Ex-Cardinals, Raiders LB LaMarr Woodley: Defensive coordinators 'dumb'

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Former Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley insulted his past two defensive coordinators, saying neither used him correctly, during an episode on his podcast "Avenue 56 with LaMarr Woodley" this week.

Woodley, who didn't refer to either by name, complained about Oakland Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver moving him to defensive end in 2014 and how Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher used him as an outside linebacker in 2015.

He also blamed Bettcher for Arizona's loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game.

Both teams, Woodley said, were not good fits for him.

"In Oakland, we had a dumb defensive coordinator, and in Arizona, we had a dumb defensive coordinator," Woodley said. "It was just two dumb guys that felt like ... they never played football but felt like they knew more about football. They thought that we were like Madden players. They'd draw up something, and on paper, it looked good, but the players would still have to go out there and run it.

"And those guys didn't really listen to their players. They was a one-track mind. Whatever they seen, they wanted us to do it and that was the problem. I wasn't a good fit out there." Both Bettcher and Tarver played college football. Bettcher was an offensive lineman at the University of Saint Francis and Tarver was a defensive back at West Valley College.

Woodley, who tore his pectoral muscle in Week 11 and missed the rest of the season, blamed Arizona's 49-15 loss to Carolina, in which Arizona's offense accounted for just 287 total yards, on Bettcher not listening to his players.

"In Arizona, we had one of the best defenses," Woodley said. "You look at that defense stacked up all the way around and you look at the results that happened in the Carolina game. It wasn't because we had bad players. No, our defense coordinator, he just didn't have the common sense to talk to his players to make the adjustments because he just wanted to do things his way.

"When he did things his way, those are the results that we got. Bottom line."

Woodley also compared Bettcher and Tarver to former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who, Woodley said, would listen to his players' complaints because he was a former player. Woodley played for LeBeau in Pittsburgh from 2007-13.

"If something didn't work and a player came up to him and he talked to him about it, coach LeBeau listened to his players because he played the game of football and he understood that so he listened to his players," Woodley said. "That's why Pittsburgh was successful on defense for all those years -- because they had a coach who listened to his players.

"When I was in Oakland and when I was in Arizona, the defensive coordinators, they didn't listen to their players. They wanted to do it their way and their way only, and as you see, when some coaches just do it their way, things don't turn out well."