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Sir charles - Silverstein again

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by weeds, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. weeds

    weeds Cheesehead

    Dec 9, 2004
    Sir Charles - JSOnline
    An analysis of his anatomy - Keep it clean guys, this is a family forum. ;)
    Sir Charles

    Woodson is a winner from head to toe

    By Tom Silverstein of the Journal Sentinel
    Posted: Jan. 9, 2010
    Special Section
    [​IMG] Cornerback Charles Woodson graces the cover of our special Packers section available on newstands and at various outlets Sunday.

    To understand what kind of impact Charles Woodson has had on the Green Bay
    Packers this season, you have to understand Charles Woodson.
    It's not an easy task.
    You can watch hours and hours of videotape of the guy and feel like you know what makes him the heart and soul of the Packers defense, but the truth is there are so many layers to his game that you might spend days peeling them away and never get to the chewy middle.
    Here's what you know: He owns the ground where he stands.
    "If you have a defensive back who can take 35% of the field away, like Deion Sanders took 50% of the field away, that's an asset every team strives for," said former Packers safety LeRoy Butler, who owned a portion of the field in his own day. "A shut-down corner or play-making safety, wherever he is, that area is covered.
    "That's one of the ultimate compliments when an offensive coordinator says, 'We have to avoid this area because of that guy there.' That's Charles Woodson."
    The 81 tackles, the nine interceptions, the three touchdown returns, the two sacks, the four forced fumbles, the 21 pass break-ups, that's what describes the kind of season Woodson has had at the advanced age of 33. His 12th season has been his best, and there's a very good chance he'll be named NFL defensive player of the year Tuesday.
    He won't be satisfied unless he wins his first Super Bowl ring, but to say there hasn't been something gratifying about resurrecting his career and finding peace in a town many NFL players consider an arctic outpost would be off base.
    "It's been fun," Woodson said. "It really has."
    To grasp how important he has become to the 11-5 Packers and their chances of advancing in the Super Bowl tournament, you have to examine him head to toe. From the deep recesses of his mind to the smallest bones in his foot, everything about Woodson counts.
    His mind

    Woodson is definitely an intelligent man, but his football IQ is in Mensa territory, and he uses it as well as any Packer defensive player has since Butler roamed the secondary in the 1990s.
    On a recent cable broadcast, Woodson's former coach in Oakland, Jon Gruden, said Woodson had a photographic memory. Whether that's true is better left up to a qualified PhD, but it's clear he grasps things more quickly than the average football player.
    "He has great recall," cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. said. "We'll be in the film room and he'll say, 'Joe, rewind that, rewind that.' I'll ask him, 'Wood, what are you looking at?'
    "  'When they get in that split, with number so-and-so here, they run that combination every time. Now, if I see that, everybody else play high because I'm going to get it.' "
    Whitt recalled the time last year when Woodson intercepted Seattle's Charlie Frye along the sideline because of something he saw. He had seen the formation run once before, and upon seeing it again, dropped out of coverage and stepped into the lane where Frye threw the ball.
    "It was just great recall," Whitt said. "He's just great at that."
    His eyes

    Woodson takes this part of his anatomy very seriously.
    It is his eyes that guide him to where the ball is going to be. What he sees on tape is what he expects to see on the field.
    "Your eyes are what take you to the plays," safety Atari Bigby said. "You have to recognize plays. If you don't recognize plays, how are you going to get there?
    "He's a guy that once he sees a route, he's able to get to the route before it actually develops."
    Some players study tape all day long, but when they see the same thing on the field that they saw in the film room, they don't have the conviction in their studies to follow through on it. Whitt said Woodson eliminates plays and routes the offense might run just by looking at formations and down and distances.
    "He sees the big picture, not just the guy he's supposed to cover," Whitt said.
    "A lot of people study the game and the tape, but they don't trust what they see," cornerback Tramon Williams said. "When it happens on the field, you don't react to it like you should. When he studies something, he's faithful to it. He sees it as it is. That's why he makes a lot of plays out there."
    His heart

