How quickly things change in the NFL, huh? One day you are a stud, and then next you can’t keep up with the rest of the competition. That’s especially true at positions like cornerback, where a lost half step could mean the difference between being a starter and being on the bench.
Last year, Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson was named Defensive Player of the Year. This year? It’s all talk of him not being able to cover anymore and when is it time to move him to safety.
“Could he? Yes, he could,” cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said when asked about him moving to safety. “Would we do that? No. We’re not doing that this year.”
One NFC personnel executive who has watched every Packers game this year told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he just isn’t good enough as a corner anymore.
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“He can’t cover anymore,” the personnel man said. “He could have been called for 10 more penalties. He’s a guesser with great anticipation and instincts. That’s why he’s been so productive.”
Whitt did acknowledge that Woodson “is not playing to his standards, and to the standards we’ve set for him.”
But, he stopped short of saying that he was toast on the outside.
“He is covering no different than he covered last year,” Whitt said. “On my grade, he’s given up less plays this year than last year. The biggest difference has been he doesn’t have the interceptions that he had last year. He hasn’t made the splash plays, and that’s what people see.”
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Woodson is 34-years old and not getting any younger. It’s not his fault because when it goes, it goes. It’s not about working hard or this or that. When your time is up, it’s up. And Woodson’s nine penalties this year would indicate that he can’t keep up like he used to.
Earlier this month, the Packers gave him $27.25 million in new money as a part of a two-year extension that will take him to 2014. We thought it was stupid at the time and now it does indeed look foolish. A huge bonus for a 34-year old corner? Did you think he was getting younger?