Could you imagine Charles Woodson roaming the Green Bay Packers’ defensive backfield for another couple of years? Another three years? How about five years?
That might be a stretch, but if Sir Charles has his way, he will play as long as the Green Bay Packers want and need him.
The 34-year-old cornerback who won his first Super Bowl title with the Packers last season, was quoted in a brief story published on the NFL.com website Tuesday that he wants to stay in Green Bay as long as he is able to play at a championship level.
Woodson, who broke his collarbone defending a pass at the goal line in last February’s Super Bowl, said the injury has healed well and that he’s ready to play at least one more season, and more if he continues to feel as he does now.
Some may feel Woodson has lost a step because his statistics were down last season.
I don’t think so.
Does 92 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and five forced fumbles sound like a down year to you? For the majority of NFL cornerbacks, that would be a career season. Because Woodson was coming off his defensive player of the year award, so many expected that type of season again.
Needless to say, that was a season any player would find difficult duplicating. Woodson came close and could say that despite fewer interceptions, he attained the ultimate goal – that of being a member of a championship team.
Not only does Woodson bring a swagger and confidence to that defense, he is the leader in the locker room … his “White House” speech last year was enough to crown him the king of post-game banter.
His toughness has become legendary in Green Bay. Continually playing through injury, Woodson has been year-in and year-out consistent in both production and leadership.
His value is immeasurable. While there are many plays one could point to as pinnacles of a player’s career, there are two in particular that stick out in my mind.
The first came in the 2007 championship game loss to the New York Giants … you remember that game as well as I … the cold, Plaxico Burress, Donald Driver’s 80-yard touchdown reception … the interception.
But the one play that stands out in my mind involved Sir Charles.
The ball was handed off to Brandon Jacobs, the bruising Giants running back. He headed toward a hole in the offensive line which was quickly closed by Woodson. They met head-on and Jacobs’ bull rush was met by Woodson’s shoulder. Because of his the sheer difference in size between the two, Jacobs got the best of Woodson, though it may have seemed.
What was amazing about that particular play was that Woodson didn’t just bounce off and flail on the ground. He stuck with the tackle and brought him down.
That play alone epitomized Woodson’s toughness, dedication and desire to win. That was the type of play that he has shown during his entire career and will continue until the day he retires.
The second play occurred just this past season when the Packers played the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field.
Again, it was a running play.
Favre handed the ball off to Adrian Peterson deep in the backfield and he bounced his run to the outside of the tackle. For a moment, there was only green grass ahead of him … that was until Woodson closed in on him.
Singlehandedly, Woodson zeroed in on Peterson, hit him low and brought him down just before the elusive running back could break the run. Had Woodson not made that tackle, Peterson probably would still be running.
Again, a single tackle and a turning point in the game.
That’s what Sir Charles brings to the field and that’s why the Packers are blessed to have him as their leader … the heart and soul of a defense that no doubt will be just as strong again with him roaming the defensive backfield.
My hope is that he stays healthy and continues to keep his game at a championship level … for many years to come.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers Al Harris B.J. Raji Brett Favre Charles Woodson Clay Matthews Donald Driver Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings Mike McCarthy Minnesota Vikings NFC NFL Ted Thompson Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing