Woodley hopes to get leg up at Cincinnati
LaMarr Woodley recoils some when pressed about his hamstring injury.
He insists the injury he suffered against the Eagles two weeks ago and that sidelined him last week is no big deal, that he isn't allowing the fear of a setback to inhibit him as the Steelers prepare to play at Cincinnati in an AFC North showdown Sunday night.
Woodley is confident he won't be slowed as he was after injuring his left hamstring last season.
“It wasn't the same leg, and it wasn't the same hamstring,” said Woodley, who in 2011 missed six of the last eight games after getting nine sacks over the first nine. “It wasn't as serious as last year because I was out for about two months. It's a low grade, and now I'm back out there full speed.
“Last year I had to limp off the field. This time I walked off the field. The MRI showed two different kinds of injuries.”
The Steelers — 5-1 without Woodley last season — will need him at his best against a Bengals team desperately trying to right themselves after back-to-back losses.
The Bengals dropped a 34-24 decision in Cleveland last week that evened their record at 3-3.
Woodley is concerned about the Steelers' uneven performance this season, particularly a defense that uncharacteristically yields big plays and delivers few of its own.
The Steelers defense has been hampered by injuries — including safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and linebacker James Harrison (knee).
“You always want to have all your guys healthy,” Woodley said. “But when guys are down, you expect other people to step up.”
Chris Carter and Jason Worilds have played well in relief of Harrison and Woodley. Ryan Mundy and Will Allen haven't been as effective with Polamalu and Ryan Clark pacing the sideline.
Harrison said he expects the defense to elevate its game with the linebacker corps at full strength.
“Just getting Wood back, a Pro Bowl-caliber player, is big because he's contributed a lot to this defense,” Harrison said. “It'll be good to have him back.”
Woodley figures the Steelers can reel in division leader Baltimore (5-1) if they can get back to playing Steelers football: stopping the run, pressuring the quarterback and forcing turnovers.
“We still have 11 chances to turn this thing around,” Woodley said. “We've started out pretty bad, especially on the road. It's important to turn things around at Cincinnati.”
The Bengals have leaned heavily on their passing game, but quarterback Andy Dalton's nine interceptions have coach Marvin Lewis working overtime to amp up the run game that totaled 80 and 76 yards in losses to Miami and Cleveland, respectively.
“First, you have to stop the run to make them pass,” Woodley said. “This whole year we haven't forced teams to do anything. We've allowed them to pass and run the ball on us.”
Ralph N. Paulk is staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7923.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- NFL Draft preview: QB crop thin after top 2
- Baylor’s Petty trying to buck stereotype
- Safety Collins seeks to buck Alabama DB trend
- Steelers legend Blount to announce team’s second-round draft pick
- NFL Draft preview: Safety crop offers no sure-fire stars
- Steelers receiver Brown skipping voluntary offseason workouts
- Steelers wrap up pre-draft visits with four defensive players
- NFL Draft preview: Running back class is deep, talented
- Steelers open daunting season at Patriots, play 5 prime-time games
- NFL Draft preview: Thin crop of offensive tackles available