On Terrelle Pryor’s record-breaking 93-yard touchdown run on the first play of last week’s 21-18 loss to Oakland, it sure appeared that Woodley was one of the main, if not the main, culprit.
Turns out he wasn’t. In fact, he was just doing his job.
How the defense was called, Woodley’s responsibility on that particular play was to attack the running back regardless if he actually had the ball or not – a very common practice when defending the read option (Jason Worilds did the same thing in the second half).
Woodley acknowledged such during Wednesday’s open locker room.
“My responsibility on that play was to go down and take the running back,” Woodley said. “My focus on that play wasn’t even to look at the quarterback.”
If it wasn’t Woodley’s fault, then whose fault was it?
Well, Woodley wouldn’t say anything specific except “everybody has a responsibility.”
The blame lies with a handful of players – Troy Polamalu not getting off his block, even though he had outside contain, and Ryan Clark for biting so badly on the pulling right guard. But the main responsibility for the quarterback was linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
Timmons (as seen in the photo) jumped the run-action and is taken out of the play when he gets caught up in the scrum at the line of scrimmage and eventually falls to the ground.
“It was just a mistake and those things happen in games,” Woodley said. “It ended up happening and it cost us.”