Birdies!

    Listen, this happens in the league and this is absolutley nothing new in a time of transition. The Steelers kept THEE tightest knit team together for the ENTIRE decade and then some who went on to 3 Super Bowls, winning 2. Things will change in the locker room and this needs to happen to tightin it back up.

    Now, Baltimore on the otherhand, this Super Bowl win is going to fragment the entire team elsewhere while you pay unibrow top dollar. Good luck trying to find ONE leader in that locker room not named Ray Lewis. There aren’t any.

    With a healthy Ben, I expect the Steelers/Ravens battle to be a little bit more balanced in favor of the Steelers only because Charlie Batch beat you on your turf and an injured, fat Byron Leftwhich about pulled off a 3 point difference in 2012. If the AFC is stronger in 2013, Baltimore won’t be so 4th and 29 lucky.

  9. Wow. I didn’t Unnamed Source was still on the roster.

    You have to take an anonymous source for what it is, could be anyone. Starter, part-timer, practice squad.

    Until you man up and reveal the source, or the ‘alleged player’ makes a statement, then this means nothing.

  10. As Steeeler fans, we realize that the wind blows hardest when you are at the top of the mountain.

    This is a small issue, made larger by a slow week of NFL news.

    When Baltimore wins six Super Bowls, then, and only then, will I take criticism from any of their fans seriously. Until then, I look dopwn on them from the top of the mountain.

  11. Funny thing is, we wills see if some unsuspecting player gets cut for no apparent reason, we will know who said it.

    Reality is, Woodley apparently needed to be told, and he was. One way or the other, we are going to see if Woodley responds to this as working his rear end off and becoming the player we all know he can be, or if he stays out of shape and a shell of the player he was. The Steelers will know, one way or the other, what Woodley is made of. We either get back one of the best OLB’s in the game, or next year we are looking for his replacement.

  12. can’t wait to see what this fat boy can do when opposing offensive lines don’t have to worry about #92 james harrison coming off the edge

    enjoy renegotating ben’s contract next year, remember how much better ben is then flacco when it comes time to pay up

  13. It is a fracture when your star players show their fans and teammates a lack of respect not taking craft seriously. People pay a lot of money, the least players can do is give it their all to win a championship. It is much bigger than just your lockerroom Ryan. I’m glad someone spoke up!

  14. stainlessstill says:
    Feb 18, 2013 12:10 PM
    Now, Baltimore on the otherhand, this Super Bowl win is going to fragment the entire team elsewhere while you pay unibrow top dollar. Good luck trying to find ONE leader in that locker room not named Ray Lewis. There aren’t any.

    With a healthy Ben, I expect the Steelers/Ravens battle to be a little bit more balanced in favor of the Steelers only because Charlie Batch beat you on your turf and an injured, fat Byron Leftwhich about pulled off a 3 point difference in 2012. If the AFC is stronger in 2013, Baltimore won’t be so 4th and 29 lucky
    _______________________
    So many things wrong with this…
    #1-That’s what happens when you throw 11TD’s, 0 INT’s in the playoffs and with a SB, AND an MVP for the game- you get paid. And Joe’s earned it. (much more than Ben’s top 5 money for a QB who misses 2-6 games a year and threw 2 game ending pick-6’s last season)
    #2-Suggs is the leader of that defense. Rice is (and has been) the leader on O. But please tell me- who is THE leader on the Steelers? There isn’t one. There may be a few vets who collectively lead the team, but no single guy.
    #3-You like to point out Ben’s absence in those 2 games last year, but fail to remember the reason it was even close- Cam Cameron. Ravens have replaced him, and are no longer running the same predictable vanilla O. On D it’s also worth mentioning that Pees has moved into the box and since then, the D became vastly improved (ask Brady).

    But by all means, go on living a pipe dream that will crumble come next season. Joe will get his money, structure it to work with the cap, Boldin extends, Ellerbe signs a new deal in Baltimore, and we will simply reload and be back in the playoffs just like we’ve been doing for 5 years now.

