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Tag:LaMarr Woodley
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:05 am
 

Ike Taylor to return to Steelers

Taylor

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For those teams looking for a CB who was a talent level below Nnamdi Asomugha but also would be much less expensive, the multiple reports that have surfaced about free agent Ike Taylor re-signing with the Steelers for a four-year deal is not welcome news.

All along, we thought a team could get much better values in CBs like Taylor and Cincinnati’s Johnathan Joseph, rather than pay $18 million a year for Asomugha (who likely will have to take less than that anyway).

Instead, Taylor is now off the board and returns to a top-notch defense that includes LB James Harrison, LB LaMarr Woodley, DE Brett Keisel, S Troy Polamalu, etc.

He’s always been a good fit for the Steelers, and it’s no surprise that he returned (even if he is, by chance, making less money than he could get on the open market).

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: July 14, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Mason says teams are just scared of Flacco

MasonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Say this for Ravens WR Derrick Mason: even if he’s prone to a little bit of hyperbole, he’s going to defend his teammates until the end.

Obviously, Mason heard that Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley said that Baltimore QB Joe Flacco could never lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl (because, naturally, they couldn’t get past Pittsburgh to do so) and then listened to Bengals LB Dhani Jones -- who has become somewhat mouthy lately as well -- saying, in effect, that Flacco is not good at his job when he’s pressured.

Well, Mason takes issue with the Flacco criticism. That’s apparently why he told the Carroll County Times that the reason Flacco has taken some crap this offseason is because everybody is frightened of him (Flacco’s awesome wedding pictures notwithstanding). 

“When you're good, people are scared of you," Mason told the paper. "Honestly, that's what I've seen. When people realize the potential that you have, they get very, very scared and then you see them scrambling to say bad things about the guy.

"Joe doesn't care. He really doesn't. For the Woodleys and the Dhani Jones and the rest of them, you see there aren't no head coaches or general managers and no smart players saying Joe can't play. The last thing you want to do is wake up a sleeping giant. Whether he says it or not, they've given him added fuel."

While you might not think of Flacco as one of the game’s elites -- he’s probably no better than a top-10 quarterback at this point -- he’s also improved in each of his three seasons in the league. His completion percentage continues to climb, his passing yardages and touchdowns continue to rise, and his interceptions continue to drop.

But the big question is this: could Flacco lead his team past the Steelers and into a possible Super Bowl? Because until then, he’s going to be ripe for criticism for defenders around the NFL. Even if they are "scared" of his potential.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.7.11: Redskins don't want Clausen



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL)
  • CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman thinks "a handshake agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement will happen next week, not on Thursday or Friday." Either way, that's welcome news.  

  • ESPN.com's Matt Williamson thinks Shawne Merriman "is done." In that sense, he should complement former Bills first-rounder Aaron Maybin nicely.
  • Redskins QB update via CSNWashington.com blogger Rich Tandler: "I would say there is zero chance that the Redskins are interested in [Jimmy] Clausen. Think they would rather go with who they have." Washington should subscribe to the addition-by-subtraction personnel philosophy more often.
  • We thought this went without saying since the Broncos spent a first-round pick on Tim Tebow a year ago, but the team has no interest in a poor man's Tebow, aka Terrelle Pryor.
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Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 1:17 pm
 

Mason: Flacco is Ravens Michael Jordan

Posted by Will Brinson

For a guy who holds the Ravens' record for passing yards and passing touchdowns and has taken his team to the playoffs in each of his first three years in the league, Joe Flacco doesn't seem to get a whole lot of love.

Example: LaMarr Woodley of the Steelers recently said as long as Flacco was quarterbacking the Ravens, Baltimore wasn't going to make it to the Super Bowl. Flacco, for his part, didn't agree with Woodley's take, saying the Pittsburgh linebacker "doesn't know what he's talking about."

Wide receiver Derrick Mason, swinging by ESPN's First Take on Wednesday morning, also disagreed. In fact, he went so far as to claim Flacco is the Ravens' version of Michael Jordan.

"[The Steelers have] had our number for the last couple years," Mason said via Michael David Smith at PFT "I equate it to the Chicago Bulls, they couldn’t beat the Pistons, and then they finally beat the Pistons."

The only natural follow-up, of course, involves whether the Ravens have that little piece of the puzzle that was Michael Jordan for the Bulls.

"Flacco is our Jordan," Mason said. "He’s our Michael Jordan."

Now, I like Joe Flacco. And I think he gets way too much, um, flak for his performance, from opponents and Ravens' fans alike. But this is an analogy that should be shrugged off faster than Byron Russell.

First of all, football doesn't swing in momentum the way that basketball does, primarily because there aren't best-of-seven series, and because it's impossibly more difficult for a single player to exert an influence on the entirety of the game.

Also, Flacco is not the Baltimore version of MJ, in case he's actually going to turn out to be the greatest player in NFL history, and we just haven't realized it yet.

So it's unfair of Mason to even think about putting that kind of pressure on his quarterback, much less lobbing such a statement out there on national television. Unless, that is, as Steelers Lounge 's Adam Gretz puts it, Mason's referring to the MJ the baseball player.

