Woodley awaiting breakout

Pittsburgh has to figure a way to get to Kyle Orton on Monday night. One player who might be able to help the Steelers' cause is LaMarr Woodley.

Woodley has been quiet in his second season as the Steelers' starting left outside linebacker with just two sacks in seven games. He had 11.5 in 15 regular-season games in 2008 and has two in each of his four postseason games, becoming the only player in NFL history to accomplish that feat.

Woodley will square off against Denver's Tyler Polumbus, who will be making his first NFL start at right tackle for injured Ryan Harris.

Woodley said he hopes to do what he has not done often this season -- take advantage of his opportunities. He missed Brett Favre once in his past game and got him another time, only to have it canceled by a false start. Offensive tackles, he said, are "kicking back" to try to deny his rush.

"I have to find a way to get past that," Woodley said. "When I find a way to get past that -- it's still a long season -- it's really going to get dangerous."

On the other side, James Harrison also started 2009 off slowly with no sacks in the first two games. He has eight in the past five games and is now on pace to top his team record of 16 last season, when he earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Woodley believes he and Harrison, who combined for a team-record 27.5 sacks as a duo, would have even more if they were allowed to rush the passer the way some 3-4 outside linebackers do.

"I don't take anything away from other outside linebackers, but if we rush as many times as anybody else, we'd have a lot of sacks out there," Woodley said. "But we actually do more. Whether its covering receivers, tight ends, running backs out of the backfield, find the quarterback, we pretty much do it all."


* FS Ryan Clark will not play at Denver because of the reaction his system had when he played there two years ago. Clark has a sickle-cell trait acerbated by high altitude. After the game in 2007, he had to have his spleen and gall bladder removed and became so ill he lost 30 pounds while missing the rest of the season.

* S Tyrone Carter, who has played more strong safety in his career, will start in place of Ryan Clark at Denver but could share time at free safety with Ryan Mundy.

* LB Lawrence Timmons has not practiced this week because of a sprained right ankle. He said his chances of playing in Denver are "day to day."

* FB Carey Davis has been listed as the starter since he rejoined the Steelers the past four games. He not only has not started, he has not dressed in the past two games as they used rookie TE David Johnson at fullback.

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