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Sunday column: One last LaMarr lament

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

MILWAUKEE – Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Sunday column is about LaMarr Woodley. If the Steelers do the smart thing, it’ll be the last column invested in this topic.

And we’ve got a lot more today before heading up to this iconic American place …

Todd Haley is interviewed exclusively by Alan Robinson, and the result is a must-read about the revived offense, his relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and his future with the team.

Play to watch, key matchups and more, by Mark Kaboly.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Packers news from the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> After covering today’s game, I’ll be taking Christmas week off. There will, however, be a Monday edition of Morning Java.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    No question! Woodley must go no matter what the price might be.

    No effort and all pay has made LaMarr a dull guy.

  2. Stuart says:

    Morning Brandie. Glad you liked the “Heart”. When I was looking it up for you I also found this one. Check it out http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a5LGntzmExM

    Stuart

  3. Bizrow says:

    If I have the right numbers, will confirm them when the Trib gets here, Lamar is 14 MM in dead money, either 2014 or spread over the nest 2 years.

    Thats a lot of dead money….

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  4. Ghost says:

    What’s a “Morning Brandie?” Hitting the liquor cabinet before breakfast?

    Just kidding. There’s the Girl (Hi Brandie. ;-) )

  5. Ghost says:

    Yep, just cut Woodley and get the $$ pain over with. As for Worilds, I don’t know if the money will even be there to extend him. But I do not fault #93 for only emerging this as a force. As I’ve long argued, that’s what happens with personnel in Dick LeBeau’s defense. They don’t emerge until about their third year. The only reason Woodley “looked” good earlier on was because of a man named James Harrison taking up double- (and sometimes triple-) teams on the opposite side. Woodley came back down to earth roughly in time with Harrison’s injuries in more recent years.

  6. Ghost says:

    “…for only emerging this YEAR as a force.”

  7. twentytwo22 says:

    If Worilds gets a contract it will be in part because of Keenan Lewis remorse. I hope the Steelers make the right decision.

    Jarvis Jones. I wonder if he was a product of a 3-4 in college giving him mismatches vs TEs and funky angles against tackles. If Worilds is a LOLB going forward that means Jones is going against NFL LTs. He needs to show a lot of improvement to make me think he can handle it. I’d rather have a healthy Woodley there.

    Onward and upward.

    1pm Miami at Buffalo
    1pm Cleveland at NY Jets
    4:25pm New England at Baltimore

    Our hopes are in the hands of Thad Lewis and Geno Smith. Lauren Holly is more realistic.

  8. Some column. No mincing of words there. Very enlightening and timely.

  9. Drew71 says:

    Morning Chocolate Stout.

    So am I drinking or being totally politically incorrect?

    I’ll let you decide but remember what my second favorite activity is.

    And married 67 years, you are probably wrong about what my favorite activity is, so I’ll tell you.

    Annoying.

  10. Drew71 says:

    I left a stash of Lipitor for us on the last thread.

    Columbian Gold Lipitor.

    Good s***, Cheech.

  11. Saw that. Good enough to name a bowl game after it?

  12. cherokee23 says:

    Good point about James Harrison….combine the big contract, alleged poor attitude/work ethic and Harrison injuries/declining play…..equals Woodley exposed

  13. Drew71 says:

    BCS quality.

  14. chethejet says:

    After June 1st cap ht is 4.9 million. Like colon, he simply isn’t able to stay healthy enough to form any real judgement as to what he still has left. But I think he has to go and is part of the expected purge of defensive liabilities. Except if a stud LT is available, I draft defense with the secondary needing addressed, and one larger WR type early. Unless Worilds is just offered the moon Steelers should resign him. Clear cap space and sign a FA CB and safety. This team has to bite the bullet and didn’t after last year and now another year of keeping high priced vets to maybe go 7-9 again is not prudent.

  15. DJ says:

    Was a bit shocked they paid Woodley that much in the first place. Was concerned about his body type for the LB position and the possibility he might get bigger (and slower) after a few years. I’m sure the Steelers were banking he’d be another Levon Kirkland. After the first few years, who could fault them?

    Time to get on with his life’s work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UePtoxDhJSw (@1:44)

  16. Drew71 says:

    “Actually, I’ll go further and suggest (the Woodley contract) would represent the most expensive mistake in our city’s sporting history, eclipsing the $10.1 million buyout the Pirates paid a noodle-armed Matt Morris to go enjoy his Florida beach house in 2008.”

    That column has nothing to do with baseball.

    I expect SOMEbody to throw himself on his bold reamed sword.

    (PS. Feel free to compare to hockey. Or college hoops. Or Manitoba. Or badminton.)

  17. Drew71 says:

    And PPS. With that Matt Morris reference, guess who was the first person this morning to bring up baseball.

    Just guess.

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Next thing you know he’ll be talking about the Tigers’ bullpen.

  19. Joey Bats says:

    DK enjoyed the column.

    1. Steelers front office needs ro make some tough decisions this off season. This is one (LW) of the most important…and I hope they DO IT!. LaMarr can’t help this team from the sidelines counting his dividend checks….

