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Woodley Not To Blame For Failing To Contain Pryor On Long TD Run


During his talk with the media on Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said that it wasn't his responsibility to contain Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor on the 93-yard touchdown run to start the game. According to him, he was responsible for the dive back.

With the blame off Woodley, that leaves inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons as the player responsible for Pryor in a scrape exchange and you can read about it here in a post by Chris Brown on Smart Football. Timmons falls for the play fake to running back Darren McFadden as it looks like a power run to the left behind the pulling right guard. Timmons should have instead scraped over the top on the backside to defend against Pryor and thus the lane is vacated.

Veteran linebacker Larry Foote refused to place the blame on Timmons during a Tuesday morning interview on 93.7 The Fan, but he did say that Woodley carried out his assignment properly.

"That was a great play for that call," said Foote. "LaMarr Woodley was doing his job. He's supposed to go down with the running back off that option. The little wrinkle in there that got some guys fooled is when they pulled the guard. We hadn't quite yet seen that play. They pulled the guard and they just beat the defense. Some guys were just distracted by that guard and he kept it and 92 yards later he's in the end zone."

Safety Ryan Clark of course could have prevented the run from going for a touchdown had he stayed in the middle of the field, but he didn't.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Wow..does Clark need glasses?? I understand biting on a fake every now and again, but he literally didn’t stop pursuing McFadden until he was two inches in front of his face and Pryor was completely behind him and running the other direction downfield. Bad play by Timmons as well, but I’ll cut him some slack, he’s been playing great

  • TheBlitz

    Foote was on 93.7 the fan Tuesday morning and confirmed Woodley wasn’t the one to blame and that he played his assignemnt. However, he stopped short of saying who missed his assignment on the play although he was asked for the culprit’s name.

    Woodley shouldn’t have said anything. He threw Timmons under the bus on this one. Fortunately for Timmons he’s a stud. If it was Clark or Gay Steelers Depot would have caught on fire.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    I have been telling people for days it was not Woodley’s fault the defense was not designed for him to pursue the QB. Clark should have stayed home but he would have missed anyway going for a shoulder tackle instead of squaring up.

    Timmons and Clark were the culprits

  • Eric

    Nobody has mentioned his name yet, but what was Vince Williams doing on that play other than not looking at it.

  • steeltown

    He was pursuing McFadden like everyone else, the RG pulled and picked him up

  • Eric

    I admit that I have not played football since high school in the 70′s, but isn’t it somebody’s job to watch the ball? Perhaps maybe a linebacker?

  • Jason

    i know this will bring out all the Woodley apologist but here goes. Maybe that play wasn’t his fault however the fact that he played every defensive snap and faced a 6th round rookie RT and didn’t even get on the stat sheet.0 tackles,0 assist, 0 sacks. Almost hard to believe. I know he has 5 sacks in 7 games which is supposed to be impressive I guess for a guy with a $61 contract but forgive me if I’m not impreesed.

  • Ia Ia

    Good thing Clark is gone next year. Let’s hope they start Shamarko Thomas now that the season is gone

  • ND_Steel

    Has anyone looked at previous Oakland tape? Was this in their
    playbook previously or did they add a wrinkle that we hadn’t seen on tape? Would be interesting as a reflection of the perceived lack of preparation by this team.

  • Jason

    Make that $61 million contract. So hard to fathom that they paid him that much I couldn’t type it the first time.

  • Ia Ia

    Jason you are not alone. Considering how much he is making the guy is not producing enough. Ok he has 5 sacks but what else ? He is not a player that teams scheme for. Nobody not even double teams him anymore. That tells you a lot.

  • Jason

    Not to mention that even if Pryor had handed the ball to McFadden Woodley wouldn’t have even been close to making a play on him either.

  • Ia Ia

    Nobody runs the exact same play. There is always a wrinkle or the play develops differently due to different difensive schemes and movements. It is the first play and you know that offenses and defense prepare a lot for this one.Our players had been talking all week about Pryor Running. Everybody in the league knows his tendency is to run to his RIGHT. Very Very poor on our side

  • Mike Carroll

    Ugliest play of the Steelers season.

