Yesterday at my friend’s house, I witnessed probably one of the greatest
interceptions I have ever seen. In a game between Michigan and Michigan State, the quarterback for the Spartans was rolling out of the pocket avoiding pressure and just threw the ball out of bounds. But what happened after he threw the ball out of bounds was a one handed pick by Charles Woodson (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a youtube video you have to see).
Charles Woodson is entering his 16th season in the NFL, which may be his last year playing according to him. After seeing the play for the first time in my life, it got me thinking. Is Woodson one of the best defensive players ever?
Woodson is going to be the starting safety for the Green Bay Packers, the first time he will be playing safety in the league. A great move by the Packers. Woodson in my eyes is the best defender in the game, because he can line up anywhere on the field. He can be matched up across your best receiver, and then be brought from the
linebacker spot as a blitzer.
A former defensive player of the year just from a few years ago, Woodson helped Green Bay to the number one defense. In 2009, the season where he was voted the MVP on defense, he picked off the qb nine times and returned three of them for touchdowns. He also forced four fumbles and sacked the qb two times. But this is nothing for the former Heisman winner, yes a defender won the Heisman at one
In the 1997 season Woodson was everything for the Michigan Wolverines, playing on both sides of the ball on his way to the Heisman trophy and a national championship. That year he had two receiving touchdowns, and one rushing. Woodson was a stud at the corner position when he had eight interceptions. Woodson entered the 1998 NFL draft, and was selected fourth overall by the
Woodsons career will always be remembered by one play that he made, or he didn’t make. The 2002 AFC championship game against the Patriots in the snow, Woodson sacked and stripped Tom Brady in the final minutes of the game to make the biggest play of his career to take the Raiders to the superbowl. Refs said Bradys arm was moving forward so the pass was incomplete. Brady took the Pats down the field and won the game and the rest was history.
Woodson played for the Raiders for eight seasons, with one of his best seasons coming in his rookie year where he won rookie of the year for defense. He ended his Oakland career with just 17 picks, but everything changed when he signed with the
Packers in 2006.
Most players get worse as they age, but that wasn’t the case with Woodson. A player that many teams thought was washed up got eight interceptions in his first year with the Packers. In his first three years with the team before his defensive MVP, he had 19 interceptions.
Woodson playing safety this year will have a Ed Reed kind of feeling to it for Green Bays defense. He’s going to be a roamer that can come off blitz, and cover slot receiver’s if they need him to. With everything Packers have on the defensive side, I expect Woodson to end his career with a solid finish.
Written By Navid Khoi
Follow Navid on Twitter: @NavidKhoiReal1