    2. Disapoointed it took Jason Worilds this long to “get it” and start playing like a # 2 draft pick. Part of it, on him…another injury prone guy early in his career — part of it , on the Steelers coaching staff, playing him on the “wrong side” of the defense. I guess you always wonder if this guy is LaMarr Woodley # 2….just playing for a BIG contract……then he goes into the tank….

    3. Folks, don’t give up on Jarvis Jones too early, too fast…just yet. He hasn’t been a world beater as a rookie— but he shows some flashes of ability. Remember, Troy P in his first year? He really, REALLY looked lost out there. (I’m not saying this guy is an All-Pro…but give him another year in the weight room …and another year to fit into the defense…and let’s see if more of it “clicks in) ……Heck, they gave Jason W….4 years ;-)

  20. Thundercrack says:

    Did someone say baseball? I saw this interesting stat last night:

    So far this offseason, teams have guaranteed approximately $1.543 billion to free agents. AL teams account for $1.13B. NL teams at $409.18M.

  21. Tim says:

    the Steelers front office should — no, must, if it is to be taken seriously — release LaMarr Woodley.

    They’re not taken seriously? 3 Super Bowl appearances in 9 years. 2 wins. Not taken seriously? Tough town.

  22. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Well…I know one team that has convenietly stayed out of that spending spree.
    I guess all those sellouts didn’t cover the bills.

  23. Drew71 says:

    Tangents.

    One:

    CHICK-FIL-A BOWL
    8:00 PM, Tuesday, December 31
    Duke(24)
    Texas A&M(21)

    Take the Over. No matter WHAT it is, TAKE THE OVER

    Two:

    Anyone who opened the story on ESPN.com about the Charlotte Hornets’ new logo should self-impose a sports blog banning for at least a week.

    And take the time to get some help.

    Three:

    Don’t sleep on Utah State. They are a good team that played its best ball over the last half of the season. And NIU may have a wish-we-were-in-the-OTHER-bowl hangover.

    Even beyond that, Utah State has a stiff D and may be able to man up and slow Lynch, at least enough.

    Four:

    BGSU. Sorry. They are legitimately good. And solid…

    14.8 points allowed (5th ranked)
    35.4 points scored (27th)

    Savage may be Savaged by that defensive line.

    Five:

    I was SO happy to see USC dominate their bowl. So over the next few years when their fans look back at what was really a remarkable 2013 season post-Kiffin, look at the just-ok situation they then find themselves, and see Petersen – who USC spurned – leading Sarkisian’s former Washington Huskies further than he had…and even if not the last, when they figure out they had a better post-Kiffin season with the interim they also spurned than with the just-ok they hired…

    “I won’t lie” as SOMEbody else recently wrote. I will rub some noses.

    Six:

    Even with that, I can’t believe I was pulling for USC.

    Seven:

    “I won’t lie” is a curious thing to write in a column. I’ve sometimes called you wrong, spot-on right, over the top, red meat throwing. Even bold reaming huffy. But “lie” wouldn’t be the first, second or thrirteenth place I’d go.

    Eight:

    STILL can’t believe I was pulling for USC.

  24. JohninOshkosh says:

    Did anybody catch Jimmy Fallon and Cecily Strong singing a very humorous send up of “Baby, it’s Cold Outside” on SNL last night ?

    The talented Ms. Strong donned a Penguins jersey.

  25. Stuart says:

    In case we have forgotten, another example of the difference between a reporter and columnist. No need to ask Dejan what he really thinks.

    What a great American success story: prepare and play hard enough to get a gold contract, and then relax and enjoy what the cash will bring.

    Also enjoyed the noodle-arm reference.

    Stuart

  26. Stuart says:

    John, saw it and enjoyed it. First good SNL in a while. The week before was beyond mediocre. My wife and son were wondering how much input the guests have in the creative aspects of the show.

    Cecily will help them survive the loss of Seth. She is indeed talented, and eminently watchable. I do wonder at the Penguin connection.
    Stuart

  27. theplanisworking says:

    Oshie,
    the only thing I can figure with the Pens jersey, is she is either a huge fan, or the crew, who probably has a Carnegie-Mellon influence (like Hill Street Blues) gave it to her. She is easy to watch. :)

    Oh, and your Bucks didnt help themselves with a W last night.
    Hope you had an entire section to yourself……….

  28. theplanisworking says:

    But, but, but…………

    -its early,
    -all the players were bums, or too expensive,
    -AJ didnt come to the Pirates til February,
    -wait til the trade deadline,
    -Pirates cant afford anyone. Pay no attention to the extra TV money, or increased ticket sales.

    -We havent gotten an endorsement from Frank to spend.

    Relax Daq, we have a long ways to go. ;)

  29. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    My personal fave is “all the players are bums”…..Strange and unusual.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    Plan,
    Who said “the Pirates can’t afford anyone”?
    Who said “all the players are bums? All of them?
    Who said that they were ALL too expensive?

  31. 21sthebest says:

    Not sure how the extra TV money that all teams are receiving would be helping the Pirates.

