Woodley says he will stay put on defense

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
6:03
PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin said he is open to flipping the Steelers' starting outside linebackers given how much success Jason Worilds has had on the left side of the defense.

Worilds
Woodley
Woodley
Such a change apparently won't happen this week even if LaMarr Woodley returns from the calf injury that has sidelined him for the last three games.

Woodley practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, and the seven-year veteran said he will stay at left outside linebacker once he returns to action.

"I had a few reps on the right side [Wednesday] but I know I'll be playing left [outside linebacker] and Jason will be playing right," Woodley said after the Steelers' first practice of the week. "That's just what it is and until that gets changed I have no problem with that."

Worilds has been playing almost exclusively at left outside linebacker since Woodley got hurt, and the fourth-year veteran has excelled there. He leads the Steelers with six sacks, one more than Woodley.

Worilds, who had been starting at right outside linebacker, said it doesn't matter where he plays when Woodley returns. Having the two of them on the field together should only bolster the Steelers' pass rush with rookie Jarvis Jones struggling to put consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

"Adding another pass rusher of LaMarr's caliber is definitely going to help," Worilds said.

Woodley has played all but a handful of snaps at left outside linebacker since joining the Steelers in 2007. Woodley said he could easily transition to the other side of the defense and wouldn't need much if any practice time at right outside linebacker before playing there in a game.

"It's the same thing, getting after the quarterback," said Woodley, who has five sacks in nine games. "It's just hearing the call different, that's the only difference to me."

Does that mean Woodley would willingly move to right outside linebacker if the Steelers wanted to play Worilds at left?

"I'm willing to do whatever it takes to help this team win," he said. "Everybody who knows me knows I've always been like that."

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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