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LaMarr Woodley doesn't believe excess weight caused down 2012 season

Regardless of where he was last year, Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley looks to have the explosiveness he had before injuries - and weight concerns - hampered him. His teammate, Ryan Clark, says he's never looked better. His play on the field supports that.

Gregory Shamus

To Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, weight wasn't a concern over the past two seasons, when Woodley's sack totals dropped and injuries increased.

Tribune Review reporter Alan Robinson quoted his teammate, Ryan Clark, who appears to disagree.

"He's as slim as we've ever seen him," Clark said. "I've never seen him look so good. … He was very committed, committed to his diet, committed to his training."

Woodley has looked much more like the 2010 version of himself through three preseason games - the last of which saw the Steelers rotating Woodley, Jason Worilds and rookie Jarvis Jones on a per-series basis.

Perhaps that's a sign of things to come. Defenses today are seeing the benefits of having outstanding depth along their defensive front seven. The Steelers have clearly committed to this, judging by the amount of talent they appear to have at those positions. Defensive ends Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward and Al Woods have all made plays at various times this preseason, and nose tackles Steve McLendon, Alameda Ta'amu and Loni Fangupo are all pushing hard to get on the field.

Rested players are better players, from one perspective.

Keeping depth as a weapon instead of an asset may produce the kind of fast-moving and explosive defense the Steelers have lacked over the past few seasons.

Woodley will remain a big part of that, whether his weight has any bearing on his play or not.

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