On Monday I posted about the injuries that Pittsburgh Steelers suffered in 2012 in relation to the comments team president Art Rooney II made to the Pittsburgh media last week during his end of the season talks.
In that post I touched briefly on offseason conditioning program that cornerback Ike Taylor goes through under the watchful eye of renowned trainer Tom Shaw. Taylor has worked with Shaw for several offseasons down at the Wide World of Sports complex in Florida and always shows up to training camp in great shape. It should also be noted that Taylor played 135 consecutive games before unfortunately having that streak snapped this past season after he fractured his right ankle early in the Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Do you think that Taylor swears by Shaw? You bet your ass he does. Just ask him.
I also mentioned Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley in that post as well as he has been a lightning rod for criticism this past season for underperforming and looking like he was out of shape and over weight. As it turns out, Shaw told John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently that he thinks that he can help Woodley with his hamstring problems that have plagued him since injuring the left one in the Week 8 win over the New England Patriots in 2011.
"There are three ways to pull a hamstring — overuse, overstriding and dehydration," Shaw said, via the report by Harris. "A linebacker who makes 80 percent of his plays within 10 yards is playing within a box. He shouldn‘t hit his (full) stride length. I want Woodley to come down here. He‘s a hard worker, but we teach the proper way to run."
Here is my suggestion to Woodley: Take Shaw up on his invitation. Please.
Prior to injuring his left hamstring in the third quarter of that game against the Patriots, Woodley had recorded 36 total tackles and 9 sacks on the season. I will remind you that that was only the eighth game of the season. Can you imagine the numbers that Woodley would have put up in 2011 had he stayed healthy?
Since suffering that injury the Steelers former second-round draft pick out of Michigan has played in 16 games and has recorded 43 total tackles and only 4 sacks. That is one hell of a drop-off for sure. Woodley injured his right hamstring in the Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles this past season after registering 9 total tackles and 2 sacks through the first three games.
Even though he only missed one game with that right hamstring injury, Woodley wasn\'t the same player for the rest of the season and he recorded only 27 total tackles and 2 sacks in the remaining 9 games that he played in. It also didn\'t help that he suffered an ankle injury in the first meeting against the Cleveland Browns in addition that forced him to miss the next 2 games.
"You need guys that understand the importance of doing what you‘re supposed to do," Shaw said via Harris. "This is your career; this is your livelihood.
"The whole purpose of offseason training is you don‘t want to drop off and have to work to get back to where you were during the season instead of using that time to work on getting better."
I sure hope Woodley reads that quote from Shaw. Book those travel plans now, LaMarr.