Steelers notebook: Woodley cashes in with sack

Ralph N. Paulk
| Monday, Aug. 19, 2013, 9:57 p.m.

LANDOVER, Md. — The Steelers didn't apply much heat on the Washington Redskins' quarterbacks in the opening half of their preseason game Monday night at FedEx Field.

But outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley managed to break through and recorded the Steelers' only first-half sack when the starters for both teams were in the game.

On a third-and-3 situation from the Washington 42 in the first quarter, Woodley burst through and sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins for a 5-yard loss.

Cousins was starting the game in place of an injured Robert Griffin III.

“Not really much to talk about,” Woodley said after coming out of the game. “I just think all around we did a pretty good job of collapsing the pocket. We had good pressure up the middle and coming off both sides. Our secondary was holding up.

“When we do that, it allows for some guys to make plays. I was just the one to get in there a little bit faster and get the sack.”

Crack blocker

Fullback Will Johnson delivered the best pass block in the first half when he kept linebacker Ryan Kerrigan at bay long enough for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to complete a 26-yard pass to tight end David Paulson.

Johnson, who was the most consistent pass-blocker for the Steelers in the half, took an inadvertent blow to head from safety DeJon Gomes late in the second quarter but was diagnosed with a rib injury. Johnson was listed as questionable at halftime.

Tormenting Timmons

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons consistently tormented the Redskins in the first half. He chased down Cousins before he could get to the boundary. Cousins injured his right foot on the play and did not return. He was replaced by veteran backup Rex Grossman.

First appearance

Rookie cornerback Terry Hawthorne practiced only once during 11-on-11 drills, but he was the up back on the opening kickoff. The team's fifth-round draft pick has been slowed by a knee injury, so he played mostly special teams in the first half. In the second, Hawthorne had a fumble recovery.

Worilds gets start

Jason Worilds started ahead of No. 1 draft pick Jarvis Jones at right outside linebacker. Worilds and Jones have struggled in pass coverage during camp, and Worilds surrendered a first-down catch to Leonard Hankerson on the Redskins' first play from scrimmage.

They both had two tackles, but Jones also had a forced fumble.

“I just shot off the ball and took on the fullback,” Jones said. “Once I bounced off the fullback, I fell into the running back. I can't explain it. It was just good awareness. I'm continuing to learn by watching the older guys.”

Collision course

Wide receiver coach Richard Mann was taken out on the sideline by wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Brown was shoved into Mann by Gomes, who was flagged for a late hit on the play to help set up the Steelers' first points, a 28-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham.

Uneven secondary play

Cornerbacks Ike Taylor and William Gay were up and down in the first half. Taylor was whistled for a pass interference penalty that gave Washington the ball inside the red zone. Then, Hankerson beat Gay on a 10-yard touchdown pass that put the Redskins ahead, 14-3.

Patience pays off

Rookie quarterback Landry Jones took a lot of heat from coach Mike Tomlin at practice this week for rushing his throws and missing his reads. Jones was patient in delivering his first NFL touchdown pass — a 10-yard throw to receiver Derek Moye.

Long-shot White shines

Former West Virginia quarterback Pat White is far down on the Redskins' depth chart, but he was impressive in the second half. White completed 3 of 6 passes for 22 yards, but tossed an interception. He also rushed for 24 yards on four carries.

Ralph N. Paulk is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @RalphPaulk_Trib.

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