  32. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Does one really need to cite examples when it comes to something that goes on every single year?
    Example?….Let’s pull out James Loney.
    Loney was all the talk about a month ago on Pirate blogs.
    A much needed 1st baseman….Had a strong season last year….ALWAY hit well in PNC Park.
    When it came time to ante up a mere (in the MLB world) $7 mil a year….Loney wasn’t worth it.
    “He’s not that good!”…..”He isn’t worth that price”…..”We never needed him to begin with!”
    In the end….Loney stayed in that huge money metropolis of Tampa….Tropicana Field (or whatever they call it these days).
    The Nutting Regime stands pat again….With their hands in their pocket…..Filled.

  33. 21sthebest says:

    I liked Loney. Would’ve gone 3/30. Some people didn’t like him.

  34. Thundercrack says:

    Loney was all the talk about a month ago on Pirate blogs. — not the Front Office

    “He’s not that good!”…..”He isn’t worth that price”…..”We never needed him to begin with!” — not the Front Office

    What the FO (aka Regime) says and does is completely different than what people on blogs do and say.

    And I would have liked them to have signed Loney

  35. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Loney was all the talk about a month ago on Pirate blogs. — not the Front Office

    Wonder why?…..$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  36. 21sthebest says:

    The front office doesn’t talk about free agents. They didn’t talk about Martin or Liriano.

  37. Thundercrack says:

    Daq
    Why should anyone really care what the talk of all the blogs is? It doesn’t matter.
    It is just fans expressing their opinions.

    The FO didn’t talk about him much. I think I only heard them mention him (remarks that were direct quotes) was during Piratefest . After he had signed. They said they liked him. Not sure if they made a formal offer.

  38. Nate83 says:

    I think Loney got paid too much but I do think the Pirates should have still been willing to go to that amount to get him. The fact of the matter is that they currently have a competitive team and sometimes you have to go a little out of your comfort zone to feel a glaring need.

    Maybe they offered 2 for 16 and he decided to take the extra year and stay with the team he is familiar with. I don’t think a third year to fill something that is so obviously a need for this team should have been a deal breaker. The other names being mentioned are slightly better then a lottery ticket. I don’t mind a Snider type player on a team that is grinding out 70-75 wins but a competitive team should be able to stretch their wallet enough to fill a position with a dependable player for a 7-8 million.

    This easily could come back and cost them a prospect in a trade at the deadline if they are competitive but not getting production from first base or even worse cost them the chance to be competitive.

  39. Brandie says:

    Stuart,

    Thanks again for thinking of me with the link. A long time ago, Heart had a side piece called The Lovemongers. Did a wonderful version of The Battle of Evermore!

  40. Thundercrack says:

    Nate,
    As I mentioned before I wanted them to sign Loney.

    But this almost made me think twice about it. Yesterday (on twitter) someone asked the Reds’ beat writer if the Reds might be in play for Nelson Cruz. The reporter replied “not with the money they owe Ludwick”. (which may be $12-13 million).

    Of course they could always try to trade Ludwick. Good luck with that.
    (and Loney could also always be traded)

  41. Nate83 says:

    Thunder, I read two separate very good columns. One that gave reasons why to sign Loney and the other gave reasons he wasn’t worth it. The one that gave reasons why pointed to the intangibles that he brings with his game. Great contact hitter that makes a lot of productive outs. Above average on defense, durable, increased line drive rate last year to be one of the best in MLB. He’s the type of player that just didn’t seem like he would ever be a drag on the line up. He will always contribute something.

    Not unlike Russell Martin. Even when Martin struggled at the plate last year he still had good at bats that made the pitcher work and often eventually drew a walk. I have no problem having players like this on the team even if you have to overpay a little.

    It’s not that I think he will bring 6 million more in value then whatever we end up with in a trade or Lambo it’s that I know he won’t be a bust and give us zero value. There is something to be said for solving the problem with an answer for 3 years instead of continuing to put question marks out there year after year.

    DK: You read columns about signing James Loney? Good Lord, where?

  42. Arriba Wilver says:

    I agree with you Nate. My suspicion, and it’s only a suspicion, is the 3rd year was a deal breaker. Moreso than the money per se.

  43. Nate83 says:

    DK, I definitely didn’t go looking for them. They both were linked from different Pirate blogs. One was the local Tampa newspaper and the other was a national outlet. The pro signing one (local paper) was a little biased and didn’t even talk about money when showing his value. I would compare it to us knowing the value of Heath Miller which fans of other teams could never fully understand.

    The other one was purely based on WAR numbers and value added versus money spent. I’m personally not a huge fan of WAR numbers being used to determine contract amount but do see the value of it being used as a quick measuring point.

  44. Thundercrack says:

    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/loney-proves-good-fit-with-tampa-bay-rays/2157106

    DK, here is the link I posted on Travis’ blog regarding the Rays signing Loney

  45. BillyBaduka says:

    You are so right DK.

    Keeping a high priced oft injured player is hard to do. Keeping an oft injured, high priced, underperforming player with a bad attitude; that just doesn’t make sense.

    He’s gotta go.

 
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