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Woodley finishes strong

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Monday, Jan. 4, 2010

MIAMI -- Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley is a notoriously slow starter.

Woodley led the Steelers with 13 12 sacks, with 11 12 coming over the final eight games of the season.

In Sunday's 30-24 win over the Miami Dolphins, Woodley had a team-high two sacks, and he helped keep the pressure on all three Miami quarterbacks the entire game.

"He's a guy that's come on the late part of the season all three years he's been here; evidently that's part of his game," coach Mike Tomlin said.

As a rookie, in 2007, Woodley recorded two sacks in the Steelers' playoff game against Jacksonville.

Last season, Woodley recorded two sacks apiece in the Steelers' three postseason games, becoming the first player in NFL history with two sacks in four consecutive playoff games.

Yesterday's individual performance was of little consolation to Woodley, who missed the playoffs for the first time with the Steelers.

"We have no one to blame but ourselves," said Woodley, who has 29 career sacks.

Woodley sacked Miami quarterback and former Michigan teammate Chad Henne twice in the second quarter.

The first time, Woodley sacked Henne for a 6-yard loss on second-and-2, a traditional running down.

A few plays later on the same drive, Woodley sacked Henne for a 4-yard loss in an obvious passing situation on third-and-18. It pushed the Dolphins out of field-goal range late in the first half and the Steelers went into the locker room with a 17-10 lead.

"It's about rhythm, his moves come together, he develops a feel for it, and he sharpens his sword over the course of the season," Tomlin said of Woodley's pass-rushing skills. "You look for guys who are on the rise as the season goes on, and he's proven through his first three years in the league that's kind of how he plays the game."

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