Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley Says His Weight Wasn\’t An Issue Last Season

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley says he has lost weight during the offseason, but wanted to make it clear during an interview last week with 105.9 The X that his weight had nothing to do with his poor performance last season.

“That has nothing to do with the injuries,” Woodley said during the final week of offseason practices. “I think what slowed me up last year was just the high ankle sprain. Once you have a high ankle sprain that just affects you throughout the whole year. It stops everything that you\’re doing as far as an outside linebacker, as far as rushing and trying to hold up against the run. Doing certain movements and that just held me back throughout the whole year.

“I was never 100% after that, and I couldn\’t do everything I wanted to do and definitely when you\’re playing the outside linebacker position then you got guys that weight 300 something pounds pushing on you and you\’re already trying to support your own weight; it just doesn\’t allow you to have certain moves on that ankle.”

The high ankle sprain injury that Woodley refers to took place in the Week 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns, but he insists that it is completely healed now.

“It just took some time after the offseason to heal up and after that it was ready to go,” said Woodley, who trained out in Arizona throughout the spring.

With the ankle now healed and ready for training camp, Woodley knows that no longer having James Harrison on the other side from him this upcoming season will mean that someone will have to step up and fill his shoes, as the 3-4 defense only works when both outside linebackers are getting pressure.

“Once you have two good outside linebackers at the same time, it is hard to block both of them,” said Woodley,” who registered just four sacks in 2012. “So the thing about the next guy stepping in, I think that any one of those guys can go out there can get sacks. Jason Worilds has been doing that for the past two years, been doing a great job with that, and he\’s just going to have to continue doing it. You have to earn the respect from people around the league to make the offensive coordinators start to respect you some.”

As far the criticism goes that Woodley has received from both the media and the fan base this past year for his lack of production, he says that he pays it no mind.

“I don\’t let stuff like that get to me,” said Woodley. “I\’ve heard people talk about me all the time throughout my whole football career, whether it was in junior high, high school or college and the professional level. I don\’t let that stuff bother me. I sit back, and I laugh at that.”

  • TJimmy

    Seems to me that his production wasn’t at it’s normal level before week 12 either. Hopefully he’ll bounce back this year.

  • steeltown


  • dgh57

    He better bounce back as Worilds on the other side is unproven as a starter and his backup may not play much his rookie year! I agree, what was the excuse before week 12?

  • Mike.H

    In Woodley’s defense, no one can give 110% every season which leads to burn outs and cuts a career short.

    However, 2 seasons in a row in drop off in production could get you in hot h20.

  • Jason

    I think it was an epic mistake to give this guy a $61 million contract. Now we are handcuffed to him. I haven’t been a fan of Woodley’s since day one even when he was sacking the Qb his loafing and laziness on the field stood out to me.

  • Shea Fahr

    I think Coach Butler made comments regarding his conditioning as well right? It may not matter to him what the fans, media, bloggers and fellow team members may think, but perhaps it should when your position coach makes mention of it. Oh well, it looks and sounds as if he is in shape now so it is water under the bridge at this point.

  • walter mason

    I completely disagree with your “no one can give 110%” attitude..
    Try telling that to any of the great ones. Try telling that to Polamalu.

  • walter mason

    It appears that Woodley is still in complete denial. I was hoping he would care what others say, to be embarassed, to be ashamed. I wanted him to just admit that he will try harder. Thats all. He sits back and laughs? Its so sad to see him with this attitude.

    I think he will play much better this year whether hes in denial or not. If he has another bad year we are finished or he needs to be benched because hes hurting the team..

    I have a feeling he does care what others say and I have a feeling he will step it up and try to regain some of the old respect from the other offensive coordinators this year. We need him.

    And geez Woodley dont worry about the other side so much, worry about yourself. I hope your ankle/hamstring has healed.

