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s0phr0syne
03-26-2009, 06:17 PM
http://www.denverbroncos.com/page.php?id=334&storyID=8915

Taking the Next Step
By Gray Caldwell
DenverBroncos.com

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In 2008, Wesley Woodyard went from undrafted free agent to special teams ace to defensive playmaker in one season. That's a lot for a rookie to take in, but Woodyard handled it like an old pro.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker started six games last season, posting three double-digit tackle games including a career-high 13 and a forced fumble against the New York Jets.

"I love the game of football -- any time I am on the field I am going to try and give it my hardest," he said at the time.

He took over the starting duties when defensive captain D.J. Williams missed time with an injury. His speed, athleticism and excitement on the field quickly made him a favorite of teammates, coaches and fans.

Going into his sophomore season, Woodyard said he hopes his game will only continue to improve.

"I'm still in the same position -- I've got to prove myself and continue to do everything I did last year," he said. "I've got to continue to get better every day at practice and every day in the weight room."

Woodyard's continued growth will be a big part of the defense's turnaround in 2009, and a new addition to the Orange and Blue could help with that process.

Andra Davis, who comes to the Broncos in 2009 after being a defensive captain in Cleveland, brings another versatile weapon to the Denver linebacker corps. His locker sits adjacent to Woodyard's, and the eighth-year linebacker has already been impressed with the second-year linebacker's work-ethic.

"Wesley's a very athletic guy," Davis said. "He has unlimited potential -- I think he can definitely grow into being one of the best linebackers in this league. He's very humble and he works hard, so he's got what it takes."

Woodyard said Davis started sitting him down right away when he arrived, watching video together, going over the plays and just discussing how to dominate in the NFL.

"Any time you've got a leader like him on the team, that's always good for the defense," Woodyard said.

The two have bonded quickly -- Woodyard, the young player still hungry to learn and get better, and Davis, the veteran wise to the ways of the league. Part of the reason might be they're both SEC guys. Davis, a former Florida Gator, said he used to beat up on Woodyard's Kentucky Gators, but he says it with a laugh and the mutual respect is immediately evident.

"He's humble, he's a good dude and he works hard," Davis said. But most importantly -- "He's willing to listen."

"A lot of guys are not willing to listen, they think just because they play a little bit they've got everything figured out," Davis said. "But he's been listening to every little thing and piece of advice I give him. It makes it easy to want to help."

The success of Woodyard and the addition of players like Davis and defensive lineman/linebacker Darrell Reid, who won a Super Bowl in Indianapolis, can only help the depth of a linebacker corps that many expect big things from in 2009.

"We've got great starters and even the backups -- if somebody goes down, we want to make sure we don't miss a beat," Woodyard said. "We've got a competitive group this year, and we're going to try to keep it that way."

Drek
03-26-2009, 06:36 PM
For all the naysayers, this is why we brought in guys like Dawkins, Hill, Goodman, Davis, etc..

They aren't impressive FA signings by any stretch, but they're veterans who understand what it means to be a professional football player. They approach the game like everyone should approach their jobs. You need guys like that to show the younger players we have now and that we will be drafting soon how to go about making the transition from a talented amateur to a productive pro.

BroncoMan4ever
03-26-2009, 06:39 PM
i would love it if Woodyard could put on around 15-20lbs of muscle so he could really have the opportunity to become a starter.

UberBroncoMan
03-26-2009, 06:42 PM
I've always loved Woodyard. He's one of my favorite Broncos.

He's like a young Rod Smith on defense.

maher_tyler
03-26-2009, 09:04 PM
hopefully the new coaching staff gives him a chance.

BABronco
03-26-2009, 09:12 PM
I've always loved Woodyard. He's one of my favorite Broncos.

He's like a young Rod Smith on defense.

He is my second, behind Hillis.

Irish Stout
03-26-2009, 09:33 PM
i would love it if Woodyard could put on around 15-20lbs of muscle so he could really have the opportunity to become a starter.

Everyone has said this since his early days, yet the guy plays like a starter every time hes been on the field.

gyldenlove
03-26-2009, 09:41 PM
Woodyard is just a football player, you can tell. He wants to play football and he is good at playing football. He is a guy who will do everything he can to play football and that makes him very valuable.

Kaylore
03-26-2009, 10:46 PM
For all the naysayers, this is why we brought in guys like Dawkins, Hill, Goodman, Davis, etc..

They aren't impressive FA signings by any stretch, but they're veterans who understand what it means to be a professional football player. They approach the game like everyone should approach their jobs. You need guys like that to show the younger players we have now and that we will be drafting soon how to go about making the transition from a talented amateur to a productive pro.

You mean a team with players that do stupid stuff like tackling someone past the chains on third down and doing this...
http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/82797561.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF193F1A54CE2C4AF7C23316337E6718FDC61 5A5397277B4DC33E

wasn't helpful?

montrose
03-26-2009, 11:14 PM
Now this is what the Mane was needing. Some good old-fashioned Wesley Woodyard-love. I don't know if I've ever seen this site take to a player they have WW (ok, that might be a slight exaggeration).

Screw Cutler, let Woody take the snaps!

Requiem
03-26-2009, 11:31 PM
I got a WW autograph. Timmons and Foote at RILB for the Steelers are 6'0-6'1 and tipping near 240. They do well in their roles, so if weight is an issue, I think Woodyard could put on 10 more pounds and be at that area. Regardless, he can play football. That's what matters.

