There's been some discussion about getting rookie LB LaMarr Woodley on the field more as the season progresses. Problem for Woodley is Clark Haggans is playing some of the best football in his life. But when he's been given the chance to play, be it in the preseason or in the Steelers' first five regular season games, Woodley has looked intriguing: he's not been caught out of position, he hasn't missed tackles, and he's made a few athletic plays in pass coverage. I think we all agree he's going to be a special player down the road for us.
Here's a list of some of the awards he won in college:
2005 Co-MVP of Rose Bowl (split with Vince Young)
2006 Lombardi Award winner
2006 Ted Hendricks Award winner
2006 Chuck Bednarik Award finalist
2006 Lott Trophy quarterfinalist
2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy watchlist
2006 Outland Trophy watchlist
2006 First Team All-American
2006 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
2006 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year
Bottom line is this guy isn't a 'project' or a diamond in the rough. He has some adjustments to make moving from linemen to LB, but I think the transition will be a smooth one for him. Why? Well, he's around veteran players and outstanding coaches for one. But he's also got a good attitude, as I discovered when stumbling upon a 'Rookie Diary' he wrote earlier this year.
Here's a few excerpts from the first entry that I enjoyed:
Although unrelated to football, Woodley also shared this gem of a story about his struggles with toll booths and the lay of the land in the 'Burgh:
After that, I headed for my financial advisor Marty Blaze's house when I got to Pittsburgh. I knew his street and address, so I entered it into the navigation system in my car. The problem was he actually lives in another little city near Pittsburgh. So I ended up on the right street but in the wrong city, outside of some stranger's house. So I call Marty and I was like "Man, I'm outside your house." And Marty was like, "I don't see you." He's telling me to pull around the corner and park. When we figured it out, I realized I was like 20 miles away from where I needed to be.
Natural ability + great coaching + desire to be great = probable Pro-Bowler within 3-4 years.