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  • Nice article on Wesley

    http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Sports/246288/

    Undrafted Woodyard leads resurgence
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008

    AP/JACK DEMPSEY Undrafted rookie linebacker Wesley Woodyard (right) has 50 tackles for Denver since becoming a starter five weeks ago, helping the Broncos win four of their past five games.

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The Denver Broncos were about to go down for the count when quarterback Jay Cutler came to the rescue along with a most unlikely sidekick - an undrafted, undersized and largely unknown rookie linebacker named Wesley Woodyard.

    Things looked bleak for the Broncos when D.J. Williams, fresh off signing a six-year, $32 million contract that solidified his standing as Denver's defensive leader, went down with a knee injury Nov. 2.

    Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey had just chewed out teammates for lacking a nasty attitude, and the bungling Broncos were sitting ugly at 4-4 with a three-game losing streak.

    The injury-riddled Broncos, who had already lost strongside linebacker Boss Bailey for the year and would lose middle linebacker Nate Webster the following week, turned to a free agent from the University of Kentucky who is generously listed at 230 pounds and was ignored in the draft because he's too small.

    Or so everybody thought.

    During Williams' absence, Woodyard has recorded 50 tackles in five starts on the weak side, leading Denver (8-5) to the brink of a playoff berth with four victories in five weeks.

    Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, whose Panthers (10-3) host the Broncos on Sunday, said he's impressed with Denver's entire makeshift defense, but one guy stands out above the rest.

    "The more film you watch ... Woodyard keeps on making plays, especially the last couple of weeks," Delhomme said.

    Two weeks ago, Woodyard had 13 tackles, 11 unassisted, and forced a fumble by Brett Favre in Denver's victory over the New York Jets. Against Kansas City last week, he led the team with eight unassisted tackles and broke up a pass in another crucial victory.

    "Wesley's one of those things you call a diamond in the rough," teammate Kenny Peterson said Wednesday.

    Williams is inching his way back to health, and that begs the question: How can the Broncos possibly take Woodyard out of the lineup when Williams returns?

    "Yeah, he's a playmaker," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "We'll try to keep him out there as much as we can. He's fun to watch, both on defense and special teams."

    It doesn't seem likely the team's savior will spend much time on the sideline in December, though.

    "If he keeps playing like that, they'll find a way to keep him on the field," cornerback Dre' Bly said.

    One possibility is keeping Woodyard where he is and moving Williams back to the middle.

    Woodyard said he's ready for a reduced role if that's what it comes to.

    "D.J.'s the captain of our defense. You've got to give all respect to him," Woodyard said. "I'm ready to accept my role on the team like I did in the preseason. I'm going to be a playmaker whether on special teams or defense."

    The way Woodyard sees it, the more depth at his position, the better.

    "Once we get D.J. back, we're going to have a lot more playmakers on our team," he said. "I'm just going to earn my respect every week from the guys on the team and the guys in the NFL."

    CanDB's comments:

    They can't all be 1st rounders, and those cases, not all 1st rounders make it in the NFL. So when you can reach out and find people like Wesley, you get a nice big bonus.....very low risk, big reward.

    Good for this guy, and I hope he stays on the field as much as possible. We keep adding depth this year, and that's crucial to any team's success!

  • #2
    Still find it amazing how he went undrafted. So what if he is a little undersized? He lead the SEC in tackles and was the absolute leader of a very stoute defense at Kentucky.

    Bottom line is that Woodyard is a football player, sure he's not 6'2 and 240 lbs but when he straps on his helmet and hits the field he becomes a man beast and i couldnt be happier to have him on our team. :salute!:

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    • #3
      I want DJ to play middle because he has a chance to make plays all over the field. If you put him on one side, and they run the other way, you take him out of the play.

      I say we run with Woodyard at the weak side, Dj at middle and Winborn at Sam.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        this kid is becoming my fav player. hes got heart. hes smart and hits like a truck. he reminds me alot of a young karl mecklinburg lets hope we get a LB like that again

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Legendary30 View Post
          I want DJ to play middle because he has a chance to make plays all over the field. If you put him on one side, and they run the other way, you take him out of the play.

          I say we run with Woodyard at the weak side, Dj at middle and Winborn at Sam.
          x2. Yes this would be the best. If we move DJ to the middle though we need to keep him there and not draft another mlb. Or if we do draft another mlb make it a 4th or 5th to back him up. Moving him to mlb to end this year then back again next year will totally piss him off and screw with his development.

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          • #6
            If we move DJ once again we need to keep him there! keep on moving him hes not gonna be as good as everyone knows he can be.

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            • #7
              I heard great things about this guy before the draft. Unbelievable this guy went undrafted. I think his size is fine especially for being a rookie. The guy made plays at Kentucky and showed that he was a natural football player. I am thankfull someone in Denver thought him worthy of a shot. He sure has been a great asset to the Broncos so-far.
              Definition of the word “Fan”: The term fan refers to someone who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking of a person, group of persons, work of art, idea, or trend.

              Definition of True Broncos Fan: Homer.

              Rod Smith the greatest ever
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ankz_...eature=related

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              • #8
                who cares if he is undersized. It hasn't stopped him from making any tackles.
                I do agree with d.j. going to the middle, i thought he did a great job in the middle last season.

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                • #9
                  If we keep Woodyard at WLB and move DJ Williams to MLB our LB problems would be pretty much solved. Winborn is playing fairly well at SLB and we could build better depth next year if B. Bailey can't play. Then, we could turn our focus to fixing our DL and secondary.
                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    I think Wesley at WLB and DJ at MLB and then just a good stop gap at SLB like Winborn or a late draft pick, would allow us to easily take a good DT or Safety with our first pick.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hoserman117 View Post
                      I think Wesley at WLB and DJ at MLB and then just a good stop gap at SLB like Winborn or a late draft pick, would allow us to easily take a good DT or Safety with our first pick.

                      I think this is the way Shanny is going to approach it. If you take Woodyard out, you're always going to be asking, "what if?" I don't think DJ will be that mad about the shift, as long as we keep him away from SLB

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by d-bronx42 View Post
                        Still find it amazing how he went undrafted. So what if he is a little undersized? He lead the SEC in tackles and was the absolute leader of a very stoute defense at Kentucky.

                        Bottom line is that Woodyard is a football player, sure he's not 6'2 and 240 lbs but when he straps on his helmet and hits the field he becomes a man beast and i couldnt be happier to have him on our team. :salute!:
                        I couldn't have said it better myself

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                        • #13
                          I think he could play Strong side for us because he has that speed ran a 4.51 at combine so he can match up against most TEs in the league. Plus if we get another 10 pounds on him and no loss in quickness he could be one hell of a hitter

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