Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sports

LaMarr Woodley: Steelers scheme held him back

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley has come under fire for his play last season. Reportedly an out of shape and less focused Woodley played poorly last year after a huge contract. Woodley has a different reason why his sack total dropped off.

“I felt I dropped back a lot last year in coverage,” Woodley stated.

“That’s part of this scheme,” Woodley shrugged.

That might be changing in 2013 and Woodley might be able to go after the quarterback more this season.

“I’d definitely like to get back to doing more rushing than dropping back in coverage because my game is predicated on sacks and this defense is predicated on getting to the quarterback, making quarterbacks make bad decisions and allowing our secondary to make plays,” Woodley said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Getting after the quarterback is why the Steelers paid Woodley he says.

“They pay me to rush,” Woodley proclaimed. “Hopefully, I’ll be rushing and not covering receivers and tight ends down the field.”

Rookie draft pick Jarvis Jones, who is replacing James Harrison, could help free up Woodley.

“It’s definitely important. Here in Pittsburgh, the outside linebackers play off one another. When there’s always two [good] outside linebackers here, they both had a lot of sacks, and they both helped the team out because you can’t focus on just one guy, you have to focus on both guys.”

Tags: LaMarr Woodley Pittsburgh Steelers