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Thread: Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

      
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    Default Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

    Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense
    By Nate Davis, USA TODAY
    2-1-11

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Who knew that taking two from the "L" column — linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley— would lead to so many "Ws"? But that's exactly what has happened for the Pittsburgh Steelers since drafting the duo in 2007.

    Seeking an infusion of youth and talent at what has become the franchise's signature position, Pittsburgh tabbed Timmons with the 15th pick that spring and grabbed Woodley in Round 2, 31 spots later. Four years later, after plenty of bonding off the field and adjustments on it, they are poised to collect their second championship rings if they can help nail down Super Bowl XLV on Sunday.

    Woodley has certainly become something of a closer.

    His sack of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the AFC Championship Game gave him a league record six consecutive postseason games with a sack. None was bigger than his strip sack of Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XLIII, killing the Arizona Cardinals' final drive and securing title No. 6 for the Steelers two seasons ago.

    He warms at the memory.

    "You know it gets overshadowed because you had the big catch by Santonio (Holmes, who caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown prior to Woodley's sack)," Woodley grins, "but that was real big."

    Timmons' star hasn't risen as quickly, but he's coming off his best season and poised to start his first Super Bowl.

    "I think I had a pretty good year," says Timmons, who compiled 135 tackles and three sacks.

    "I feel like I should have had more sacks, but as far as stopping the run and playing in coverage, I think I did very well."

    Woodley, a Pro Bowler in 2009, felt Timmons would blossom.

    "I knew Lawrence's time was going to come," he said, citing his close friend's transition from outside linebacker (which he played at Florida State) to the inside of the Steelers' 3-4 front. "He had to learn more. … Once he overcame all of that, he really got rolling and you see now he has turned into a great player."

    The man Timmons supplanted as a starter concurs.

    "I'm so proud of Lawrence," said Steelers linebacker Larry Foote, who signed with the Detroit Lions for the 2009 season after surrendering his job to Timmons. "When I left a year ago, he wasn't as good as he is now. … He's developed into one of the top linebackers in the league, and I don't think he's hit the ceiling yet — he's still got room to grow and get better.

    "He's just a true professional, and I've seen him grow into that, and it's a great thing."

    Adds veteran James Farrior, who lines up next to Timmons: "I think the light has turned on this year, he's playing at a high level — I'm just happy to be beside him."

    Timmons says he and Woodley share an obligation to excel for their coach, Mike Tomlin, who also joined the organization in 2007.

    "We want to make Mike T. look good because we obviously were his first boys," said Timmons. "We don't want to disappoint him, and that's why I guess we cling to each other so much."

    Woodley, who essentially used his rookie season to transform himself into a stand-up edge rusher after playing defensive end at Michigan, spends a lot of time clinging to quarterbacks. He has 35 sacks since becoming a starter in 2008, not including the 10 he's added in his six playoff appearances.

    "It's just that time when you either win or go home," he said. "It's time to go out there and play.

    "You have the opportunity, you're in that postseason game, so you have to turn it up and just really show up."

    And with another championship "W" in their sights, the Steelers are thrilled that LaMarr and Lawrence keep showing up.

    "Those guys have been the difference," said Farrior.

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...ebackers_N.htm
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    Default Re: Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

    will the Steelers end up using the franchise tag on LaMarr Woodley?


    Franchise tags to be available February 10

    Posted by Evan Silva on February 2, 2011, 9:41 PM EST

    Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that the league has informed all NFL teams that the franchise tag will be available this offseason, beginning February 10.

    Teams were previously operating under this assumption. Confirmation came today.

    Also according to Bedard, the Patriots will “likely” place the tag on impending free agent guard Logan Mankins, who has indicated that he does not anticipate a long-term extension offer.

    The most players in league history are eligible for unrestricted free agency, meaning we may see the most franchise and/or transition tags in league history as well.

    Obvious candidates to be franchised: Mankins, Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali, Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, Cowboys tackle Doug Free, Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice and linebacker Chad Greenway, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins, Jets linebacker David Harris, and wide receiver Santonio Holmes, Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss, and Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...e-february-10/

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    Default Re: Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    will the Steelers end up using the franchise tag on LaMarr Woodley?
    If they have to, I believe they will... I would rather see a deal worked out... But as we all know, no negotiations are done during the active season as per policy... I don't know how this upcoming year and possibilities fall into play...
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    Default Re: Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

    Woodley not opposed to franchise tag

    February, 3, 2011
    By James Walker


    FORT WORTH, Texas -- Following Super Bowl XLV, outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley will have completed his final game under his rookie contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means the 26-year-old could become one of the NFL's hottest free agents if he hits the open market.