  15. It might show a fracture within the Steelers locker room, but could there be a better way to motivate Woodley in the offseason?

  16. ravenator says:
    Feb 18, 2013 11:31 AM
    But everything is perfect according to the steeler fans.

    _________________

    Everything is perfect. I danced in the streets of Pittsburgh while my favorite team won it all…twice. Not to mention I was 22 and 25 when they won it all. I saw the top of the hill, whatever happens now who cares.

  17. I feel bad for Tomlin. That front office hasn’t repaired/replaced/reloaded a damn thing since his first year.

    Tomlin is a hell of a coach and 28+ teams would love to have him as HC. Give him some tools to play with and get out of the way. He’s being asked to do too much with too little.

  18. I have a different take on the issue of dicipline & control. Let me start by saying I don’t think Tomlin is a good coach. I think he is just a walking soundbite! Very few of his decisions have seemed sound. Discipline on the team has seemingly gone to hell since he arrived. But, I think the biggest issue with this team is Art Rooney II. This franchise has been in a decline since he took over. He has become meddlesome and that was never an issue with his father. He’s the reason Cowher left, he hired Tomlin & he fired Arians. I understand change was needed. But, not all change is for the good!

  19. Maybe the problem lies in the head coach. Tomlin hasn’t been one to be such a great motivator to get the team ready for playing teams they should beat. yes he won a SB but he also had a team that was drafted and coached by Cower. Tomlin has a lot of hype as a players coach but that does not make you a winner and lead a team.

  20. A good test for consistency of leadership: Tomlin: “We need to take this into the locker room. We need to be physical with each other because we are a physical football team. We play this game with love and emotion, and our locker room will settle this with a good old fashioned dose of physical love.”

  21. Let’s try to keep things in proper perspective when it comes to Ron Cook: He often is overly critical of other players in order to compensate for his lack of criticism of his favorite player, the quarterback. Cook believes that by doing so, he’s being “objective.”

  22. could also be that the source thought he was having an off the record conversation . . . and if it was on the record maybe it will motivate Woodley

  23. Finally people are starting to publicly say that Tomlin is NOT a great coach. Yes, he won a Super Bowl, and he deserves credit for that, but all the experts and most fans act like he’s one of the top coaches in the league. Now that many of the true leaders on the team (Ward, Farrior, A Smith, etc) are gone, he’s being exposed for the fraud that he is. As much as I hate to say it, the Steelers will be a .500 at best team untill he’s gone. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  24. What do the steelers, browns and bengals have in common thye last two years? Zero division titles, zero playoff wins, zero lombardis.

    Why did you only go back 2 years Ravenator? lets see what happened in the 6 years before that:

    2010 – Steelers AFC champs (beat Ravens), lost SB
    2009 – Steelers didn’t make playoffs, ravens lose AFC champ.
    2008 – Steelers SUPERBOWL CHAMPS, beat Ravens in AFC championship
    2007 – Steelers lost in playoffs (Ravens didn’t make playoffs)
    2006 – Steelers didn’t make playoffs, Ravens lost in Div round
    2005 – Steelers SUPERBOWL CHAMPS, Ravens didn’t make playoffs

    So as you can see, if you go back a little further than your 2 years, things are mighty different:

    Since 2005:
    Steelers: 2 SB wins, 3 AFC championships, 2 seasons w/o playoffs
    Ravens: 1 SB win, 1 AFC Championship, 2 seasons w/o playoffs,

    I would go back further than that, but there is no reason to since the Ravens did nothing between 2000 and now.

    Moral of the story? If you are going to mention your last 2 years of Raven success, you must mention the 5 years prior to that when the Steelers OWNED the Ravens.