  • steeltown

    I agree.. I think he does care, deep down, any man with pride would care. He might be just playing the cool card and saying it doesn’t bother him……. but I bet it does

  • Shea Fahr

    Woodley’s most productive years were with a 100% Harrison on the other side. He is/has been a 31 million dollar OLB all along in my opinion so I agree with you on 61 mill being way too much. I do like him and think he will bounce back this year though. I really hope so anyway.

  • steeltown

    He’s had some very very productive seasons ’08-’11 even 2011 he had 9sacks in 10games. He was relentless in the postseason over that time, I think he had like 6 sacks in the 2008 playoffs alone. He deserved the big contract. If he would’ve played well last season we probably wouldn’t even be discussing his salary.. and really he makes less on avg than most of the top pass rushers with equal or better production in the League

    BUT I must say if he repeats his 2012 subpar performance again this season, then I’ll start being concerned

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Excuses. It’s put-up or shut-up time. If he has another injury filled and unproductive season he’ll be cut in the offseason. Keeping both Woodley and Polamalu healthy and productive, considering their contracts, is the key to this defense.

  • walter mason

    If you give 110% like Harrison or Polamalu you truly dont care what others say. But if you have been slouching, you will try to deny it.

  • Mike Sweeney

    Woodster doesn’t care what people think huh? When the Steelers were in Tampa for the Super Bowl, I was the only fan sporting his jersey. He wouldn’t sign it but told me that there would be 20 million sold. Glad he doesn’t care but just like Shea said, when Butler comments on you, I think you take notice in a hurry Woodster. Glad your the only one, who doesn’t think you were out of shape, when the coaches and Steelers nation could see you were, if you will…..I hope Woodley, can be a menace once again and explode off the line, throwing tackles out of his way and getting to the qb and the rb for LOY’s and seeing the flying Wodu kick, again. Tired of rebuttals about his play the past couple years and hopefully he has a will and determination for the ’13 campaign.

  • walter mason

    “In Woodley’s defense, no one can give 110% every season which leads to burn outs and cuts a career short.”

    If slouching and being out of shape was a crime and you were his lawyer and this was your defense, Woodley would be convicted.

  • cencalsteeler


  • cencalsteeler

    Also, curious if the added weight could have contributed to the high ankle sprain or slowed the healing process.

  • Gautama Om

    In the first 10 games of the season, prior to his injury, Woodley only got 4 sacks. Obviously he was out of shape thus the low production; most likely also being the cause of him getting injured.

    I would hope they do something about him if he ever returns from the offseason physically out of shape again. It is very unprofessional to be unprepared to play at the level he’s capable of. He’s getting paid way too much to get away with this.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I think the fact that he’s gotten in better shape and lost some weight speaks to the real truth that he really does care what’s said by fans, players and Coach Butler. Personally i’m glad he’s making some changes I saw him in person last year and he looked more like a D Lineman than a LB. He may be able to play with the extra weight but hopefully better conditioning and playing lighter will help him with increased sack totals like his first 2-3yrs

  • John A Stewart


  • disqus_wdLdx4W76r

    Week 12 of what year? lol hope they mean 2011

  • steves

    I am with you and it’s time for Woodly to produce. Excuses, Excuses the dude had a terrible year and one more of them he needs axed, then he can lay his sorry butt at home. Woodley needs to worry about his Job and not someone else. He needs to be ashame of his attitude.

    He had a High Ankle sprain in game 12, what about his sorry play in games 1-11??? We don’t want any excuses with the cash you are making. Woodley is a barking Dog, all Bark no bite!

  • SteelersNick

    Woodley has not been the same since he signed that big contract. In 2011 he was solid for a stretch while Harrison was hurt and injuries hurt his season. I can give him a pass for 2011. Last season Woodley play poorly and he was injured again. I am positive that Woodley was playing at 270-275 lbs last season and that was a factor. Looking at him this season he still looks 270-275 lbs and that could be a problem. Hopefully Lamarr Woodley can drop 10-15 lbs and come to camp ready to be a leader.