Willie Wood (left) celebrates a win. Courtesy of packershistory.net
#2 – Willie Wood
Now I know I just said previously that we tend to value championships too highly in regards to individual rankings (especially for sport comprised of teams with dozens of players) but when the tally is this disparaging as it is between Dillon and these top two spots it is extremely difficult to cut out the importance given.
If you decide to see it as backtracking or pandering, so be it, but I can’t undervalue the difference of five championships to zero enough to put Dillon over either Wood or the person in the top spot.
For those not well-versed in history, that isn’t a typo; each of these top two guys are five-time champions. But only one can be number one on this list; Wood just happens to be the one holding down the number two slot.
Wood was quite incredible and for many teams WOULD be the best defensive back in their history.
His 48 INTs rank second only to the aforementioned Bobby Dillon in team history. He led the team in INTs for five of his seasons, including a three-year streak – and also one year of leading the entire league. One of those years was a nine-INT season, which ties for second on the team all-time list for interceptions in a season.
Not only did he put up strong statistics, but Wood was superbly reliable; he never missed a game during his career (166 games), which still currently sits as the fourth-highest total of consecutive games played in Packers history.
That’s somehow more impressive when you account for the fact that he was a guy with a reputation for hard hits (shown in his propensity for forcing fumbles; 16 in his career).
His abilities and accolades eventually got their just due when he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
That kind of career deserves a lofty spot in lists such as this, but it wasn’t quite enough for the top spot.
For almost every area Wood excelled in, the guy above him could either match or top it.