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  1. #1
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    Donovan Woods moving inside

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_627070.html

    Steelers' Woods on move via special teams

    In 2004, Donovan Woods established Oklahoma State freshman records with 13 touchdown passes and 1,855 yards of total offense. During that same season, he ran for a touchdown against a UCLA freshman named Bruce Davis, whom he later bested for playing time as a Steelers rookie.

    Woods' football career has taken some curious turns. He's gone from averaging 35.3 yards per touchdown pass as a freshman quarterback in college to stopping quarterbacks from the other side — first as a college safety and now as an NFL linebacker.

    "I feel like I still have a lot of learning to do," said Woods, whose next career turn is another position change. After playing outside linebacker last year as an undrafted free agent, Woods is making a switch to inside linebacker.

    "This is going into only my third year playing linebacker. Most guys have been playing linebacker for a lot longer than three years," Woods said. "Hopefully, my best years are in front of me.''

    Woods is hopeful he'll remain at the same position long enough to play it well enough and remain on the roster.

    Switching to inside linebacker from outside linebacker can be a difficult transition for a veteran, much less a second-year pro, such as Woods, who played quarterback his first two seasons in college.

    "At outside linebacker, we get to pass-rush a lot," he said."That's something I like doing. Who doesn't like rushing the passer? You don't get to do that as much playing inside because you're covering and doing things like that.

    "This is a talented group. There's not going to be a lot of guys that can come in and just play right away. I started outside last year, so I was learning out there. There's some things I understand (better), but I'm playing more inside."

    Woods made the roster last season, thanks to his athleticism and ability on special teams. He made his NFL debut in the 2008 opener against Houston and recorded two special teams tackles. In his second game, he played on a unit that limited Cleveland's Joe Cribbs to an average of 8.8 yards on five punt returns.

    Woods' special teams work helped keep Davis, the Steelers' third-round draft pick last season, inactive. But Woods was slowed by a hamstring injury and appeared in just four games before he was released. He later was re-signed and appeared in one more game, then was re-signed to the practice squad.

    For now, Woods is ticketed for special teams in the NFL.

    "That's where a lot of young guys are going to make their reputations," he said. "That's where I'm going to make mine. Go out there on special teams and try to be as exciting as I can. Do what I'm supposed to do and be solid.

    "I'm just trying to see as much as I can, learn and be in as many situations as I can, because everything I see helps me that much more. As long as I'm here and continuing to learn this defense and continuing to get better as a professional, I think I have a chance.''


    IMO, this is an excellent move for Woods AND for the Steelers. While he has flashed some pass rushing ability, I feel he will transition inside much faster. He played safety in college, so he will be making the same move as former safeties such as Urlacher. They are more comfortable in coverage, more comfortable reading inside out, flowing to the ball instead of stacking up 300 pound linemen, and it just seems more natural. And, when you realize we have dumped Foote and need more depth at ILB, of all the LBs currently on roster, he is the best choice to move inside. He is pretty similar to Timmons in a lot of ways.

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  2. #2
    THAT DAMN GOOD yinzer's Avatar
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    i heard a rumor that ken laird said on ESPN radio that donovan was carted off the field with a "leg injury."

    anybody got info on this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by yinzer View Post
    i heard a rumor that ken laird said on ESPN radio that donovan was carted off the field with a "leg injury."

    anybody got info on this?
    I have not heard or read anything, yet.

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    Mike Tomlin has to be pleased with not only a great and full week of work, but with the attitude of his veteran team as May draws to a close. Coming off the Super Bowl, there are few distractions -- real distractions, not media-driven distractions -- and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been at every practice. Even the injured players -- Hines Ward, Ryan Clark and Dan Sepulveda -- have shown up regularly. There's no sign of a hangover, or malaise, possibly because there are so many veterans in salary drive mode. But more likely is that this is a group of smart and ambitious people. The only players missing (working out elsewhere) are Troy Polamalu and Santonio Holmes, and both of them play positions where depth must be developed.

