The Green Bay Packers have decided to give Charles Woodson some practice time at the safety position as the 15-year veteran spent the entire first day of training camp at either strong safety or nickel back.
Head coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers coaching staff feel very comfortable with Woodson back there and have no problem with their best defensive back as their last line of defense. Woodson will also be free to make several big-time plays, which could allow his interception total to rise this season.
With the recent release of veteran safety Charlie Peprah, the Packers need to find someone capable and willing to play the position at a high-level. They also want playmakers lined up at every defensive back position on every down.
If Woodson will play a majority of downs at strong safety that means rookie Casey Hayward, second-year player Davon House, and veteran Jarrett Bush will have an exciting challenge in the early part of camp. However, if Woodson will still remain as a corner back then look for M.D. Jennings to have a great shot at a starting role.
“We have some young players we’re excited about, players we had a chance to watch throughout the spring. It’s a lot of competition,” McCarthy said. “M.D. showed things last year, especially on special teams. He has that body of work combined with a good offseason.”
Clearly, the Packers have enough confidence in their young players panning out otherwise, they never would have released Peprah. It can be a bit nerve racking for the fans considering the high expectations for this season. However, after watching Peprah fail to make tackle after tackle down the stretch last season it was evident he would not be coming back this year.
No matter where Woodson plays on defense, he will have an impact in the game. What the Packers need to do now is find players who are willing to step up and make a difference where ever Woodson is not playing. To be champions every single person must be accountable, which includes basics such as proper tackling and keeping the runner in front.