  • steeltown

    True

  • Impact3697

    Its funny people bash Woodley because he has a big contract and only has five sacks. Timmons has almost as big of a contract for a bunch of tackles, one pick that he was gifted because of JJ. And one forced fumble on a tiny receiver this past week. I like Timmons and he has played much better the last three games, but if this article had proven it was Woodley’s fault, it would be flooded with cut Woodley comments

  • Virdin Barzey

    Watch how that whole d-line gets abused on this play. That explains a lot of what happened in the fist half.

    Said it a million times. Clark is the one that is mainly responsible for the TD. He should see the play from a mile. Yet he didn’t even read the play. He just reacted like a dummy and not like a vet. Shameful.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    I am really fed up with Clark this year, he rarely uses technique and just looks to blow people up.

  • RMSteeler

    Coach’s (take your pick) fault. On a zone read, running QB team, one player has to account for the QB. Every. Damn. Play.

  • Daniel

    Did you read the entire article? Did you understand what you read? Do you understand football responsibility? Do you understand football at all? Which of the above questions did you answer NO to that prompted you to make such an uninformed comment on Woodley? In a nutshell, the article said he (Woodley) was responsible for McFadden cutting back across the formation. I totally thought the article was clear and straightforward.
    Now imagine he (Pryor) did hand the ball off to McFadden, who then runs into a wall of defenders, and tries to cut back across the formation. Who would he be running into??

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Not for me AP running through the defense like he was varsity and they were playing pee wee was the worst for me.

  • HarryBackside

    Doesn’t matter who was responsible for Pryor. The Raiders were set up to defend the scrape exchange. Watch Marcel Reece arch out to fill in the area vacated by Woodley. Not excusing Timmons, but even if he does what he’s supposed to, he would have been blocked by Reece, and Pryor still gets his TD.

  • HarryBackside

    Yup. And in this case, it was Timmons.

  • James Kling

    So there’s no defending Pryor on that play? Why didn’t the Raiders just run it every time?

  • Kick

    In a base 3-4 defense it is always the olb job to have outside containment. The fact that he bit on the fake or was supposed too is poor game planning and or exicution.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Agreed that statement is not correct If Timmons and Clark stay where they are supposed to and do what they are supposed to both have a chance to get him

  • Daniel

    You know what, I think you are right, it was a great call by the raiders. But I also think that if Timmons had tried to contain Pryor hence engaging Reece (no telling who would have won), Clark wouldn’t have charged to hard to the McFadden. Clark ran to McFadden like he got shot out of canon, Reece didn’t have to do anything on the play.

  • Kick

    After watching the play over and over again it is obvious Timmons should have been on dive and Woolley outside containment anything other than that is lame.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    That was not the design of the play

  • steeltown

    I bet Reece was surprised when he ran out there and there was no one to block

  • Jason

    Typical Woodley supporter, when performance proves his shortcomings launch personal attacks on those who point it out. 0 tackles, 0 assist, 0 sacks. 1 unblocked easy sack missed when Pryor simply shoved him away like he was a 190 lb CB. You clearly missed my original comment that perhaps this play wasn’t his fault but the fact that he was dominated for 60 minutes by a 6th round rookie is. As far as my football knowledge goes I’m sure it is far superior to yours Daniel but we’ll never know for sure so keep taking offense to opinions and then questioning peoples knowledge simply because they aren’t blinded by an occasional sack by an otherwise very average player. Good day sir and Go Steelers.

  • steeltown

    I do have to say Woodley was well above average at one point, back in 2009 he was one of the best especially in ’08 when he had 6sacks in the postseason alone..
    I dont know what happened, but he could still finish strong on an otherwise disappointing Steelers season

  • Kick

    That is poor game planning then. When you out match your opponent position for position there is no need to get fancy. This is coaching 101 even at a basic level. You line up, play it straight and win. You only try to get fancy when you are evenly or out matched to get an edge. I believe the steelers are better man for man across their whole defense than the raiders are on offense. They should have lined up and played it straight. Even though the lack of effort and cohesiveness is blatant and that is inexcusable. Tomlin should start to feel the heat.

  • Jason

    I agree and just let me say I have nothing personal against the guy and cheer as hard for him as I do any Steeler. I just feel the glamour plays like sacks can fool some into thinking he is a great player when in my opinion he simply isn’t. There is a common myth that he is often double teamed which is a complete farce. He is more often blocked one on one with a TE. Could you imagine a team leaving a TE one on one with Harrison or Lloyd or Kevin Greene?? I hope he comes out and sacks Brady 5 times I just don’t expect it.

