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LaMarr Woodley: No regrets saying Joe Flacco wouldn't win Super Bowl

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

'I don't take it back at all,' LaMarr Woodley said of his comments about Joe Flacco. (USATSI)
It's been two years since LaMarr Woodley offered this answer when asked if quarterback Joe Flacco could lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl.

"No, not at all, because they have to go through one team -- that's the Pittsburgh Steelers in that AFC Championship," the Steelers linebacker said at the time. "So in order for them to get to the Super Bowl, they have to beat us, and we're not gonna let that happen once we get that close. So that's not gonna happen in this lifetime."

Well, it happened. And not only did the Ravens win a championship, the Steelers didn't even make the playoffs. Oh, and Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP and parlayed that into a six-year, $120.6-million contract.

Woodley, meanwhile, has been plagued by injuries and managed only four sacks last season. He was also called "awful" by an anonymous teammate, who blamed Woodley's lack of production on being out of shape.

So, with the perspective of the last 24 months, does Woodley wish he had never said anything?

"I don't take it back at all," Woodley told ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley. "As a player on any team, you're never going to say your rival is going to win the Super Bowl. That's knocking you out of the tournament that year. Somebody on their team pretty sure would say that as well. That's the nature of what it is. A lot of people don't understand. They're going to take it the way they want to take it."

And that's the thing: What was Woodley supposed to say when the question was originally put to him? "Yes, I'm quite confident that Joe Flacco will win multiple Super Bowls much to the dismay of Steeler Nation!"

To his credit, prior to Super Bowl XLVII, Woodley told a Florida radio station that he was pulling for Ray Lewis to get another ring before he retired.

"The year we beat Baltimore in the AFC Championship Game, I saw Ray Lewis out in Tampa [before the Super Bowl]," Woodley said. "He was telling me to go out there and win the game. That speaks a lot coming from a rival. But, early in the season, you just can't never say your rival is going to win the Super Bowl."

Fair enough. But Flacco seemed to take Woodley's slight personally. And maybe it had something to do with how the 2012 season played out (or perhaps it was strictly a coincidence; either way, Woodley looks silly now):

“[Woodley] obviously doesn't know what he's talking about," Flacco said two summers ago. "At some level, I don't care [what Woodley says] because what does that really mean? But there is another level where it does kind of piss you off a little bit."

Woodley showed up to Steelers minicamp in good shape, and the Steelers will need him to return to his dominating form in 2013. James Harrison is now with the Bengals and he'll be replaced by either Jason Worilds or rookie Jarvis Jones. And in case you're wondering, the Ravens and Steelers won't meet until Week 7.

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