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LaMarr Woodley: Steelers scheme kept my sacks down in 2012

Ryan Mundy,  LaMarr Woodley AP

After some criticism that his offseason conditioning work wasn’t up to snuff early in the offseason, the Steelers feel linebacker LaMarr Woodley is “where we need to have him” in training camp.

Those complaints came with the implication that Woodley’s injury issues and paltry sack totals last season were because he wasn’t in good enough shape and that a more diligent offseason will eliminate those issues. Woodley thinks there’s another reason in addition to injuries why his pass rushing production dropped, however, and that’s the role he was asked to play in the Steelers defense.

In defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau’s zone-blitz heavy scheme, Woodley is sometimes asked to drop into pass coverage rather than get after the quarterback. Woodley feels he was asked to do that too often in 2012 and hopes that won’t be the case again this season.

“I’d definitely like to get back to doing more rushing than dropping back in coverage because my game is predicated on sacks and this defense is predicated on getting to the quarterback, making quarterbacks make bad decisions and allowing our secondary to make plays,” Woodley said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

With James Harrison gone and a battle on to replace him at the other outside linebacker spot, the Steelers will be leaning more heavily on Woodley in 2012 however they choose to use him. Letting him loose to do what he does best would seem to be the best thing for both him and the team, so we’ll see if LeBeau heeds Woodley’s call once the season gets underway.

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50 Responses to “LaMarr Woodley: Steelers scheme kept my sacks down in 2012”
  1. sbchampsagain says: Aug 1, 2013 9:30 AM

    Yup, it was the HOF Defensive Coordinator that was holding you back last year, LaMarr, not your doughy middle section.

  2. crownofthehelmet says: Aug 1, 2013 9:31 AM

    LaMarr, you play for Mr. LeBeau, the greatest defensive mind ever. FYI – his schemes work.

  3. floratiotime says: Aug 1, 2013 9:32 AM

    Well we knew it couldn’t be your fault.

  4. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Aug 1, 2013 9:41 AM

    I’m sure super sizing every meal didn’t help either, Wood. HOPEFULLY, the improved conditioning and injuries healed means a more productive year.

  5. Steeley McBeam says: Aug 1, 2013 9:57 AM

    The defense hasnt changed in 20 years. Sorry Wood, not sure I’m buying that.

  6. Joemontanaflacco says: Aug 1, 2013 9:59 AM

    First, the QB and the OC are at each other’s throats. Now Woodley and the DC obviously can’t stand each other. What a dysfunctional franchise!

  7. jmblosser82 says: Aug 1, 2013 10:09 AM

    I thought it was poor conditioning, regardless we need you to be a beast again.

  8. kenbell97 says: Aug 1, 2013 10:16 AM

    Yea LaMarr, that and the spare tire that was around your waist the entire season. The Steelers didn’t pay you all that money for you to spend it at Golden Corral..

  9. godofwine330 says: Aug 1, 2013 10:19 AM

    Blame it on the scheme. It didn’t let me shine. They had me covering running backs and tight ends. Blame it on the coaches, they wouldn’t let me be, but never blame it on me.

    Jim Rome said “Own it.” Say you messed up. Say you made a mistake. Say you could have done better. Stop with the blaming.

  10. si1m says: Aug 1, 2013 10:20 AM

    I know that the Steelers have become irrelevant so their defenders now stick to trolling Ravens articles (basking in the afterglow) but I thought I’d give Pittsburgh a pity comment so they’re not at 0 comments.

    Yes LaMarr, it was the scheme, not you being out of shape as reported by your own teammates to the press. I wonder if there’s a correlation between being in football shape and production….i’m not sure….

  11. randomcommenter says: Aug 1, 2013 10:44 AM

    Yeah, I usually put on a few steelers schemes myself over the holidays with all that food.

  12. ahostiletakeover says: Aug 1, 2013 10:50 AM

    Remind me again how a 3-4 defense schemes against an outside linebacker from getting sacks? You’re a linebacker so of course you’re going to have to drop into coverage at times. But unlike the 4-3 where the onus is on the defensive ends to generate the bulk of the QB pressure, its on those two outside linebackers in most 3-4 defenses, and obviously you just didn’t last year for weight issues or whatever the reason. Just admit you had a poor season last year and bounce back with a great one instead of blaming LeBeau. I know he is capable of it, he’s a very solid player.

  13. granadafan says: Aug 1, 2013 11:20 AM

    Selfish

  14. runtheball says: Aug 1, 2013 11:35 AM

    Watch the games! He should keep his mouth shut, but he is right.
    You cannot get sacks when you are covering the flat.

