On the Sidelines with LaMarr Woodley
Steelers.com will bring you a regular feature throughout the season titled On the Sidelines where Teresa Varley will sit down with players and help you get to know them away from the game.
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley has stepped into a starting role for the Steelers this year, but he has also stepped up in what he is doing in the community since completing his rookie season.
Woodley hosted his First Annual Summer Football Camp with St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Clifton Ryan in his hometown of Saginaw, Michigan over the summer.
"I love working with kids," said Woodley. "It's fun being around them with all of the excitement. Being an NFL player and coming back and do those things is fun. It's not to get people to notice you; it's just something I like to do."
He also spent time at the Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood hanging out with the kids there.
"That's the most fun I have had since I used to go to the Boys & Girls Club back at home," said Woodley, who spent many days hanging out at the Boys & Girls Club while growing up in Saginaw, Michigan. "I played pool, bumper pool, ping pong, two-on-two basketball in the gym. I had a lot of fun.
"All of the kids up there wanted to challenge me in different games. I lost to a staff member in ping pong. I lost in a pool game. In bumper pool I beat three or four kids. In basketball - I definitely took over in that."
Woodley, who plans on continuing his community involvement, talks about different topics in this installment of On the Sidelines.
When did you start playing organized sports? *I started playing baseball when I was four or five years old.
*When did you start playing football?
I was playing touch football in fourth grade. I tried out for pee-wee football in the sixth grade but I weighed too much and they wouldn't let me play.
Why did you host a football camp this year?
I remember when I was in the fifth grade Terry McDaniels who used to play for the Raiders and was from Saginaw did a football camp there. I said if I ever make it to the NFL I want to come back to Saginaw and do it. I wanted to give the kids who live in Saginaw a chance to see some of the big time athletes they might never get to see. You want to bring that there and influence them a lot.
Was that fun for you?
It's always fun. You have the guys come and you see the kids working hard at some of the drills and getting autographs. It was great to see all of that.
What advice would you give to kids who dream of playing in the NFL?
Just work hard and stay committed. Not just in football but in anything you do in life.
Who has had the biggest influence on you?
There have been a lot of people. There are so many who have influenced me in my life.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I guy I played with in high school, Otis Washington, he always told me to continue to work hard and stay humble. Never things you are above anybody, or better than anybody. Continue to be the person you are and it will take you a long way.