TEMPE, Ariz. -- Twice this offseason, former Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley criticized his defensive coordinator, James Bettcher, calling him “dumb” and saying Bettcher “didn’t really listen to his players” and lacked “common sense.”
Two weeks ago, Woodley, a free agent, said he’s preparing to play in 2016 and said he can still “get the job done” if he’s in the right situation.
“I can go out there and play at a high level,” Woodley said on SiriusXM NFL Radio on July 15. “I just need to be out there on the field to play at a high level and not just be used for certain situations, as far as going out there and stopping the run. As an outside linebacker, they predicate our game on sacks, and I have to be in there on third-down situations to get sacks. But if I’m not in there on third-down situations, you ain’t going to see the stats.”
Woodley wasn’t a third-down linebacker last season for the Cardinals, seeing just 8 percent of his snaps on that down. Markus Golden and/or Dwight Freeney played 28 percent of their snaps on third down. Woodley didn’t get a sack in any of his 21 third-down snaps with Arizona last season -- but neither did any other Cardinal. In Woodley’s third-down snaps, the defense did not have an interception, sack, forced fumble or forced turnover.
Before Woodley was placed on injured reserve with a torn pectoral following Week 11, he played 261 snaps -- 42.2 percent of the total defensive snaps to that point. But the Cardinals’ defense was better without the 31-year-old.
With Woodley on the field, the Cardinals had five interceptions, five sacks, six forced turnovers and one forced fumble. That’s one interception and one sack in every 52.2 snaps for which he was on the field, and one forced turnover every 43.5 snaps.
When Woodley was on the sideline, the Cardinals had nine interceptions, 14 sacks, 12 forced turnovers and seven forced fumbles. That’s one interception per 39.6 snaps, one sack per 25.5 snaps, one turnover per 29.75 snaps and one forced fumble per 51 snaps.