Green Bay Packers: 50 greatest players in franchise history

Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allsport
Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allsport /
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Willie Wood
Willie Wood #24(Photo by Vic Stein/Getty Images) /

49. . S. (1960-71). Willie Wood. 8. player

Greatest players in Green Bay Packers history: 8. Willie Wood

Let’s be real. Those Packers teams in the 1960s were absolutely stacked. The offense was loaded and the defense was dominant at all levels. One player who was there for all of it in the secondary was safety Willie Wood. He played his entire 12-year NFL career in Green Bay after going undrafted out of USC.

Wood might have first made a name for himself as the first black quarterback in what is now known as the Pac-12, but it would be in the Packers secondary where he became a legend. He requested a tryout with the Packers as a quarterback before switching to defensive back as a rookie in 1960. Let’s just say that move to safety was beneficial for both parties involved. The Packers won like crazy and Wood became a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

Wood made nine All-Pro teams in his career, five first teams and four second teams. He earned eight trips to the Pro Bowl. Wood won five NFL championships as a member of the Packers in the 1960s. He was on both Super Bowl winning rosters in 1966 and 1967. He also led the league in interception in 1962 with nine picks.

Overall, Wood retired after the 1971 NFL season with 48 career interceptions in 166 career regular season games with the Packers. Wood was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1960s as well as inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. In 1989, Wood was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His Canton classmates include Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw and Art Shell.