FanPost

Considering Charles Woodson

Packers fans will remember Charles Woodson for a lot of things, not the least of which was his inspiring half-time speech to his teammates after having left the game with 2 minutes left in the first half, injured defending a pass and selling out as usual. As people here have mentioned, he's still that lone Heisman winner from the defensive side of the ball, having beaten out Peyton Manning.

A lot of people have been writing about the pressures that come with the possibility of playing a perfect season, and it seems to me that they're right to recall Indianapolis' decision to rest their starters just a couple years ago, and to recall the Pats in 2007, going undefeated all the way to the Super Bowl before losing to the Giants. Perhaps their experiences have made things easier for the Packers, and Mercury Morris and Don Shula have weighed in on the possibility, saying that in their view the Pack won't need an asterisk next to the mark if they succeed, in contrast with the Pats' Videogate controversy.

As a team, it's my belief that the Packers benefit from playing in a small and remote city, because it's harder for the national sports media to make a complete nuisance of themselves. Green Bay wouldn't have been the right place for Broadway Joe Namath, but there are a lot of players who might benefit from being able to go about their business without all the distractions that can come with playing in a big media market, and Charles Woodson seems to be one of those players.

As an Oakland Raider, Woodson was named Defensive Rookie of the Year, and was voted to the Pro Bowl four times. In his time with the Green Bay Packers, by contrast, he's gone to the Pro Bowl three times (I think), despite having only made 17 of his career 54 picks with the Raiders. His greatest number of interceptions with them was five, in his rookie season. Since he's been in Green Bay, he's had years of nine, eight and seven picks, including seven more so far this year. Nine of his eleven career touchdowns on picks and fumble recoveries have been scored as a Packer. Statistically, he's been better in his six seasons as a Packer than he was in his eight years as a Raider in almost every category, but he's been voted to fewer Pro Bowls.

And that's the way it is, when you play in a smaller market, but if you just want to go about the business of playing football professionally, you could do a lot worse. He's one of those guys we're lucky to have had, and one of the great free agent pickups ever in NFL history.

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