Woodson’s palette of many colors : Packers Insider

Woodson’s palette of many colors

December 25, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Dec 25, 2009, By Jeff Chadiha, ESPN ~

The massive GMC Yukon pulled into Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport on a typically chilly afternoon in the winter of 2006. 

By that point Charles Woodson had settled into the SUV’s seat while contemplating all the options he’d have as an unrestricted free agent following eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders. What he wasn’t doing was savoring much of the visit he’d just had with the Green Bay Packers.

Aside from eating with the coaches and enjoying a brief conversation with his current driver — then-Packers player relations director George Koonce — all Woodson had appreciated about the trip was an on-time departure for his flight home.

Woodson wasn’t moved when Koonce tried one last recruiting pitch while dropping Woodson at the airport.

In his 12th NFL season, Charles Woodson has been a force all over the field.

In his 12th NFL season, Charles Woodson has been a force all over the field.

“So I’ll be seeing you at the OTAs in March?” Koonce asked. Woodson just chuckled.

George kept telling me I could really fit into a place like this,” Woodson said during a recent interview.  “And all I kept thinking was that I was not coming to Green Bay. That wasn’t going to happen.”

It’s interesting to hear Woodson talk about that memory today because he truly realizes how shortsighted he was at the time.

While Koonce saw a gifted player with the chance to join a tradition-rich franchise eager to start winning again, Woodson thought he’d end up wasting away in the NFL equivalent of Siberia. What Woodson couldn’t see then was that he needed a place like Green Bay as much as that organization needed him. And today he’s proved just how beneficial that union has been.

At this stage, there should be little doubt about who deserves to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Woodson’s numbers alone — 70 tackles, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles, two sacks and two defensive touchdowns — should be enough for him to become the fourth cornerback to ever win that award.

Yet those statistics are even more impressive when considering the 33-year-old Woodson is in his 12th season. His play should be declining by now. Instead, he’s raised his game to incomprehensible levels. 

The massive GMC Yukon pulled into Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport on a typically chilly afternoon in the winter of 2006.

 

By that point Charles Woodson had settled into the SUV’s seat while contemplating all the options he’d have as an unrestricted free agent following eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders. What he wasn’t doing was savoring much of the visit he’d just had with the Green Bay Packers.

 

Aside from eating with the coaches and enjoying a brief conversation with his current driver — then-Packers player relations director George Koonce — all Woodson had appreciated about the trip was an on-time departure for his flight home.

 

Woodson wasn’t moved when Koonce tried one last recruiting pitch while dropping Woodson at the airport.

 

“So I’ll be seeing you at the OTAs in March?” Koonce asked.

Woodson just chuckled.

 

“George kept telling me I could really fit into a place like this,” Woodson said during a recent interview.

 

“And all I kept thinking was that I was not coming to Green Bay. That wasn’t going to happen.”

 

It’s interesting to hear Woodson talk about that memory today because he truly realizes how shortsighted he was at the time.

 

While Koonce saw a gifted player with the chance to join a tradition-rich franchise eager to start winning again, Woodson thought he’d end up wasting away in the NFL equivalent of Siberia. What Woodson couldn’t see then was that he needed a place like Green Bay as much as that organization needed him. And today he’s proved just how beneficial that union has been.

 

At this stage, there should be little doubt about who deserves to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

 

Woodson’s numbers alone — 70 tackles, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles, two sacks and two defensive touchdowns — should be enough for him to become the fourth cornerback to ever win that award.

 

Yet those statistics are even more impressive when considering the 33-year-old Woodson is in his 12th season. His play should be declining by now. Instead, he’s raised his game to incomprehensible levels.     FULL story here

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