During the off season, the Packers decided to change Woodson’s position from corner back to safety. This was mainly due to the career-ending injury to SS Nick Collins. Everyone had faith in Woodson’s switch, because he is used to playing every position in the defensive backfield. Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme has allowed Woodson to become a great hybrid defensive player. The 3-4 did wonders for Woodson’s career as he won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2009.
It was evident early this season that Woodson had lost a step. He seemed slow getting in on certain plays. His coverage skills have diminished somewhat as physical receivers were really getting the best of him. Woodson’s leadership, and his ability to forecast plays have helped him much of this season until his injury.
Woodson broke his collarbone late in the week 7 win over the St. Louis Rams. The forecast of the injury was 4-6 weeks, which would have put him back in the lineup against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday. The time came for the decision, and Woodson was passed over as coach Mike McCarthy said the medical staff wouldn’t clear Woodson. Woodson was frustrated with this news because he believes he can play. Could the Packers be holding Woodson out for good?
Due to Woodson’s injury, the young players have stepped up to make plays. The defense seems better without Woodson at times. Young defensive back’s Casey Hayward, M.D. Jennings and Jerome McMillan have really closed the gap on defense. GM Ted Thompson has a method of letting veterans go for young players who can make plays. Sadly, this could be one of those occasions.
Woodson may want out Green Bay, because he may see what teammate Donald Driver is going through. Driver was the Packers best receiver for a while, but this year he’s been relegated to 5th string and rarely sees the field. He restructured his contract in the off season to do this. It would be embarrassing to see this happen to Woodson.
Woodson has grown as a man, and as a player during his time in Green Bay. There was a time when he didn’t even want to play for the Packers before arriving in 2006. Since then he’s become one of the best players in Packers history, and he helped lead the team to its 4th Super Bowl title.
The business side of the NFL is terrible when you have to go through this with players you’ve grown close with. Woodson could have played his last game with the Packers, because nothing is guaranteed anymore.
Follow me on Twitter: NFLownerGBP