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.