You're going to find this difficult to believe, but shy, introverted Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley talked some trash in the media.
His target was Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Woodley was asked if Flacco could lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl win, and here was Woodley's response:
"No, not at all because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC championship. So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."
Flacco responded on WBAL in Baltimore. Also, it helps if you pretend all of these things are being said into a microphone being held by Mean Gene Okerlund.
"[Woodley] obviously doesn't know what he's talking about," Flacco told Keith Mills and Pete Gilbert on WBAL Saturday.
"At some level I don't care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit."
"We just need to come up a little bigger than we have while playing those guys a couple of times," said Flacco. "I mean, come on. What does he think? That they're going to do it every year?"
Actually, yes, Joe Flacco, that probably is exactly what LaMarr Woodley thinks. Were you expecting him to pause, stroke his chin, and quote Voltaire? Supreme confidence, rational or otherwise, is rampant among successful NFL defensive players. It might even be considered a virtue for the position.
None of this is anything more than off-season time wasting, of course. The entire Steelers defensive line could take out an ad in the Baltimore Sun tomorrow pledging unending violence against anyone who has ever worn the color purple, and it's not going to make Steelers vs. Ravens games any more intense. The intensity, dislike and physicality are going to be dialed up to 11 any time these two teams play, regardless of what anyone says or doesn't say beforehand.