LaMarr Woodley defends claim Raiders can make playoffs


Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) is tackled by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (56) during the second quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Last week 95.7 The Game asked newly acquired Oakland Raider and former Super Bowl champion LaMarr Woodley a variety of questions about his new team in what was a standard “new player” interview gauging the excitement of a relevant player finding a new home in the NFL.

As expected, the questions delved into the Raiders playoff chances. To which Woodley, already a champion and a proven veteran from his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, obliged with the obvious answer in saying that his new team is a playoff caliber one.

“I can definitely see [the Raiders] as a playoff team,” Woodley said Tuesday during a radio interview with 95.7 The Game. “Last year, going back and watching some film on the Raiders, there were a lot of opportunities here where they just didn’t close it out.”

“Some games good in the first half, they just didn’t close it out at the end of the game,” the pass-rusher told 95.7 The Game. “So now we just have to learn how to close out games, and it’ll be more wins than losses.”

Well, ESPN and ran with Woodley’s comments to local radio to publish their own stories attaching Woodley’s quotes to spur some talk about the new free agent touting the Raiders playoff hopes. Something that Woodley responded to on Twitter, seeming none to pleased that the media seemed to be using Woodley’s positivity to question his expectations on his new team’s chances in 2014.

Woodley has a very valid point as nearly every new signing of an NFL team comes into the media rounds saying positive things about his new team and their chances of being competitive come the Fall as it is pretty common practice. It is also common practice for writers/bloggers to take those comments and blanket them under claims of saying that team is going to succeed in order to sell newspapers or get pageviews. That is how the game goes and it is no surprise that Woodley is irritated by what is one of the sillier paint-by-numbers stories there is in the NFL at this time of year. Whether Woodley’s comments were 100% genuine or not, his saying that the Raiders can make the playoffs is a non-story and it is nice to see an NFL player call out what is one of the lazier attempts at creating a narrative out of nothing by using his expected comments to create more chatter.