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Cole: Steelers With the Best LB Core in the NFL

Jason Cole at Yahoo Sports! has another ranking out, and this time it is the NFL’s LB’s, and at the very top of the list he has the Steelers:

1. Pittsburgh: With LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison, the Steelers have the best combination of accomplished pass rushers among 3-4 defenses in the NFL. In fact, it’s not real close. The only team that could close the gap anytime soon is Dallas if Anthony Spencer improves. When you add in inside linebackers James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons (seven sacks last season), you have the best overall linebacking corps in the league by a pretty good margin. Dallas is really good, but the Steelers are special.

I have said more than once that I think Woodley and Harrison are the best in the business, and I think together they are going to have huge seasons in 2010. Farrior and Timmons on the inside are very good, and I will be interested to see what Larry Foote has left in the tank as he’s back as well. Overall, this is an accurate statement – this team has the best LB core in football.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. jay

    July 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I have one exception with Cole’s remark—Farrior is garbage at this point in his career in terms of pass coverage and i hope the team addresses this by moving Timmons to his spot and Foote to the run stopping linebacker spot and letting farrior on the field SITUATIONALLY ONLY (i.e., 1st downs, goal line, short yardage). Anyway it’s moot because as long as just one of the rookies (Worilds?Gibson) develops accordingly AND they retain Woodley, Harrison will slide inside—Ya think this linebacking corps is good? How about in a couple of years OLB-Worilds/Gibson; OLB-Woodley; ILB Timmons; ILB Harrison!!!!!

  2. mark

    July 12, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Jay, You know I agree with you bro. My only problem is the article that talks about Woodley NOT getting any extension. If he isnt re-signed by March, he will be a goner. There isnt a team in the NFL that wont give him whatever he wants to be a player for them. Except, it would seem, OUR STEELERS!! Letting this kid go, before he even reaches his prime is a HUGE mistake. OK, lets say that 1 of the draft picks (Worild, Gibson) light it up and give us optimism. I still cant accept Woodley signing elsewhere when he has been so productive for the Steelers. Anyone who questions this kids abilities and does not think he deserves what he wants is nuts and that includes the Steeler offices.

  3. arrow61095

    July 13, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Farrior is nearing the end of his career. While I would love to see them re-sign Woodley, I am not sure they will. Why else would they have taken 2 OLBs in the draft (Worilds/Gibson)? And why would they have used a 2nd round pick on a guy if they thought that both Woodley and Harrison are going to be here in the near future?

    In all honesty, the team that I think has the best chance for passing the Steelers in the best linebacker category is probably Green Bay. Clay Matthews looks like a beast, and AJ Hawk is no slouch in the middle. ……Of course it doesn’t hurt that their LB coach is Kevin Greene.

  4. Stealrphan1

    July 13, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    The Steelers will not offer Woodley this season because of the CBA. They cannot extend his current contract for more than 30% of the current rookie contract he signed coming out of the draft. With no CBA, both the Steelers front office and Woodley’s camp know that a 30% increase is not worth negotiating over. More than likely, the Steelers will franchise him unless a new CBA can be reached whereby, they will begin real negotiations on a long term deal. As for the best LB corp in the league, the current foursome in Black and Gold has to be considered the frontrunner, and I think alot of people are shortchanging Farrior’s intangibles when he is on the field. Yea, he may be a step or three slower in coverage, but his leadership and game smarts make it hard to bring him off the field. The two rookies were drafted for depth, not to step in and play this season..

  5. john

    July 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I’m suprised this article didnt mention anything about kenyon fox either he’s out fourth ilb behind foote. I think foote was brought back in along with the two rookie olbs to add depth. Lets face it harrison and farrior are getting old and timmons had trouble staying healthy last year i see alot of rotaion going on with these 8 guys and hopefully it will result in better fourth quarter and end of the year staminia that cost us the playoffs last year the defense just looked tired in the fourth quarter and remember thats how the giants beat the patriots in the SB they kept rotating D linemen to keep them fresh and wear down the Patriot O line and it really showed in the fourth quarter of that game

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