The Green Bay Packers Lose Their Defensive Leader

Jeff Hanlsch-USA TODAY Sports

News broke early Friday morning that the Green Bay Packers had cut an important piece to their defense. Defensive back Charles Woodson was released after playing seven years with the Packers.

While with the Packers, Woodson was able to revive his career. He set many Packer records while with the team, including 38 interceptions, nine interceptions returned for touchdowns, and 10 turnovers returned for touchdowns. Woodson may have clinched himself a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame during his time with the Packers. He helped lead the Packers to Super Bowl XLV, despite missing the second half of the game with a broken collarbone. The loss of Woodson may be felt more than the Packers think.

Since Woodson arrived in Green Bay prior to the 2006 season he has become the unofficial leader of the Packers defense. The 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, established his dominance in the 3-4 defense. After Dom Capers took over the defense, Woodson seemed to flourish. He moved around while playing a various amount of positions on the defensive side of the ball in that scheme. That’s where the Packers will miss Woodson.

It’s going to be tough to find a player who can play LB, CB and FS on a variety of snaps throughout each game. He’s also been responsible for the communication between the defensive players. He was like a middle linebacker playing defensive back, and that’s what makes him so important. Woodson also had a big part in making Tramon Williams and Sam Shields into the play-makers they are today.

Without Woodson, the Packers could be in dire need for a leader. One name that comes to mind automatically is Clay Matthews. This will be Matthews unit now, and he’ll have to mature if he wants to be the leader that Woodson was. Woodson has confirmed that he’s going to play another year, so one team is going to get a great leader next season.

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