Did you ever talk to the anonymous person who made comments in the offseason or try and find out who it was?
|Actually, I think the anonymous person was next to me in the locker room, but actually that’s my locker next to me. I never had an opportunity to talk to them.
Was the person in that locker someone who is still here?
No, the anonymous person is right next to me, my locker. It’s my locker so there is no one there. I don’t know who said it.
Is any of the criticism about you needing to be in better shape fair?
A player like myself, I don’t listen to that kind of stuff. When that came up, it didn’t bother me one bit. I’m the type of person that laughs at stuff like that, any kind of negative things people say. As somebody that’s been doing this for so long, coming up in little league, you’re going to hear positive and negative stuff. It just comes with the territory. You deal with it and you continue to march on with your day.
What do you attribute your injuries to? Is any of it not being shape, or is it all bad luck?
Somebody falling on your ankle and having a high ankle sprain, you can’t control that. Everybody thought that last year I was out due to hamstring injuries but it wasn’t that. It was due to a high ankle sprain in the Cleveland Browns game early in the first quarter when somebody fell on my ankle. Anybody that plays sports or anybody that has ever had a high ankle sprain knows that it takes time to heal.
You’re coming into the season with an edge. Does all this talk tick you off?
No, the talk doesn’t tick me off. It was a disappointing season all the way around. Not making the playoffs, that ticks me off. It’s not necessarily what people are saying about me. It’s about the performance last year of our team and not going to the playoffs and not going to play in the Super Bowl at the end of the year.
How was your performance last year in comparison to previous years?
My performance definitely went down due to the high ankle sprain. When you have that, it affects everything that you do. We’re asked to drop back in coverage, we’re asked to rush a lot, and a lot of things that you can’t do without turning on that ankle. You try to fight through injuries. When you’re out there trying to fight through injuries people are still going to say, “Woodley is not being productive.” But at the same time, you’re out there playing injured. I was just out there playing for my team and trying to do the best that I could do.
Why did this team go 8-8?
We let a lot of games out of our hands. Whether it was down to the wire and giving up big plays, losing to teams that we should have beat, we definitely had an opportunity to change that record and be in the playoffs.
Re: Your feelings on losing LB James Harrison:
It’s part of football. People come and go, but all you can do is work with who’s here.
How will James Harrison help the Bengals?
I don’t know. We’ll see.
What do you know about LB
I don’t know much about Jarvis except for a few highlights that I’ve seen of him during the draft. Other than that, I don’t watch too much college football.
Weight-wise, where are you right now compared to last year?
I’m good to go. Ask the anonymous person. They can answer it better than I can.
How is the ankle?
The ankle is great. High ankle sprains just take time and you need to get off it a little bit. After the season, I had time to rest and get off it and didn’t have a reason to push it to get back on the field. During the season, you’re fighting to try to get back on the field and kind of setting yourself back a little bit. During the offseason, I had time to let it heal.
Do you think people have forgotten about you a little bit?
If they forgot about me, I wouldn’t be out here talking to you right now. I don’t worry about what other people. It’s all about the people on this team and the people upstairs making the call.
Do you feel like you’re in pretty good shape right now?
I’ve got to talk to the anonymous person about that. They have all the answers. Whoever the anonymous person was, we have to find him and ask him about that.
You said you don’t care what other people think. Does it bother you that a teammate was saying things about you anonymously?
Doesn’t bother me at all. They’re coming at the wrong person when they’re trying to come at me. I don’t listen to it. Playing football my whole life, when you’re in the spotlight, it comes with the good and the bad. Usually I know how to accept it. I’m one of those guys who doesn’t pay attention to much at all. I just go out there and do what I’m supposed to do. The guys on the team know what I go out there and do every day.
Is it motivation?
No motivation at all. Somebody talking about me doesn’t motivate me. I don’t pay attention to it.
Do you catch yourself looking around for who may have said it?
I don’t do that either. I don’t pay attention to it. I laugh at it. I make jokes out of it. I don’t pay attention to that at all.
Re: Losing NT Casey Hampton and LB James Harrison:
We didn’t have a Joey Porter out here when he left and we adjusted to that. When Aaron Smith left, we adjusted to that. When different players leave, you adjust to it and you go out there and play football. That’s just part of the game. Guys come and go and you’re pretty sure that the young guys that have come in to replace them are ready to go.