    Like any 33-year-old, Woodson spends most of the week recuperating from the game on Sunday so he can play again the following Sunday.
    Over the last four years, he has sat out more practices than he has taken part in during the second half of the season. This year, shoulder, hip and foot injuries have hampered him at various times.
    In '08, he played most of the season with a broken toe. In '07, he had hip and foot injuries that limited his practice time from midseason on. In '06, he injured his knee and thigh, and played the latter half of the season with a harness on his right shoulder.
    Despite these injuries, he doesn't shy from contact. He's one of the team's best tacklers.
    "We try to gradually bring Charles back to where he's ready to go Sunday full speed," defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "He's a tough guy. He tackles like a safety. There's no question in my mind if we wanted to put him in at safety, he'd be playing just as well at safety.
    "He's a physical guy. That's why he's done well against tight ends."
    His inner being

    Woodson wasn't always the perfect teammate, and probably still isn't. When he was younger, he partied with the best of them, gave what he had on Sundays, and then went home.
    Not until Oakland Raiders players were fed up with then-coach Bill Callahan did Woodson put himself out there and publicly state what others didn't have the cache to say. In a network pregame interview, he let Callahan have it, risking a future label as an obstinate superstar.
    Right or wrong, it was part of the process of getting where he is today, which is understanding that careers are short in the NFL and nobody wins a Super Bowl by himself. Not a man of many words, Woodson speaks with a purpose.
    Like the first time he addressed first-round pick B.J. Raji.
    "It was OTAs," Raji said. "I'm getting ready in the stretching lines and he came up to me and he was like, 'Congratulations, B.J. I'm Charles Woodson. Have a good year. Let's go win a championship.'
    "This was the same guy I was watching at Michigan growing up, and I was like, 'This guy is a real professional.' The way he embraced me, I'll never forget that."
    Fellow rookie Brad Jones had a similar experience.
    He had just been elevated from a special-teams player to a starting outside linebacker, filling the role of valued veteran Aaron Kampman after Kampman suffered a concussion and wasn't able to play. Soon, Jones, a seventh-round pick, would be a full-time starter on defense.
    "He's not the biggest talker," Jones said. "He's always said little stuff. I remember I got my first chance to start against Dallas, we were in the hot tub and he said, 'Hey, man, I really am going for you. I think you're going to fit into this defense real nice.'
    "I was like 'Man, I appreciate that.' It was cool. He really leads by example. He doesn't say much, but two words and everybody shuts up. To say the least, I'm glad to have him on this team."
    His hands

    At first glance, there's nothing out of the ordinary about the size or look of Woodson's hands.
    His forearms are strong and tattooed, just like most other NFL players, but when you see him rip the ball out of an opponent's arms or trip up a running back with a lunging chop to his ankles or snare a bullet pass out of the air, it's apparent there is both power and cushion in his hands.
    "I don't even think my hands are that strong," Woodson said. "I don't see them as being overly strong. They get the job done, I know that. You can't just throw your arms out there; you have to have some plan. You have to catch a guy right. There's a little bit of technique involved."
    But don't discount some natural ability.
    "He's a strong arm through here," Whitt said, running his hands up his forearm. "When he chops or puts those hands on you, just watch how people respond. He is very strong."
    His feet

    Coming out of Michigan, Woodson said he ran the 40-yard dash at 4.37 seconds, good enough to match almost any receiver in the game.
    For someone 6 feet 1 and 202 pounds, it's all the more remarkable.
    But now, at 33, can he run like he used to? Can he make the one-handed leaping interception he made against Michigan State on a ball the quarterback was trying to throw out of bounds?
    "No question," Woodson said. "I haven't lost it all. I can still make that play. Now, I'll tell you this, I can't jump as high as I used to, but hands-wise, if I get my hands on it, I feel like I can come down with the ball. If it's in the vicinity, I can make that play.
    "I think straight-ahead I'm just as fast as I've ever been. Quickness, maybe a little less, but straight ahead I can still go get it."
  2. Ted's Zombie Army

    Ted's Zombie Army Cheesehead

    Oct 4, 2009
    Now that's a good Silverstein article. It's a good breakdown of Woodson's success over the years. I wasn't aware of his great memory and study habits when it comes to the game. No doubt his story would be one of the media favorites leading up to the SB if the Packers can get into the championship.

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