Steelers Show Faith In LaMarr Woodley With Restructure

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to restructure the contract of linebacker LaMarr Woodley again this offseason despite his poor production in 2012. Assuming that restructure happens, it will show that the organization has confidence that Woodley will rebound in 2013.

General manager Kevin Colbert was asked about Woodley during his talk with the media last week at the NFL combine.

“LaMarr Woodley has been a significant player on some very successful teams, and we’re happy that he’s part of our team,” Colbert said. “If you talk to LaMarr he’d be the first to tell you that he was disappointed in his performance. Going forward, he’s going to try to erase that season.”

Woodley of course was recently the target of an anonymous Steelers player, who told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the linebacker was awful last season and out of shape. That comment resulted in several Steelers players being asked about the state of the locker room and Woodley specifically.

Colbert defended his linebacker and said that he was more disappointed in the anonymous player more than anything else.

“I was bothered by the fact it was an anonymous comment,” Colbert told the media. He later continued, “Am I disappointed by the comment? Only in the sense it was anonymous, and I don’t give any credence to any comment that isn’t attributed. That’s a bigger disappointment to me than anything LaMarr Woodley did or didn’t do for us last year.”

Did the Steelers really have a choice as to whether or not to restructure Woodley? Let\’s just say that they would have to be very creative at freeing up $6 million plus another way if they didn\’t. There is always an alternative, but some of those alternatives might have included terminating a player that they didn\’t really want to terminate or restructuring another player that poises an even greater risk than Woodley does.

Woodley, who reportedly has started his offseason training out in Arizona, certainly knows who is saying what about him right now. Safety Ryan Clark has even admitted to texting him after the anonymous comments were made. Trust me, Woodley knows that he has to have a Pro Bowl-type of season in 2013.

At 28 years of age Woodley is far from done. His hamstring and ankle injuries certainly did not help his cause last season. Was he out of shape as the anonymous player suggested? Perhaps. Last year is now last year, however, and I am fine with the Steelers restructuring him again this offseason. I think he will indeed bounce back and be the Woodley of old in 2013. The Steelers certainly seem to think so as well.

  • steeltown

    Time will tell…. I hope he plays with a chip on his shoulder

  • SteelerDave

    Woodley is at a crossroads situation. He can sit on his fat salary and let himself be overweight and out of shape and suffer in performance or he can buck-up and get into the best shape of his life and play like he once did. I’m sure he knows exactly who made the comments and I believe they were spot on and put out there to motivate Woodley though it was spoken without forethought. It is up to you now Mr. Woodley – you got humiliated so do what you need to.

  • Buccos9

    Woodley is approaching things the right way, going to a trainer that other players have used. Nobody knows how bad his injuries were, and it’s easy for fans to beat up on a guy. At the same time, if the LB coach keeps telling you to work harder on your hamstrings, you know you have to train harder, or maybe in different ways, than you did in the past. The message seems to have been received. He can be such a dominating player when he is on his game. I hope things go well for him this year because if he has success there’s a good chance the team will have success.

  • Garrett Hunt

    I don’t think Woodley deserves all the crap that he takes. Obviously, he may have not handled his conditioning perfectly, but he was legitimately injured continuously. People seem to be in a general consensus that him being out of shape resulted in injury. How do we know it wasn’t the other way around? Him being injured resulted in being out of shape?

    I’ll reserve my judgement for when he is healthy. Regardless of what happend last season, the only thing that matters now is his performance in 2013. Which hopefully will match or surpass his previous best years because for any shot at the super bowl, we will need him to bring it.

  • walter mason

    Im disappointed that the anonymous person didnt step forward. I dont remember Woodley saying he was disappointed with his performance. All I remember is excuses. Maybe I missed it. Can someone direct me to Woodleys statement where he was disappointed with his own performance? That would have made all the difference in the world to me if Woodley had said he was disappointed with himself and would try harder. It appears to me he is in complete denial.

  • walter mason

    Everyone keeps saying he was playing with injuries, including Woodley himself. He should have requested to come out of the game if his injuries were so bad because he was hurting the team. I remember games the year before last that he played poorly. He started the year very slow. So its not just one year..
    I will be the first to support him when he comes out of denial and works harder.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Then I would put it on the coaches to take him out if he is hurting the team. I have no problem with his drive trying to tough it out through injuries.

  • Kusko_Ken

    i don’t think they had too many options if signing keenan lewis is their top priority in FA. they need the $. glad to hear bens comments on the team.