PITTSBURGH -- Linebacker LaMarr Woodley rejoined the Steelers at their OTAs this week, which may make an impression on teammates who reportedly knocked him for being out of shape last season. But he says none of that bothers him or motivates him.
According to player quotes reported by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook, those teammates were not impressed by Woodley last year.
The quotes, from players who were not named, included:
"He was awful. He tells us he works out, but we didn't see it. He wasn't in shape. That has to be a reason why he was always hurt."
And this: "He tells us he works out, but we didn't see it ... "
Woodley says it doesn't matter who said what. He isn't hearing it.
"It doesn't bother me at all, " Woodley said Wednesday. "They're coming at the wrong person when they try coming at me. I don't listen to nothing. Playing football my whole life growing up, and you're in the spotlight, sometimes it comes with the good and the bad. You just have to know how to accept it. I'm one of those guys. I don't pay attention to much at all. I just go out there and do what I'm supposed to do. And these guys on the team know what I go out there and do each and every day."
And he is not using those remarks as motivation, either. He says he doesn't need it.
"No motivation at all," he said. "Somebody talking about me doesn't motivate me. I don't pay attention to it."
Woodley doesn't even question who said it. Again, it doesn't matter.
"I don't pay attention to that, I laugh at it," he said. "I make jokes about it. I told Maurkice Pouncey he said it. Every guy I see I say I heard you say that about me. I don't pay attention to that at all."
Woodley says he is healthy, recovered from the high ankle sprain that slowed him last year.
"The ankle is great," he said. "A high ankle sprain just takes time to get off of it a little bit. After the season, I had time to rest on it and get off of it a little bit. During the season, you're fighting, trying to get back on the field and you kind of set yourself back and forth a little bit, but during the offseason I had time to let it heal."