  15. steelcurtainn says: Aug 1, 2013 11:47 AM

    Woodley is a reckon machine on qbs and looks in much better shape then last year. He will be back to his normal self after taking a year off. I look for him to get double digit sacks again this year.

  16. originalsteelcurtain says: Aug 1, 2013 12:06 PM

    Woodley is motivated to have a great year. That is good enough for me.

    Hopefuly, he reads some of the stupid comments made here and re-emerges as the dominant player he was in the first half of 2011.

  17. scoobies05 says: Aug 1, 2013 12:33 PM

    if i was crown i would say something like maybe going for thirds at the ayce kept is sack totals down. good thing im not him

  18. oldirtyman says: Aug 1, 2013 12:34 PM

    Hopefully Woodley will be in great shape and healthy all season. I predict him breaking JoeDilferFlacco’s neck!!

  19. captainwisdom8888 says: Aug 1, 2013 12:38 PM

    What Woodley really meant: “my future leverage in contract negotiations is predicated on sacks…”

  20. jeffa43 says: Aug 1, 2013 12:39 PM

    So what’s your excuse for when they do ask you to rush?

    Signed Steeler fan with Woodley jersey.

    I hate excuses, I hate unintelligent excuses more.

  21. troy43mvp says: Aug 1, 2013 12:41 PM

    James Harrison made a Superbowl Hero of himself in coverage. Timmons is now the coverage stud when it comes to LB’s for the Steelers. Less excuses and more sacks Woodley….No Excuses!!

  22. axespray says: Aug 1, 2013 12:48 PM

    With Dom Capers – our D has averaged nearly 50 sacks a season (excluding the awful 2k11 d) – we’ve got Clay and …. and? – yeah, I have no clue who – but somehow we’re averaging near 50 sacks a year.

    LaMarr has Timmons/Beard Guy/and Harrison to compliment him, Dick Labeau (who probably is a better defensive mind than anyone around) – and Woodley played like dog crap in a scheme that’s designed to help the pass rush.

  23. Joemontanaflacco says: Aug 1, 2013 1:08 PM

    “I have no clue who – but somehow we’re averaging near 50 sacks a year.”

    50?!?! Steelers haven’t hit the 50 sack mark since 2008!
    Steelers’ sacks
    2012 — 37 (196 yds lost)
    2011 — 35 (230 yds lost)

    By the way, if you want to learn about sacks, check out the Ravens, who continue to dominate the Steelers in that category:

    Ravens’ sacks
    2012 — 37 (250 yds lost)
    2011 — 48 (290 yds lost)

  24. walkinginthewasteland says: Aug 1, 2013 1:35 PM

    No Lamarr, the scheme hasnt been the issue, your lousy conditioning (hitting 295-300) the last couple years has been the issue.

    _

    Will Graves ‏@WillGravesAP 46m

    #Steelers LB coach Keith Butler says LaMarr Woodley was playing at 295-300 lbs last couple years. Butler says that’s down significantly now
    _

    And Joe-Flake-O fan, when you tie the steelers for # of sacks last year, you arent dominating, you are tied.

  25. ravanator says: Aug 1, 2013 1:46 PM

    Hey JoeUnibrowFlacco. I think axespray was talking bout the Packers having 50 sacks, in case you can’t comprehend, Dom Capers coaches the Packers defense. You truly show how unintelligent your little brain is by your post.

  26. Steeler's Didn't-but-Will-eventually says: Aug 1, 2013 2:44 PM

    Joemontanaflacco says:
    Aug 1, 2013 1:08 PM

    axespray says:
    Aug 1, 2013 12:48 PM
    With Dom Capers – our D has averaged nearly 50 sacks a season (excluding the awful 2k11 d) – we’ve got Clay and …. and? – yeah, I have no clue who – but somehow we’re averaging near 50 sacks a year.

    “50?!?! Steelers haven’t hit the 50 sack mark since 2008!”
    —————-
    Reading comprehension: Get some. Troll.

  27. Joemontanaflacco says: Aug 1, 2013 2:54 PM

    “Hey JoeUnibrowFlacco. I think axespray was talking bout the Packers having 50 sacks, in case you can’t comprehend, Dom Capers coaches the Packers defense. You truly show how unintelligent your little brain is by your post.”

    Thanks for the correction. The insult I could have done without, but thanks for the correction nonetheless. Of course, the Packers haven’t had 50 sacks since 2001, but what’s a little exaggeration between friends?

    @walkinginthewasteland
    Thank you, too, for the mocking insult. I was just pointing out that Ravens’ sacks produced 25% more lost yardage, and since lost yardage is the ultimate goal, I thought it was important. You may not. After all, most Steelers’ fans swear they had the best defense in the NFL at a time when they lost half their games. Go figure!

