PITTSBURGH PA - JANUARY 15: Linebacker LaMarr Woodley #56 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after recovering a fumble by the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15 2011 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Willis played 126 games. Woodley would have played 86.
No other pass rusher drafted by the Steelers with at least 48 games played has as many sacks per game (.69) as Woodley, and in five seasons - he missed nearly half of 2011 with a nagging hamstring injury - already ranks 6th with 48.5 sacks.
Kevin Greene wasn't drafted by the Steelers, but he leads the franchise with .74 sacks a game.If Woodley continues his pace of roughly 11 sacks a season, he'll overtake franchise leader Jason Gildon (77) in 2014. Woodley turns 28 years old in November, and is under contract through 2016.
It's certainly possible he not only breaks that record, but sets a pretty high mark for whomever will follow him. Judging by the way he looked pre-injury in 2011, he could break it much sooner than 2014. Woodley had nine sacks in eight games before pulling up lame midway through the Steelers' win over New England in Week 8. He was pursuing QB Tom Brady, on his way to what could have been his third sack of one of the most dominating games of his career. It was his third consecutive game with at least two sacks, but he never recovered from the injury. With Woodley went the Steelers' pass rush last season, falling to 17th in the NFL with 35. They led the league in 2010 with 48.
Teammate James Harrison (58 sacks) holds the single season record with 16, a mark Woodley was en route to breaking. A big season for him (12 sacks) would move him ahead of Joey Porter, the player he replaced in 2007, for 4th place all time.