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Thursday, December 18, 2008
Five questions with ... LaMarr Woodley

By James Walker
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- This week the AFC North version of the Blog Network caught up with Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley to discuss, among other things, if he was snubbed for the Pro Bowl and what he has in common with former NBA stars Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman.

 
 AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
 LaMarr Woodley has 11.5 sacks and two forced fumbles through 14 games this season.

1. What are your thoughts about not making the Pro Bowl this week?

LaMarr Woodley: I'm still a football player. That kind of stuff doesn't determine what type of player you are. When you go back and look at your team stats and you look at where you are as far as the team and an individual, you can say, "Hey, I'm doing pretty good."

2. Is this one of those instances where a second-year player has to pay his dues?

LW: That's what people always say, that you have to pay your dues first. But I can't really say [that's the case]. You see guys that came in last year and made the Pro Bowl. Patrick Willis in San Francisco made the Pro Bowl in his first year. So I can't really say if you have to pay your dues. You just have to do better than the guys they selected.

3. What is it like playing for defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau? He's been coaching since before many of his players were born.

LW: Ah man, coach LeBeau just has an attitude out there. It's the kind of attitude where he's not really the type that yells at you. He's that calm coach, yet he's always fired up. Every day he comes into the meeting room, and even sometimes after a game, he'll say "It's a great day to be alive!" He's just one of those coaches that you want to go out there and play your heart out for. He's just that type of person.

4. You played a lot of basketball in high school and averaged a double-double. What NBA star would you liken your game to?

LW: I would have to say I was like a Dennis Rodman type, mixed with some Charles Barkley in there. I wasn't a tall guy, but I was kind of big. I took control of the paint just with my weight and the attitude that I had. Charles was dominant, but he was only about 6-5, 6-6.

5. Even in college at the University of Michigan, it seems every defense you've been a part of was really good at stuffing the run. What's the secret?

LW: It's everybody just doing what they're suppose to do and everyone staying in their gap. You can't overdo it. Some guys want to overdo it so they can make plays. Usually when a guy sees an opportunity to make a play they'll jump out of their gap, and when you jump out of your gap sometimes you take a chance and it creates a hole. We just have guys that are dedicated to it. We're not selfish people. We're willing to do things for the team. Because, at the end of the day, if we're the No. 1 rush defense we all look good, not just one person.