    LaMarr Woodley says he wouldn't be bothered if the Steelers use the franchise tag on him heading into next season.

    But chances are the Steelers won't let it get to that point. The NFL recently ruled teams could use the franchise tag this offseason despite a potential lockout in March.

    That gives Pittsburgh the flexibility to tag Woodley, its biggest free agent this offseason, if a long-term deal isn't reached. On Thursday, the linebacker discussed the possibility.

    "Nah, I wouldn't be against it at all," Woodley said. "Whatever happens, happens. Would you like to have a long-term contract? Yeah. But a franchise tag, it doesn't matter to me."

    Woodley was arguably the league's best bargain this season. Including playoffs, he recorded 57 tackles, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and made just $550,000.

    A franchise tag would pay Woodley the median salary of the top five linebackers in the NFL. That would be a huge pay raise for the former second-round draft pick, despite not getting long-term security beyond 2011.

    Woodley has done a good job of staying focused on the season and was a big cog in Pittsburgh's No. 2 defense. He said he hasn't heard anything from the Steelers in terms of negotiations. It's standard for Pittsburgh to not to discuss contracts with players during the season.

    But after Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh will eventually have to address quality free agents like Woodley and cornerback Ike Taylor.

    "I honestly haven't been thinking about it," Woodley said. "I've just been focusing on where we're at right now. Eventually things will get taken care of. So I just want to focus on what's in front of me right now, and that's going out and winning this football game."

    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...-franchise-tag

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    Default Re: Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

    Woodley diary: Team out to prove naysayers wrong

    By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Saturday, February 5, 2011


    Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who will start his second Super Bowl on Sunday, shares his thoughts through today with Tribune-Review sports columnist John Harris:

    My family made it here. They drove from Detroit to Pittsburgh to fly on a private plane at the Voyager Jet Center. It actually worked out fine because a lot of flights coming out of Detroit were getting delayed going to Dallas. My younger sister is coming (today). She had a basketball game. I have two brothers, two sisters. But only one of my brothers came down, and one of my sisters is coming. My mother and father are here. My daughter, Gabriel, and my fiance are here and My uncle and aunt. We went to the Dallas Galleria Mall for a few hours. It's a pretty big mall. My dad got lost. He wanted to go his own separate way. We found him before we left the mall.

    The big thing at the beginning of the season was losing Ben (Roethlisberger) for four games, so no one believed that Pittsburgh was going to win. We had a chance to be 4-0, but we let that game against Baltimore get away from us. We lost to the Saints, we lost to New England, and we lost to the Jets. Going into the second Jets game, everybody thought the Jets were going to have our number because they beat us the first time. We went out there and killed them in the first quarter. And now we're underdogs once again.

    I guess when a team has a pretty good offense they forget about the great defense we have. Everybody's talking about Ben versus Aaron Rodgers. Ben can't go up against Aaron Rodgers. It's Aaron Rodgers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. It's Ben Roethlisberger versus the Green Bay Packers defense.

    Then (rapper) Lil Wayne came out with a song called "Green and Yellow.'' That's when you know you're a powerhouse team. They want you to lose so bad, they make a song about you. That's when you know everybody is tired of the Pittsburgh Steelers being one of the top franchises in the NFL. Everybody wants to see you lose. Two years ago, they picked Arizona to win the Super Bowl because they had a high-powered offense. Once again, they forgot about our defense.

    This year, we were the team that wasn't supposed to win their division. We proved them wrong. People are always going to doubt you. They're always going to try to find different things to bring the team down. They're always looking to pick you apart. But people were wrong. Everybody had New England winning the AFC Championship. We proved them wrong. Now, we're back in the big dance, and they're underestimating us again. We don't need motivation. Our motivation is already here to have an opportunity to win another Super Bowl. What more motivation do you need?

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1D6qu7VAI

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    Default Re: Draftmates Woodley, Timmons give Pittsburgh a lift on defense

    These two are the future and if that means Ike is the odd man out then so be it. Wood is too valuable.
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