    * The running backs look great. Rashard Mendenhall has all the makings of a bell cow and Willie Parker is up for the challenge. Competition is already driving these two players. Parker is in great shape and is working hard on his receiving. Mewelde Moore is a solid No. 3 and Frank Summers got a chance today to show off why he's nicknamed "Tank." The big guy was rumbling through the touch-football field and looks like he can develop into a force some day. He has good hands, too; caught a high swing pass, turned it upfield to the sound of Tomlin roaring. Afterward he took some advice from the coach in the middle of the field, something about looking to run people over more. Even FB Ryan Powdrell, the former USC fullback who lost his college season to a knee injury and spent 2007 on IR with Green Bay, showed some explosiveness today. Good, solid group with the potential for greatness.

    * Max Starks missed the workout and Trai Essex moved over to left tackle. That moved Kraig Urbik up to second-team guard, but please don't ask this amateur to gauge his progress. I'll just say that he seems strong enough and quick enough.

    * I watched Limas Sweed take a slant all the way up the middle -- without a defense -- and shuddered at the big, fast man's potential. Then I saw him drop a short pass over the middle with Anthony Madison trying to cover. One scout likened his inconsistency to a young Plaxico Burress, and of course is hopeful, even optimistic, of a similar developmental curve.

    * Shaun McDonald had a good day. Mike Martz really liked this guy in the slot, and drafted him and then brought him to Detroit. The departure of Martz from Detroit is what McDonald blames for his poor 2008. I'll give him Catch of the Day today for the way he "ziggied" up the field after a few short catches.

    * Speaking of Ziggy, everyone likes him. The big man can move. I'll have a little story on him coming up in a few days. The big man was running from sideline to sideline today and had Tomlin pretty excited.

    * Tomlin really makes you feel like you're here for a reason. Bill Cowher used to leave much of these workouts to his coordinators. May have been good for the coordinators, but the practices didn't have the same urgency.

    * Backup ILB Donovan Woods turned his ankle and left the field.

    * Rookie WR Mike Wallace again had the Indoor Arena in a state of eruption, but Ike Taylor recovered to break up the slightly underthrown bomb from Charlie Batch. Tomlin threw a phantom flag on the play
    It doesn't sound to be serious..
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
    -unknown

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captcoolhand View Post
    It doesn't sound to be serious..
    thanks for the info, Capt! much abliged.
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    * I watched Limas Sweed take a slant all the way up the middle -- without a defense -- and shuddered at the big, fast man's potential. Then I saw him drop a short pass over the middle with Anthony Madison trying to cover. One scout likened his inconsistency to a young Plaxico Burress, and of course is hopeful, even optimistic, of a similar developmental curve.

    * Shaun McDonald had a good day. Mike Martz really liked this guy in the slot, and drafted him and then brought him to Detroit. The departure of Martz from Detroit is what McDonald blames for his poor 2008. I'll give him Catch of the Day today for the way he "ziggied" up the field after a few short catches.
    Thanks Capt.
    I'm glad that McDonald is on the team.

  7. #7
    THAT DAMN GOOD yinzer's Avatar
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    so sweed STILL has a case of the dropsies and starks is being lazy?
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    ERhm.. That may be a little harsh :P He dropped one, which obviously is bad, but its just one ball at training-camp. I think he'll be alright. Im excited to see him more on the field. He seems to be running great great routes (from what im reading). He is fast and plays physical, run great routes.. He just needs to catch the damn ball. Hopefully that'll come with more receptions. Stark is probably still being lazy though...
    However much you think you know about football, rest assured that Skip Bayless knows more!

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    We definitely depth in the middle now so him moving inside is a good thing. We've never had good depth on the inside at LB up until Timmons and came along. Now that Foote is gone and Timmons will step in we are needing some help in this area behind the starters.

    As for Sweed...has anybody seen the stickum laying around anywhere?????

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOP GUN View Post
    As for Sweed...has anybody seen the stickum laying around anywhere?????
    yep. it's being used as a paper weight for arians' playbook.
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