On Monday, we heard Steelers safety Ryan Clark say that criticisms of linebacker LaMarr Woodley’s work ethic from an anonymous teammate showed a “fracture” within the Steelers locker room.
Another veteran defensive player chimed in on Tuesday and agreed with Clark’s sentiment. Linebacker Larry Foote said he thought that blasting another member of the team publicly deviated from the way that the Steelers have conducted their business for a long time and wondered if the quote — “He was awful. 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.” – actually came from one of the team’s coaches.
That fits with another more general report that the Steelers want to see Woodley work harder this offseason and would fit better with Foote’s notion that Steelers players don’t slam one another publicly.
“I mean there have been fights in the locker room, there’s been stuff on the airplane that never got out and that’s the Steeler way,” Foote said on 93.7 The Fan, via SteelersDepot.com. “So I’ll be very surprised if a player really did that and hopefully his name don’t come up, or if he was, he’s one of the players that’s no longer here. I mean, you’re breaking the code when you do that. You’re breaking the code.”
Foote said he thinks Woodley will rebound in 2013, although it’s up in the air whether Foote will be around to see it. He’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason and may not return to a Steeler team that’s said goodbye to several veterans in recent years. If he does go, it will be up to Clark and others to make sure the Steeler way continues to be one they think is worthy of the franchise.