  • Jason

    Timmons has since admitted it was on him.

  • Alan Felicia

    Bottom line, Woodley need help. When he was racking up 11.5 sacks in 08, 13.5 in 09, 10 in 2010, Harrison was having same success on the opposite side (16 sacks in 08, 10 in 2009, 10.5 in 2010). With no other talent replacing Harrison or Aaron Smith, Woodley having hard time from double teams and RB chipping him.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    If Timmons does his job they play likely does not happen, if Clark does his job then it surely does not happen

  • HarryBackside

    Go look at the film, and then explain to me why Reece would not have been in position to get a block on Timmons.

  • HarryBackside

    Dave included in his article that discusses the scrape exchange. If you read it, you’ll understand why this isn’t always true.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    If Timmons and Clark
    stay where they are supposed to and do what they are supposed to both have a “chance” to get him

  • Jason

    You had me till you mentioned double teams and chips. Never happens, ever. Your other point about talent around him is a valid one.

  • Kick

    Did you read my point about not getting fancy?

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Is what it is don’t have to worry about it this week with quicksand foot Brady

  • Alan Felicia

    If you have Woodley on one side, Harrison was on the other side and a healthy Aaron Smith, opposing teams are going make game plan to avoid sacks (who to double team and have RB chip which OLB).
    Now, since he’s the only threat, teams will double or send RB to chip away to slow him down. Check it out on next game. Worilds never gets doubled. Same goes with Keisel or Hood.
    But, there is hope with Heyward though as you sometime see him getting doubled.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    When I first watched this play on here my initial thought was that it was Timmons fault but it is hard to say what was each individuals responsibility. People in the past killed me for saying Timmons isn’t a smart player and once again I was proved right. One heck of a athlete, dumb as a box of rocks.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    LOL…I was thinking the same thing with Clark too…I do not think he could have handled Pryor in the open field even if he was in position.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Woodley rushes the QB on about half of his defensive plays and he is rated, at the last I knew, 2nd in the NFL at sacks per rush. Yeah I can see where he suxs.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    Really to even make it to this level shows he is intelligent He is one of the best inside backers in the NFL but he is retarded shh don’t tell anyone eye-roll

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Timmons is more athletic and has a better chance of staying with Pryor then Woodley does.

  • Kick

    It’s not about staying with him, it is about keeping outside containment forcing prior into the strength of your defense. this is basic football concepts.

  • Josh Knepshield

    Occasional sack? Woodley has had multiple seasons of double digit sacks and has always been above average against the run. He is on pace for double digit sacks this season too, so I don’t see where you are coming from.

  • 2443scott

    so name blameing season begins full steam a head by the team blocked kicks, bad tackles, drop balls, bad running, poor play calls a fan in seats can see comeing even before the snap.. mix it all in and you got a badly coached team and a team who knows if you make a mistake you be out line up for 1 game and right back in so where is the i could lose my job threat….i think most steelers probs come from a team that isnt afraid of the coaching staff and if they make a mistake so be it mind set. the teams younger so those guys dont think about thier jobs like a vet would alot them dont get paid the big bucks so they slack off when the coaching is not in your face type coaching . i thought a new line coach was going to make these guys come together on the offence but turns out either the new coach isnt doing his job or makeing it to complicated ..haleys been a disappointment his play calling is bad even i know what the play will be and i just watch it so for other coaches to watch make a plan for steelers it has to be easy for them to come up with a game plan…i dont know if tomlin is doing to much out side of getting the steelers ready for a game or not but sure seems he has been missing the call to duty …we hear coaches say this and that about players but payers cant say any thing about coaching and game plan ….so my 2 cents worth is for players because the coaching has been bad this year you can see it in plays calls and in the clock management….everyone knows the seasons over and they wont make play offs but will coaching staff have enough guts to play the back ups and second team guys the rest of the way to see what they got going into next year i doubt it .

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I will call the Steelers up and tell them you want to be a Defensive Coordinator. I once met Tomlin so I think I can get you the hook up.

  • charles

    Just visited Stillers and they noted that against a rookie from UAB Mr. Woodley had 0 sacks 0 tackles and 0 assists and he played EVERY defensive snap. I don’t care what anybody says THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Further, unacceptable for our highest paid defensive player.