  28. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 1, 2013 3:24 PM

    First, the QB and the OC are at each other’s throats. Now Woodley and the DC obviously can’t stand each other. What a dysfunctional franchise!

    9 33 As a dysfunctional adolescent I am sure all the time you have spent in the steeler locker room has helped you come to your assessment. Your Dom Capers comment was proof positive of your dysfunction……get some troll.

  29. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 1, 2013 3:28 PM

    if i was crown i would say something like maybe going for thirds at the ayce kept is sack totals down. good thing im not him

    1 0
    Report comment. If I were you scoobie s I would put the bottle down and get some coffee and stop trolling steeler threads.

  30. crownofthehelmet says: Aug 1, 2013 3:37 PM

    Joemontanaflacco says:

    I was just pointing out that Ravens’ sacks produced 25% more lost yardage, and since lost yardage is the ultimate goal,….
    ——————————————————-
    Have to correct you there jmf. The loss of down is the most important part of the sack. The amount of the yardage loss is only important to field position, or maybe getting someone out of field goal range.

  31. scoobies05 says: Aug 1, 2013 3:42 PM

    thanks for the input. slow work day. figured i would give u something to talk about

  32. nickster31 says: Aug 1, 2013 3:43 PM

    Joemontanaflacco says:
    Aug 1, 2013 2:54 PM

    I was just pointing out that Ravens’ sacks produced 25% more lost yardage, and since lost yardage is the ultimate goal, I thought it was important.

    No, it isn’t. I don’t care if the sack if for 1 yard, if you sack the QB, that not only stops the pass play, but the other team loses a down. That means they are in worse field position than they were minus the down of the sack.

    Do you understand this?

    Not saying the yardage isn’t important. It is. But the total sacks is what counts. You can have a QB run backwards for a 15 yard loss of 3rd and 10, or you can stop a QB for a loss of 1 on 3rd and 2. Either way, it is still 4th down, and either a field goal try or punt.

    Do you understand that?

    After all, most Steelers’ fans swear they had the best defense in the NFL at a time when they lost half their games. Go figure!

    OK, lets try this one with you.

    The Steelers allowed 4,413 yards against them last season. That is the lowest total in the NFL. 2nd place was the Broncos at 4,652. They were in 2nd. (By the way, the Ravens were 17th with 5,615. Just sayin)

    The Steelers allowed 2,963 passing yards last year. That was less than every other team in the NFL. The Jets were 2nd with 3,036. (By the way, the Ravens were 17th with 3.650. Just sayin)

    The Steelers allowed 1,450 rushing yards, which was 2nd in the NFL last year to the Buccaneers, who had 1,320. (By the way, the Ravens were 20th with 1,965. Just sayin)

    Now, some people would sat that if a team is always down in games they would have more rushing yards against than passing yards, because teams with the lead would run the ball to kill the clock. But, considering we were top 2 in BOTH categories, and were in basically every game (even when we played you BOTH times with back up QB’s, and beat you in Baltimore with our 3rd stringer. Just sayin), that isn’t the case.

    I am guessing you want to look at things like turn overs and other stats that don’t paint the TRUE picture.

    What counts in the NFL is yards against, and Pittsburgh was FIRST over all, FIRST against the pass, and SECOND against the rush.

  33. nickster31 says: Aug 1, 2013 3:53 PM

    Everyone that wants to slam LaMarr because he is saying it was scheme, it was.

    In the 3-4, normally, 1 OLB and 1 ILB blitz, while the other two drop in coverage. Woodley was slower because he was out of shape, not saying he wasn’t. Because of this, he wasn’t getting to the QB fast enough, causing LeBeau to scheme to put Woodley into more short coverage than blitz.

    What Woodley said WAS NOT a knock on LeBeau or the way he was calling plays, only to say his assignments were not blitzing as much as they used to.

    There was no excuse there, because there didn’t need to be. Now he is in shape, and Harrison is gone, Woodley will likely be called to blitz more, and that means his sack total is likely to go back to what it was before he was schemed out of blitzing as much.

  34. scoobies05 says: Aug 1, 2013 3:55 PM

    ravens won the super bowl and steelers missed the playoffs(just sayin)

  35. steelcurtainn says: Aug 1, 2013 4:12 PM

    it wasn’t because of the defense. Steelers had the number 1 defense again, of course thats been a common thing in pittsburgh for years. The steelers just need to get their offense going and they’ll be right back in the playoffs.

  36. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 1, 2013 4:28 PM

    ravens won the super bowl and steelers missed the playoffs(just sayin)

    1 0 Ray Lewis got away with a crime and you worship a criminal….just sayin.

