It just may be a coincidence that up until late in this past season that the top two cornerbacks in the NFL with the most consecutive games played were Ike Taylor and William Gay — both big proponents of working out with renowned trainer Tom Shaw during the offseason in Orlando.
Now, Shaw feels that he can provide Steelers fans what they desire the most — a healthy and in shape LaMarr Woodley.
Shaw told the Trib’s John Harris that he could remedy Woodley’s chronic hamstring issues that cost the outside linebacker seven games over the past two seasons along with parts of a couple others. Woodley also missed two games because of sprained ankle.
“There are three ways to pull a hamstring — overuse, overstriding and dehydration,” Shaw told Harris. “A linebacker who makes 80 percent of his plays within 10 yards is playing within a box. He shouldn‘t hit his (full) stride length. I want Woodley to come down here. He‘s a hard worker, but we teach the proper way to run.”
Linebacker coach Keith Butler told me during training camp that Woodley was too big the year before which contributed to his slow start. However, Butler said he liked how Woodley (who is listed a 266 pounds) came into training camp in shape this past year.
“At some point in time they realize they have to work in order to stand out in this league,” Butler told me in August. “If you don’t work, you are just going to be another guy — a good player, but not a great player.”
Still, Woodley collected only four sacks this year and 13 over the past two after three consecutive years of double-digit sacks.