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Might Charles Woodson's Days as a Perimeter Corner be Over?

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Might Charles Woodson's Days as a Perimeter Corner be Over?

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:

  1. Woodson will move to safety where he''ll remain. Or...
  2. 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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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (9) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

If in nickel and dime, yes, but unless Capers is going to play only 1 safety beyond 20 yards in base (or solely cover 3, cover 1 and cover 0), Woodson would play closer to the LOS as a corner, even at the perimeter, than as a safety, no?

In "jumbo" situations, I could see Woodson playing as a S, close to the LOS. But not in the classical base, with 3 DL, 4 LB, 2 CB and 2 S.

ZeroTolerance's picture


FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Tramon and Sam, I/we expect much better play out of the two of them, I'm sure the coaches do as well. House and Hayward are two young guys with upside that are unknowns at this level, but I feel good about the two of them, maybe the coaches are expecting them to chip in quite a bit from week one? Chuck is still a playmaker, if he's on the field, there's always a chance he's gonna make a big play, whether he's lost a step or not. All in all, I feel pretty good about the CB group, I'm stoked to watch em play.


pkrNboro's picture

"I don't think it's feasible to move Charles around as much as we have in the past," said McCarthy.

"He's a playmaker," said McCarthy. "...he's played nickel, dime, corner, safety for us. So he'll continue to do those things."

Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should freeze or get down on the ground?

Chazman's picture

Nice Raising Arizona quote and exactly what I thought when I read McCarthy's quote.

pkrNboro's picture

If correct...
...I think this needs some attention.

PackersRS's picture

That he makes the most money?

He came from free agency, it was his 3rd contract (If not 4th). The 3rd contract, for the DPOY at the time, defensive leader of the team, future Hall of Famer and the key component to the defensive scheme was bound to be quite large.

There's also the issue of perception. People saying he lost a step, but it's clear, at least to me, from reading people such as Daniel Jeremiah and Matt Bowen, not to mention specialized sites such as pro-football-reference, profootballfocus and footballoutsiders, that people in the league still view him as an elite player. No other player in the league can do what Woodson does, even at this age. Tampa Bay uses Ronde Barber in a similar role but not to the same efficiency.

He did lead the league in interceptions last year. Plus, he was voted 1st team pro bowl AND 1st team all-pro last year.

So, if so many people outside GB thinks Woodson is still an elite player, competent people, maybe the perception amongst fans that he lost a step might be overblown, influenced by the state of the entire defense last year, as well as the unreasonable expectations that his "magnum opus" 2009 season generates.

Not to say it's not true that he, indeed, isn't the same, athletically wise, as he was in years past. But what he's making, taking everything into consideration, is more than fair.

Mike's picture

His days on the perimeter have already been over for 2 years now!! Watch the games!

Stroh's picture

Wood hasn't played much outside CB in a couple years! Why would he be doing it more now? He IS losing speed and therefore less equipped to play outside CB than in years past. He has played almost exclusively slot CB for the past 2 years. The Packers player little in base D anymore, and they have Williams, Shields and House who all might now be better at outside CB than Wood is... Hayward, IMO, was drafted primarily to learn from Woodson and to play his role as the slot CB in nickel and dime. Hayward isn't as well suited as House, Shields or Williams to playing outside CB. But he is perfecly suited to play Woodson's role as the slot CB!

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