  • charles

    BS. Your saying the D has no business with the ball, the defensive scheme is much more important.

  • charles

    And Mr. Woodley was the last to touch AP there too.

  • charles

    That WAS Timmons.

  • charles

    Mr. LeBeau should.

  • charles

    This season is not over yet. It is getting close, though….

  • Johnny Loose

    Timmons, dumb as a box of rocks. Please…

  • Johnny Loose

    I agree here. Timmons made a bad read on the play. Whatever Clark did though was worse. He is the last line of defense and should know better then to leave our tail in the air like that.

  • Johnny Loose

    Spot on. Exactly how I feel.

  • CrazyTerry

    He does not deflect passes. Doesnt intercept the ball much (yes LBs do that too), is just decent at run stopping, can get blocked one on one by TEs. Yeah, he is good, but he needs someone like James Harrrison on the other side to divert some attention away. He has not been as good as he was when he went on a 4 game tear prior to his injury at NEa couple of years ago.

  • CrazyTerry

    That’s the problem with calling our D a great run D in the recent past. They really sell out to stop the run. That’s why I dont give a damn about some years where they brag “oh at least we stopped the run”. This year is even more pathetic because they cant even do that.

  • Kick

    It’s obvious that you got smoked and your pride forced you to come back with your lame comment. If you disagree with my point offer a counter point but I am pretty sure I am right on this one.

  • Kick

    I agree, the d has been getting exposed and it doesn’t seem like a talent issue.

  • Jason

    Woodley is tied for 16th in the league in sacks. Wonder how many above him have a $61 million contract

  • Jason

    EXACTLY!!!

  • DAYSNWAYS

    Woodley checked his run saw that Prior had the ball, but crashed in anyway, then somehow was one of the first to realise that mcfadden didn’t have the ball even though mcfadden was running away from him… pathetic!

    I’m convined he new Prior had the ball.

    The sooner this guy is off the team the better, unfortunately looks like hanging on to him for another season yet!! grrr

  • steeltown

    very true

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    you people are ridiculous with blind hate

  • DAYSNWAYS

    check the tape

  • Alan Felicia

    Yet, there are fans who solely blame Woodley. Worilds is below avg, Jones is too green, and as much as everyone loves Kiesel, he’s no where near the level of Aaron Smith.
    The blame should point towards Colbert and his scouting team.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I think that you must be much smarter then Dick LeBeau our defensive coordinator and who has ben in football longer then most people have been alive so since you have all the answers it is only logical that you should be running the defense. Not sure how lame my comment was. You are just plain smarter than the pro’s.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I am not going to go over Timmons with everyone again. It took the guy 5 years to become a good ILB. The other years he was living on basically skill alone. Just because the guy makes a play here or there doesn’t mean he is smart. It just may mean he is physically gifted.

  • Kick

    Nobody makes a great call every play, even the great dick lebeau. Again, you couldn’t come up with a counter argument to my point so you spout the same nonsense again. I never once said I was smarter than DL when it comes to defense and the way it is called in the nfl. However I know for a fact that my knowledge is light years ahead of yours based on you logic in this conversation. Second, how do you know that I am not a pro defensive cordinator?

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The honest realization is that there are many different ways to disguise what you are trying to do on defense. This is why Dave Bryan will do breakdowns but will say that he doesn’t know each individuals responsibility on any given play so we can only give it the eye test.(paraphrasing his words) I can agree with you that what you are saying is in general how you see things done but IT ISN’T 100% EVERY PLAY! You have to change up to keep the offense off their feet but I am sure DC KIck you already knew that so I am not even sure why I am even saying this to you.

  • Kick

    I read that too but to reiterate my original point, when you out match your opponent position for position you play it straight. There is no need to get fancy when the basics will do the job. dC out smarted himself.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Distinct possibility

  • Josh Knepshield

    Its not all about sacks. Woodley is in the top 5 according to pro football focus in pass rushing productivity. Woodley gets a lot of pressure on the QB, so, once again, I dont know where you are coming from.

  • Riverstko

    I knew it I told you all tp was tricky last week.

  • Kris Gusto Williams

    Time to sit Clark for Thomas.. The youngster can’t get anymore lumps than what Clark is collecting

  • alex

    BS…its all on woodley, hes gotta seal the edge and know that his middle D will cover McFadden

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