  25. I don’t know how many plays you saw Tomlin on the field for , but I didn’t see a one. It’s on the players and should they be asked to a man they would say it was them not him. People like to pick on the teams they hate and today the haters are out full force and farce.some unnamed quasi steeler fans want to blame it solely on the QB , but the blame goes all around. Remember fifteen points and we wouldn’t be having this conversation .

  26. Woodley is fat but he can lose weight.

    Ed reed can’t get in a time machine and get younger. The ravens can’t avoid making Flacco one of the highest paid in the game. Bolden, Kruger, ellerbe, and Birk are probably gone.

    The ravens got on a roll but they were 1 DB falling down in Denver away from being sent hme early. They are no long term threat.

  27. Lifelong Steelers fan and while I like Tomlin, I am tired of seeing his players undisciplined and out of shape.

    LaMarr Woodley, you’ve been called out and rightfully so. Instead of wondering who did it and why, why not re-dedicate yourself?

    Say nothing, work harder than you’ve ever worked, and reclaim your integrity by showing us all the best that you have.

  28. I can understand fans from other teams trying to jab the steelers, but to see Steeler fans Jabbing Mike Tomlin because the team went 8-8 is a shame.

    It shows how a strong majority of you folks know nothing about football. Since Tomlin has been with the Steelers, he has only missed the playoffs twice and both times the team was 8-8. In the short time he has been here, he has been to the superbowl 2 times winning one and would have won another if Mendenhall doesn’t fumble. He drafted Timmons, and Woodley and believe it or not he made the tough call letting Joey Porter go and to start James Harrison.

    Now, is he the best coach in the NFL, answer is no, but he is in the top 5 and to hear steelers fans talk poorly about him when he has done a better job than cowher has done in the same time frame is shameful. If you fans truly believe Tomlin is this teams problem, then you don’t know football.

  29. a team that has a 5 year playoff run capped by a super bowl championship is not a long term threat? i love how people look at one play and decide that a team is lucky or good. oh well…go ravens. and i hope woodley can get himself together. when healthy and in shape he is a very good player. just a terrible prognasticator…isnt he the one who said the ravens would never win a sb with flacco?

  30. just a terrible prognasticator…isnt he the one who said the ravens would never win a sb with flacco

    So are you because you say ray isn’t guilty…whose prediction is more deadly?

  31. This is why Santonio Holmes had to get out of there! He doesn’t like a disfunctional locker room.

  32. This is the sad thing about dealing with a number of Ravens fans that post on articles regarding their team or the Steelers’ franchise. They’re very insecure, and just wait to pounce on any type of negativity reported by the media regarding the Steelers’ players, or the front office.
    The reason they pounce, and the reason Steelers fans often respond/retort with the number of Lombardi’s each franchise has on their shelf, is because they’re second fiddle as a franchise. This is in establishing the type of tradition that has been around for the last 40 years, let alone 10 to 13 years. Plus, the Ravens’ locker room has consistently been more filled with drama than the Steelers’ locker room, because their players tend to not adhere to a code and be mature enough to handle most of their issues in-house.
    The Ravens also consistently use various social websites to use crude and vulgar methods of being disrespectful to the Steeler fans and the organization and its players. This pattern really comes out prior to a divisional game between them.
    Steelers players, not perfectly, but for the most part, don’t get involved with that crap. If they’re going to talk trash, they reserve it for the field when they’re actually facing the Ravens across the line of scrimmage. They also are more comfortable to let their violence and legal play on the field do the talking.

  33. again….twisting it to support your homer bias. yes..ray plead guilty to obstruction of justice because thats the crime he committed. no convictions of murder…not even a trial because he didnt kill anyone. you are an intelligent man….read up on the case. no evidence no testimony nothing to support a murder charge on ray. show me anything to the contrary….you cant

    Now I wish I said that! Well said steelers are

  34. This is the same garbage that was going on in the nil lick era at the end. Tomlinson need to grab the whole team by the Jimmie, give it a good squeeze and make everyone pay attention. Either get with the plan or get off the team. Just an honest opinion from a rival fan, but honestly given.

