In the aftermath of a subpar 8-8 season in which a power struggle over the offense between Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley dominated the headlines, the Steelers locker room is rallying around outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, after an anonymous teammate ripped him for his lack of conditioning last season.
"He was awful. He tells us he works out, but we didn’t see it. He wasn't in shape. That has to be a reason why he was always hurt." an anonymous source told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
ON Wednesday’s ESPN First Take, Brown addressed the fractured relationship in the Steelers locker room brought to light by an
"Guys (weren't) really together last year," Brown responded. "For guys to throw a guy like LaMarr Woodley, a Pro Bowl player, under the bus, just shows you the men we had in the locker room and that's going to be something we fix in 2013."
On Tuesday, linebacker Larry Foote spoke out to 97.3 The Fan in Pittsburgh:
“I mean there have been fights in the locker room, there’s been stuff on the airplane that never got out and that’s the Steeler way,” Foote said on 93.7 The Fan, via SteelersDepot.com. “So I’ll be very surprised if a player really did that and hopefully his name don’t come up, or if he was, he’s one of the players that’s no longer here. I mean, you’re breaking the code when you do that. You’re breaking the code.”
Teammate Ryan Clark has also come to Woodley’s aid in the media and personally by inviting Woodley to workout with him in Arizona at Performance Enhancement Professionals.
In 2012, Woodley had just 47 tackles in 2012, the lowest total since his rookie year and is only in the third year of a $61 million contract. However, Woodley isn’t the only Steeler that was living off reputation last season. Cutting James Harrison, not Woodley, may be the first step in revamping the NFL’s oldest defense.