The comments of head coach Mike McCarthy following Tuesday's organized team activity regarding cornerback Charles Woodson indicated a change in defensive back's role on the team is in the works.
Whether that means he's moving to safety is still unclear, however.
"I don't think it's feasible to move Charles around as much as we have in the past," said McCarthy.
As if that comment wasn't vague enough, McCarthy also added, "Charles is going to be close to the line of scrimmage; he's going to also be playing in the secondary."
Reading the tea leaves, McCarthy's comments can be viewed in two ways:
- Woodson will move to safety where he''ll remain. Or...
- Woodson's will be used in fewer defensive packages than in previous years.
Either way, it looks as if Woodson's days as a perimeter cornerback could be numbered.
Even though Woodson may have lost a step and have a hard time keeping up with some of the NFL's speedy receivers, he remains effective defending the slot due to his fearlessness in defending the run, blitzing and playing in close quarters.
For the most part, Woodson has slid inside and defended the slot when the Packers go to their nickel package, typically replaced on the perimeter by Sam Shields or Jarrett Bush as a defensive lineman comes off the field.
But up until now, Woodson has almost always played as the outermost cornerback when the Packers are in their base 3-4 defense, paired with Tramon Williams as the only two cornerbacks.
Perhaps those days are over. A trade up for Casey Hayward in the second round showed how highly the Packers think of him and may hope to use his services.
In any case, it would be difficult to see Woodson coming off the field no matter what scheme they're running.
Again, whether that means Woodson will make full-time move to safety instead remains to be seen.
"He's a playmaker," said McCarthy. "When you break down the offensive and defensive groups, you look for playmaker role players, and people also to just be core players. Charles is clearly a playmaker, has been for us, and he's played nickel, dime, corner, safety for us. So he'll continue to do those things."
Woodson has not participated in any of the organized team activities open to the public the past three weeks.
He is, however, expected to practice during the mandatory three-day minicamp, which begins next week. Perhaps the public will be able to get a sneak preview of Woodson's job description then.
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