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Posted on: June 20, 2011 10:00 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 10:40 pm
 

Joe Flacco finally responds to LaMarr Woodley

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Appearing on NFL Network's Total Access earlier this month, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley was asked if Joe Flacco could lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl.

"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship," Woodley said. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

A few days later, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, also appearing on NFL Network, responded to Woodley's comments. “We don’t need any bulletin board material to get ready for [the Steelers] or anybody else, but we’ll be ready for LaMarr Woodley and the rest of that football team and they know it.”

Last weekend, Flacco was finally asked about Woodley's "not gonna happen in this lifetime" observations.

“[Woodley] obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about," Flacco told WBAL's Keith Mills and Pete Gilbert. "At some level, I don’t care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit.” 

Since Flacco's rookie season in 2008, the Steelers are 4-2 against the Ravens. Of course, the two losses came with Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines, which means that Flacco has the distinction of beating Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. And In the playoffs Baltimore is 0-2 vs. Pittsburgh, losing the 2008 AFC Championship game and the 2010 AFC divisional game. Both times Flacco had critical second-half turnovers that helped shape the outcome. 

“We just need to come up a little bigger than we have while playing those guys," Flacco said. "I mean, come on. What does he think? That they’re going to do it every year? I think we are going to have a lot more years in Baltimore where we’re going to have a good chance [to win it all], but we realize we have a really good chance right now and we just want to go ahead and win it.”

Those chances get even better for the Ravens if the Steelers are forced to start Dixon or Batch.

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.16.11: Taylor, Asomugha not close



Posted by Ryan Wilson
  • Come again? We think it goes without saying that Nnamdi Asomugha is a better corner than, say, the Steelers' Ike Taylor -- but apparently not. Using facts and common sense, Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar takes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's John Harris to task for suggesting that Taylor is better than Asomugha. 
  • Still wanted: QB. Pat White may not have been the answer (and Pryor almost certainly isn't), but according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins' first order of business once the lockout ends will be finding a veteran QB to compete with Chad Henne
  • We need Matlock. If there's something we can all get behind it's that the lawyers shouldn't be allowed in the room during CBA negotiations. PFT's Mike Florio offers up yet another reason to lock out the lawyers: money (shocking, right?). 
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Posted on: June 10, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Woodley not worried about Ravens in Super Bowl

LaMarr Woodley Posted by Ryan Wilson

Even if we weren't in the middle of a lockout, June is typically the slowest month on the NFL calendar. The draft is over, training camp is still six weeks off, and it's the only time coaches can take extended vacations.

It's the NFL's version of golf's silly season, except there aren't any contrived made-for-television events … unless you count players guest-appearing on NFL Network's Total Access. On Thursday, it was LaMarr Woodley's turn. The wide smile, easy manner and sunny disposition made the Steelers linebacker a natural in front of the camera. (If nothing else, it broke up the monotony of just seeing the NFLN regulars on a nightly basis.)

But behind those unnaturally white teeth, Woodley managed to take a few friendly shots at the AFC North competition, starting with whether quarterback Joe Flacco can lead the Ravens to the Super Bowl.

"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship," Woodley said. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

And so far, he's right. Since 2008, the Ravens have twice lost to the Steelers in the playoffs. Once in the AFC Championship game during Flacco's rookie season and then in the AFC Divisional get-together last January. Both times, Flacco looked out of sorts, and both times, critical second-half turnovers proved to be his undoing.

Woodley, like everybody else (including current Bengals players), seems unconcerned with whether Carson Palmer returns to Cincinnati. "Well, honestly, when they play against us, it really doesn't matter whether he's there or not," Woodley said. And he thinks Colt McCoy is going to "be a great quarterback," although he didn't specify a time frame.

Woodley then unveiled his list of the NFL's top-10 linebackers, just in case there were any doubts about where his allegiances lie. For those of you too lazy to click the link, here's the breakdown:

10. Larry Foote
9. Lawrence Timmons
8. David Harris
7. Brian Cushing
6. James Farrior
5. Clay Matthews
4. LaMarr Woodley
3. Ray Lewis
2. Patrick Willis
1. James Harrison

Because of the sheer absurdity of it, we wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading after seeing the words "Larry" and "Foote." That said, while the list is heavy on Steelers and Wolverines, Matthews and Willis clearly belong, as does Lewis, even if he's closer to No. 10 than No. 1. 

Somewhere Bart Scott is outraged at being snubbed -- even though, you know, he shouldn't be.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 2:49 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.10.11: Getting it (not) right



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The Eagle-Tribune, a small newspaper in Massachusetts, reported Thursday that the lockout was over (the linked story, BTW, has been amended). The Internet quickly poo-poo’d that report, though. Even NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted a Yogi Berra reference (It’s not over ‘til it’s over). I think it’d be great if the Eagle-Tribune actually was the media outlet which broke the lockout-is-over news. In fact, if it can’t be us here at CBSSports.com, I’m rooting for the E-T to be the ones leading this story. Go get ‘em, boys.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Mike Freeman explores how NFL players are talking trash about LeBron James on their Twitter accounts.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com