Woodley Happy Michigan is Silencing Critics

Former Michigan captain and current Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley was in attendance at the Griese, Hutchinson, Woodson charity golf outing in Ann Arbor Sunday. GoBlueWolverine was on hand to chat with the former Wolverine standout about coming back home, Michigan's season opening match up with Alabama, Brady Hoke, NFL safety issues, and more.***Video interview included***

Ann Arbor, MI -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley arrived  on Saturday night for the Griese, Hutchinson, Woodson Champion for Children’s Hearts Weekend.  It was great opportunity to give back while also catching up with his Michigan football family.

“It is real great coming back for a good cause,” Woodley told GoBlueWolverine.com. “I had my opportunity to see some of my former teammates and some of the Michigan alumni. Guys that I watched play. Guys I actually know now. It’s always a great feeling to come back and see everybody. Coach (Lloyd) Carr and everybody, I’m excited today.”

One of the more prevalent topics of conversation between Woodley and his Maize & Blue brethren was Michigan’s 11-2 resurgence.  Woodley said Hoke did an “excellent” job and was impressed with the Sugar bowl victory. At the same time he knows Hoke & company will have their hands full for their season opener.

“This year coming out the gate we’re playing Alabama, which is going to be a big test,” Woodley stated.  “They usually play some low class teams, but this year we’re coming out playing a powerhouse like Alabama… going down there (to Dallas) and playing them.  I think it is going to be a real big test for us this year.”

Woodley himself has been passing big tests since getting drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2007 draft. His time in the Steel City has happens to have coincided with some down years for the Maize & Blue.  That has made him the victim of his share of jokes from teammates, and even Coach Mike Tomlin. But with Michigan back to its winning ways, he hopes it silences the critics in the locker room.

“We are always following our team because we hear it every day in the locker room. Definitely with Michigan being at our lowest point, every Saturday night at our team (meeting) coach Tomlin would talk about each school and each big game and where Michigan is at,” Woodley said. “We were getting dogged out for a while. Definitely in the locker room we were getting a lot of voices in there talking about the university, but now we are back and hopefully we’re silent up the locker room for a little bit.”

One topic locker rooms across the league haven’t been silent on is concussions.  The NFL has made it a point in recent years to try to make the game safer.  Accordingly to Woodley, however, that’s an exercise in futility.

“There is no way to (make) the game safer,” Woodley said. “It is a violent game, so that is almost like asking to make boxing safer or making hockey safer. There is no way in making the game safer. What has evolved in the game is hitting. How do you make the game safer? You might put fines on the game saying roughing the passer or doing this. There is still a chance of getting hurt.  There is no way of avoiding it.

“At the same time you want to make the game safer, but at the same time you’re talking about adding more games. How are you talking about making the game safer when you’re talking about adding more games?  An 18 game season? That’s not making the game safer. But at the same time there is no way of avoiding injury in this game because the game is built on hard hits and taking people down to the ground.”


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Ann Arbor, MI -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley arrived  on Saturday night for the Griese, Hutchinson, Woodson Champion for Children’s Hearts Weekend.  It was great opportunity to give back while also catching up with his Michigan football family.

“It is real great coming back for a good cause,” Woodley told GoBlueWolverine.com. “I had my opportunity to see some of my former teammates and some of the Michigan alumni. Guys that I watched play. Guys I actually know now. It’s always a great feeling to come back and see everybody. Coach (Lloyd) Carr and everybody, I’m excited today.”

One of the more prevalent topics of conversation between Woodley and his Maize & Blue brethren was Michigan’s 11-2 resurgence.  Woodley said Hoke did an “excellent” job and was impressed with the Sugar bowl victory. At the same time he knows Hoke & company will have their hands full for their season opener.

“This year coming out the gate we’re playing Alabama, which is going to be a big test,” Woodley stated.  “They usually play some low class teams, but this year we’re coming out playing a powerhouse like Alabama… going down there (to Dallas) and playing them.  I think it is going to be a real big test for us this year.”

Woodley himself has been passing big tests since getting drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2007 draft. His time in the Steel City has happens to have coincided with some down years for the Maize & Blue.  That has made him the victim of his share of jokes from teammates, and even Coach Mike Tomlin. But with Michigan back to its winning ways, he hopes it silences the critics in the locker room.

“We are always following our team because we hear it every day in the locker room. Definitely with Michigan being at our lowest point, every Saturday night at our team (meeting) coach Tomlin would talk about each school and each big game and where Michigan is at,” Woodley said. “We were getting dogged out for a while. Definitely in the locker room we were getting a lot of voices in there talking about the university, but now we are back and hopefully we’re silent up the locker room for a little bit.”

One topic locker rooms across the league haven’t been silent on is concussions.  The NFL has made it a point in recent years to try to make the game safer.  Accordingly to Woodley, however, that’s an exercise in futility.

“There is no way to (make) the game safer,” Woodley said. “It is a violent game, so that is almost like asking to make boxing safer or making hockey safer. There is no way in making the game safer. What has evolved in the game is hitting. How do you make the game safer? You might put fines on the game saying roughing the passer or doing this. There is still a chance of getting hurt.  There is no way of avoiding it.

“At the same time you want to make the game safer, but at the same time you’re talking about adding more games. How are you talking about making the game safer when you’re talking about adding more games?  An 18 game season? That’s not making the game safer. But at the same time there is no way of avoiding injury in this game because the game is built on hard hits and taking people down to the ground.”

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