Lamar Odom

Charlie Batch Defends LaMarr Woodley, Says he Expects to Return for Another Season in Pittsburgh

The usually quiet, disciplined Pittsburgh Steelers have been embroiled in some New York Jets-style controversy of late, with an anonymous source essentially calling pass-rushing star LaMarr Woodley lazy. Charlie Batch is one of the most experienced members of the roster, and so it makes sense to get a take on the recent disruption from the 38-year-old quarterback. Charlie Batch joined Tim Benz and Bob McLaughlin on WXDX in Pittsburgh to discuss the controversy that has circled LaMarr Woodley thanks to anonymous shots from elsewhere in the locker room, Woodley’s injuries and body type, and his own future with the Steelers.

On anonymous claims from the locker room that Lamarr Woodley’s work ethic hasn’t been good:

“It’s a matter of who’s saying it, and we’re defending an anonymous quote. And I think that’s something that, really, any time you have someone that goes on the record with an anonymous quote, obviously there has to be some credibility. And if not, you lose a lot of that moving forward with writing. And so when you talk about that being inside of the locker room, that wasn’t an issue for me. I know what LaMarr is doing; those type of things like when you have a hamstring or you have an ankle, it limits your ability to do anything. So those are things that I didn’t concern myself with. Other people did and they spoke about it, and that’s their opinion and I’ll leave it like that.”

On injuries impacting Woodley the last two years:

“Every time you go through a rehab schedule you’re kind of separate, a little bit, from the team. We’re on the practice field; he can’t be on the field. So the trainers are going to take him to the side, do his rehab, get his treatment, get his ice. So there are going to be things that he’s going to do outside of the team activity just because he couldn’t participate. So do I question LaMarr’s ability to go out there and do that? Absolutely not. He’s always ready and when he’s 100 percent he proves that.”

On Woodley being a unique player:

“When it comes to LaMarr, we know what he’s capable of doing. Has he been a guy who’s been in Lawrence Timmons’ shape? Absolutely not — his body’s not built like Lawrence Timmons. So you gotta expect different things. His job description is different than what other linebackers are. He rushes the passer, plays the run as you continue to get to the quarterback. So he’s been able to do things that are very unique.”

On his future with the team:

“My plan is to come back, and I haven’t heard anything differently from the organization. And I think when you leave out of there at the end-of-the-year meetings, you know one way or the other. And they didn’t tell me that they didn’t want me back. So I think that’s a good sign.”

Avery Johnson on Deron Williams: “He told us he loves what we are doing. He is excited about where we are going.”

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