  37. Joemontanaflacco says: Aug 1, 2013 4:28 PM

    “What counts in the NFL is yards against, and Pittsburgh was FIRST over all, FIRST against the pass, and SECOND against the rush.”

    Well, in that case, CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    When’s the confetti parade?

  38. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 1, 2013 5:00 PM

    When’s the confetti parade?

    It’s the day after the dysfunctional raven troll parade in your honor and ends at the “the Point”. Don’t worry about being able to see the floats they are like most of your posts imaginary and delusional .

  39. scoobies05 says: Aug 1, 2013 5:24 PM

    when there is nothing else relevant to add to the discussion, let bring up ray. sounds like a plan my friend. what does that even have to do with anything. very weak sir

  40. Nofoolnodrool says: Aug 1, 2013 5:37 PM

    when there is nothing else relevant to add to the discussion, let bring up ray. sounds like a plan my friend. what does that even have to do with anything. very weak sir

    Your comment that the ravens won the SB and the steelers were 8-8 was something you would say on middle school playgrounds….typical scoobie…lately. Used to be a stand up guy but winning the SB and actually seeing it has warped your sensibilities…sigh. Guess feb will bring you down to earth to a large plate of medium rare crow.

  41. steelersownu says: Aug 1, 2013 6:11 PM

    The fact is the Ravens should have lost that Super Bowl since they got away with defensive holding (a desperate mugging) by Jimmy Smith on Crabtree on 4th and goal…….if that was called like it should have been it would have been 1st and goal on the one and the 49ers would be champs……instead the Ravens have a big fat cheating asterick next to that tanted SB……perfect way for the criminal Ray Lewis to go out……as a cheater

  42. scoobies05 says: Aug 1, 2013 6:37 PM

    nofool i would be very happy to have a real convo with you anytime. i think we would both enjoy it. but for you to complain about someone using schholyard remarks is the ultimate in hypocrisy. when the convo doesnt go how u like u just lob personal insults. and as far as the poster who said the ravens cheated to win….i dont recall any ravens wearing a referee uniform and um, ask bill leavey about sb 40

  43. steelcurtainn says: Aug 1, 2013 6:57 PM

    “Whens the confetti parade”
    Its next February in the Meadowlands. You should come when the Steelers are celebrating.

  44. Joemontanaflacco says: Aug 1, 2013 9:29 PM

    “Whens the confetti parade”
    Its next February in the Meadowlands. You should come when the Steelers are celebrating.

    Hate to correct you but I think they’re playing the Superbowl there, not compiling meaningless stats to keep the Steelers fans from hanging themselves over another dismal season.

  45. ironman721 says: Aug 1, 2013 9:54 PM

    Here’s an idea. DON’T BE FAT THIS YEAR! And get more sacks.

  46. stoogy says: Aug 1, 2013 11:02 PM

    Whats funny is its true the steelers do have top 3 if not the top defense every single year of Big Baby Bens “BBB” career and he only has 2 rings that the defenses gifted him. Give this defense and offensive weapons to any competent QB and it would be a true dynasty. Its sad that BBB can barely win with this team around him. He is just that bad.

  47. steelcurtainn says: Aug 2, 2013 10:45 AM

    “Hate to correct you but I think they’re playing the Superbowl there, not compiling meaningless stats to keep the Steelers fans from hanging themselves over another dismal season.”

    Oh, Yes! The dismissal of another season. Something the ravens will experience at the end of this season. There are plenty of ropes to go around. Just make sure you pick one of them girly purple ones. Cheers!

  48. bobzilla1001 says: Aug 2, 2013 10:28 PM

    What made Woodley good was James Harrison. When both Harrison and Woodley were on the field together, they were a force. They complemented each other. They were a great dominant tandem.
    Woodley’s drop-off should be no mystery: neither he nor Harrison were on the field at the same time for much of the past two seasons.
    Woodley is now stuck with Jason Worilds, which means Woodley will continue to be criticized.

  49. southcarolinamike says: Aug 4, 2013 11:19 AM

    I think the sacks of fast food Woodley was eating between the 2011 and 2012 seasons kepts his sacks down.

  50. southcarolinamike says: Aug 4, 2013 11:31 AM

    Google 2012 turnovers on your own if you want to see the stats. The real problem the Steelers have is they don’t take the ball away enough and they give it away too much. This isn’t really about yards against or anything like that. Forcing a fumble or int. is much more important than forcing a punt. Turnovers are the key to winning in the NFL. They don’t have enough talent on the team to overcome their deficiencies in the giveaway/takeaway ratio.

    Nobody could convince me the Patriots have more talent than the Steelers. What they do is take the ball away a lot and don’t give it away. If the Steelers can improve in taking the ball away and not giving it away, they are a playoff team this year. If not, enjoy another substandard season.

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