FireFly
03-26-2009, 11:37 PM
i would love it if Woodyard could put on around 15-20lbs of muscle so he could really have the opportunity to become a starter.

I completely agree with this, and while I understand that he's played well while he's been out there (relative to the other warm bodies out there last year at any rate) his adding that extra little bit of weight could really help him become more of a big hitting durable line backer. He probably needs to become a bit more of a cerebral player as well, but with the good work ethic taht we're hearing about that hopefully that's already well on its way to happening. :strong:

yerner
03-26-2009, 11:45 PM
I've been converted to a fan. But I wish the idea of him adding weight would just go away. He isn't going to add 20 pounds of muscle anytime soon. Its just not possible and he really doesn't need it. Just an opinion.

BroncoMan4ever
03-27-2009, 12:04 AM
Everyone has said this since his early days, yet the guy plays like a starter every time hes been on the field.

i agree. and i only say i want him to put on more weight because McDaniels has been talking about getting size on the defense, and with Woodyard being a little lighter, it might make him expendable in McDaniels eyes.

BroncoMan4ever
03-27-2009, 12:06 AM
I completely agree with this, and while I understand that he's played well while he's been out there (relative to the other warm bodies out there last year at any rate) his adding that extra little bit of weight could really help him become more of a big hitting durable line backer. He probably needs to become a bit more of a cerebral player as well, but with the good work ethic taht we're hearing about that hopefully that's already well on its way to happening. :strong:

he has the intensity already and could develop the skill and leadership of Al Wilson in time if he is given the opportunity. he can become the type of guy we build around on defense if he were a little bigger.

oubronco
03-27-2009, 08:59 AM
I surely hope Dawkins can do this to Barret as well

socalorado
03-27-2009, 09:52 AM
THE MAN

http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/83128005.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF19303D83A05122D236945541759BF55D02C 5A5397277B4DC33E

http://extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site36/2008/1211/20081211__20081212_C06_SP12WOOD%7Ep1_200.JPG

socalorado
03-27-2009, 09:57 AM
http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/83945592.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF193003A50471BAAE0D57F7EB0FF1D2F2F03 5A5397277B4DC33E

socalorado
03-27-2009, 10:01 AM
Dont forget about this guy too!


http://cache.gettyimages.com/xc/83128016.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF19303D83A05122D23699A501851BBEEDC76 5A5397277B4DC33E

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/photos/2008/04/25/l83531-1.jpg

theAPAOps5
03-27-2009, 10:09 AM
I wonder if anyone pointed out that Davis' Florida Gators didn't beat up on Woodyards Kentucky Gators to the blog writer yet.

Drek
03-27-2009, 10:16 AM
i agree. and i only say i want him to put on more weight because McDaniels has been talking about getting size on the defense, and with Woodyard being a little lighter, it might make him expendable in McDaniels eyes.

I don't think McDaniels is grading guys like that. He's been watching the tape and seeing what Woodyard actually did when in the game.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see DJ at SOLB with Woodyard in the mix at ILB with Davis and Larsen.

ZONA
03-27-2009, 01:14 PM
I think Woodyard needs more size if he is gonna make a lagit shot at starting LB in this league. I love how he plays and he is talented but 230 is very light. I think his best shot is adding a little more pure muscle on the upper body. He needs to get stronger while keeping fast athletic legs. Sorta how Ray Lewis is built. In his prime, what was he, 240? Very strong upper body and fast athletic legs. I think Woodyard could mold his body and game play into a similar style as Lewis. I think that's his best shot at starting some day. If he could just put on 10 pounds of muscle, maybe 8 pounds in the upper body and 2 or 3 pounds in the legs, he could look like this.

http://www.hvrsd.org/timberlane/home/student/KieranA/RAY-LEWIS.gif

Mogulseeker
03-27-2009, 01:23 PM
I still think we should start Woodyard at Strong Safety next year.

BroncoMan4ever
03-27-2009, 01:41 PM
I don't think McDaniels is grading guys like that. He's been watching the tape and seeing what Woodyard actually did when in the game.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see DJ at SOLB with Woodyard in the mix at ILB with Davis and Larsen.

if he was really paying attention to the tape, he wouldn't have cut our LS, he wouldn't have entertained the retarded notion of trading our QB.

his entire plan rests on turning us into Patriots West with the additions of as many castoffs from the Patriots as possible regardless of them being an upgrade or not, and to add size to the team.

cousinal11
03-27-2009, 02:18 PM
hopefully the new coaching staff gives him a chance.

Wouldn't count on it.

Drek
03-27-2009, 02:31 PM
if he was really paying attention to the tape, he wouldn't have cut our LS, he wouldn't have entertained the retarded notion of trading our QB.

his entire plan rests on turning us into Patriots West with the additions of as many castoffs from the Patriots as possible regardless of them being an upgrade or not, and to add size to the team.

He brought in a long snapper who has long been considered the best in the league, who is younger than leach, makes only marginally more than the vet minimum (which Leach was making) and who was the ST captain on multiple championship teams.

I honestly don't get why people have such a problem with that move.

As for the QB, I'd hardly call it retarded if he was being offered the kind of compensation that has been suggested (multiple first day picks), when a QB who knows his system and out played Cutler last year was readily available at the time. Even then he still never took it seriously enough to make a hard push for it.