  35. steelersarewhatfootballisabout-

    You are 100% correct. I’ve been saying a million times over, that the Raven fans realize they are 4 trophies away from even matching the Steeler’s Successes, and that pisses them off.

    Hence the constant ‘pouncing’ from such fans.

    All of their ‘barking’ changes nothing.

  36. thats not a prediction…its a fact. where is your proof of anything. dont have any do you. i keep asking and you keep brushing it off. very sad your obsession. ray paid for his crime. but folks like you refuse to let it go yet have no facts to back up your claims

  37. Fool: Ben is a rapist that you defend and claim is innocent. Did he not settle out of court in the 1 case? Innocent people don’t settle out of court. Makes you wonder how many women he’s forced himself on. Try making a post without mentioning Ray and take a look at your own roster, they’re far from saints.

  38. steelfan1:
    Cowher’s Steelers NEVER missed the playoffs his first six seasons on the job. Cowher’s final three seasons on the job, he compiled a 34-14 record with the same group of players that Tomlin inherited in 2007.
    In 2012, Tomlin’s team produced an 8-8 record against the weakest schedule in the NFL. That’s called “underachieving,’ for which Tomlin deserves much of the blame.
    Against the Ravens, in a winnable 23-20 loss, Tomlin inexplicably stuck with an injured Leftwich the entire game instead of going to Batch.
    Your loyalty toward Tomlin is commendable. However, your wrath toward those who are critical of him is misplaced.

  39. Why do ravens fans spend so much time on steeler stories? Because they fear what is coming next year. Ravens are going to the bottom of the division, guaranteed. Enjoy the offseason ravens fans, because it all ends this fall.

  40. steelersarewhatfootballisabout says:
    Feb 18, 2013 5:57 PM
    This is the sad thing about dealing with a number of Ravens fans that post on articles regarding their team or the Steelers’ franchise. They’re very insecure, and just wait to pounce on any type of negativity reported by the media regarding the Steelers’ players, or the front office.
    The reason they pounce, and the reason Steelers fans often respond/retort with the number of Lombardi’s each franchise has on their shelf, is because they’re second fiddle as a franchise. This is in establishing the type of tradition that has been around for the last 40 years, let alone 10 to 13 years. Plus, the Ravens’ locker room has consistently been more filled with drama than the Steelers’ locker room, because their players tend to not adhere to a code and be mature enough to handle most of their issues in-house.
    The Ravens also consistently use various social websites to use crude and vulgar methods of being disrespectful to the Steeler fans and the organization and its players. This pattern really comes out prior to a divisional game between them.
    Steelers players, not perfectly, but for the most part, don’t get involved with that crap. If they’re going to talk trash, they reserve it for the field when they’re actually facing the Ravens across the line of scrimmage. They also are more comfortable to let their violence and legal play on the field do the talking.

    DITTO….one of the best post here ever. Since the day I had beer bottles thrown at ladies while at a Raven game, they made a enemy for life. I hate the Ravens more than any team in any sport.

  41. I just ignore Ravens fans. I feel like the ravens have received zero post Super Bowl attention. I think it’s because there are no Ravens fans anywhere but Baltimore.

  42. Fool: Ben is a rapist that you defend and claim is innocent. Did he not settle out of court in the 1 case? Innocent people don’t settle out of court. Makes you wonder how many women he’s forced himself on. Try making a post without mentioning Ray and take a look at your own roster, they’re far from saints.
    Never said what Ben did was right. By your own logic Ray is guilty for pay off families also. Just lay by your dish and sleep… Quietly

  43. bostonbias that should have never happened and i am truly sorry it did. sadly there are fans like that in every stadium that ruin the nfl experience. i am sure there are stories of fans wearing opposing jerseys being harrased coming out of every stadium. not what sports is about at all. and again so sorry that happened to you in baltimore

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