Green Bay Packers 2010 Player Evaluations – Defense – Charles Woodson
1) Introduction: As a free agent in 2006, cornerback Charles Woodson was not wanted by 31 of the 32 NFL teams. They thought he was a player in decline and that thanks to those supposedly diminishing skills, it wasn’t worth putting up with his antics. Well, the one team that wanted him got him, and needless to say the Green Bay Packers are pretty happy with what Woodson has become. Despite getting his relationship with then-rookie head coach Mike McCarthy in 2006, Woodson has evolved into one of the best corners in the game and the veteran leader of the Packers locker room. The whole world got to see his leadership in the aftermath of this year’s NFC Championship as well as the reports from the locker room during Super Bowl XLV. In 2009, Woodson was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year but fell short of his ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. While his statistics may not have been as gaudy in 2010, Woodson finally had his dream fulfilled and won a ring.
Height: 6-1 Weight: 200 lbs.
Weighted Career AV (100-95-…): 95 (192nd overall since 1950)
7-time Pro Bowler & 2-time First-Team All-Pro
3) Expectations coming into the season: Considering the numbers he piled up in 2009, the sky was the limit for Woodson entering 2010. With 9 interceptions and 3 touchdowns last season, it would be difficult for Woodson to duplicate those statistics this season. Still it was expected that Woodson would continue to be a ball hawk and the biggest weapon on defense for the Packers. With Al Harris on the PUP list to start the season, Woodson was expected to once again be the man in the Packers secondary as young corner Tramon Williams learned the ropes .
4) Highlights/Lowlights: An obvious highlight for Woodson would have to be his interception returned for touchdown at home against the Detroit Lions in Week 4 that helped seal the win in a tight game for the Packers. It was Woodson’s lone pick six for the season. A lowlight for No. 21 would have to be the Miami Dolphins game where Chad Henne seemingly could pick apart the Packers secondary and Woodson made his share of mistakes. Even though he shared coverage duties of Brandon Marshall with Williams, the Dolphins wide receiver still got over 100 yards receiving was a key player in the Dolphins’ overtime win.
5) Contribution to the team’s overall success: Despite a down year statistically, Woodson stepped up in area that may have been lacking in Green Bay for the past two seasons: strong veteran locker room leadership. With so many young guys on the Packers due to the ridiculous amount of injuries the team had, Woodson became a go to guy and helped the young players fit into their new roles. On the field, Woodson still had a big impact. With so many teams worried about him, they started targeting Tramon Williams . As the year went on, that proved to be a big mistake with Williams having a Pro Bowl-caliber year. With Sam Shields also seeing playing time as the nickel back, Woodson was surrounded by youngsters but fully embraced his veteran leadership role, as evidenced during the playoff run.
6) Contributions during the end-of-season six-game run: It can’t be stated enough. Even without flashy statistics, Woodson’s contributions to the team’s Super Bowl run cannot be underestimated. He wanted a Super Bowl so bad and despite leaving Super Bowl XLV early with a broken collarbone, Woodson’s emotional halftime speech (if you can call it that, he reportedly broke down before he could finish) inspired his teammates to go out and finish the Steelers. Numbers are only one part of measuring the total contributions of a player. The intangibles play just as big of a part.
Season Report Card:
(B-) Level of expectations met during the season
(B+) contributions to team’s overall success
(A) Contribution to team’s success during the playoff run (final six games)
Overall Season Grade (B+)——————
Kris Burke is a freelance sports writer currently residing in Wisconsin. His work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke