For the last two and a half seasons, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley has had problems staying healthy, and it’s led to him missing 14 games over a three-year span. With Woodley’s future now in question heading into the offseason, he apparently has agreed to go down to Florida for a month to train under the watchful eye of renowned trainer Tom Shaw thanks to the urging of veteran cornerback Ike Taylor.
“He said he was going to give me a month in the summer time,” Taylor said Tuesday during his radio show on Trib Live Radio. “He said that’s his word, so I got to go on his word.”
Woodley has been training out in Arizona the last few offseasons and Taylor asked him recently to give Shaw a try, as he has worked with him now for several years.
“I told him the last two years, ‘Like Wood, you’ve been training in Arizona and you’ve been hurt for the last two years. Just try coach Shaw one year,’” Taylor said, when asked about how the topic came up after the season ended.
So how does Shaw’s training differ from what Woodley does out in Arizona? According to Taylor, they do a lot of running down at the Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, and that running sometimes includes running on trails and through sandpits. Taylor believes that will help Woodley, who has been hampered by hamstring and calf injuries the last several seasons.
This isn’t the first time that Shaw’s name has been brought up in relation to Woodley, however. Just last January, Shaw told John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he thought he could help Woodley with his hamstring problems if given the opportunity.
“There are three ways to pull a hamstring — overuse, overstriding and dehydration,” Shaw told 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.”
When I first posted about that last year, I wrote that I hoped Woodley would take Shaw up on his offer, but of course we all know how that turned out. Hopefully, Woodley will keep his word with Taylor, because it could save his career that very well might be over in Pittsburgh, depending on how things play out during the offseason.
As for Taylor, this is yet another example of why he is one of my favorite current Steelers players. He leads by example and is as honest and straight forward as they come.
(Thanks to Twitter follower
@GroveGroveluis1 for the heads-up on this.)