May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley (56) participates in drills during organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
You’re probably wondering how LaMarr Woodley is on this list of ‘health concnerns.’ Well let’s just say that Big Snack’s little brother, Jr. Snack, has a big weight problem that needs some addressing. During the offseason, unnamed teammates called Woodley out saying he was out of shape and continued to become injured due to that fact during the 2012 season. While other players on the team chastised this anonymous source for calling out one of their own, those same players did not deny those claims nor defend Woodley. Ooops. After signing a Big Mac contract a few seasons ago, Woodley has yet to perform at a level that justifies that amount of cash flow into his piggy bank. Woodley’s roll as a pass rushing force has a large bulls eye with Steeler Nation aimed and poised to strike with criticism. With James Harrison joining The Criminals and Jarvis Jones untested (and really super excited to rot under LeBeau’s ‘Guide to Developing Defensemen’) Woodley needs to step up in a super sized way if he wants to get back in the good graces of Steelers fans as well as help his defense overcome it’s shoddy play under the guise of a #1 ranking.
OTA’s don’t really tell us anything other than if a player looks mighty fine in shorts. Pad work will tell all, and Woodley will be put to the test with what could be a very good offensive line for the Steelers. I just hope that Woodley continually faces a solid tackle – whether it’s Gilbert or Adams (if he’s healthy) – Woodley needs top competition to get him at a place where he is ready. The first two preseason contests should help as well with the New York Giants and Redskins both having good offensive lines on the outside and formidable quarterbacks. If Woodley fails to reach a point of healthy weight and body mass, then we might as well start calling Papa John’s to see if they want a new spokesman for their one million free pizzas.