Packers’ Woodson now talking the talk : Packers Insider

Packers’ Woodson now talking the talk

February 1, 2011 by  
Filed under News

By Charean Williams, Ft Worth Star-Telegram

~IRVING — Charles Woodson has walked the walk in his 13 NFL seasons.

The Green Bay Packers cornerback is a seven-time Pro Bowler and three times has earned All-Pro honors. Last year, he was the league’s defensive player of the year. But this year, for the first time in his career, he also has talked the talk.

Woodson, 34, didn’t have his best season on the field with four pass interference penalties, three defensive holding penalties and a league-leading four illegal contact penalties. But the Packers might not be here without him.

The Packers, who rotated captains during the season, elected six captains before the postseason — Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings on offense, Woodson and A.J. Hawk on defense and Mason Crosby and Jarrett Bush on special teams. The other five captains elected Woodson the foreman, and Rodgers was designated to lead the prayer.

Charles Woodson has walked the walk in the NFL since 1998, but now he's also talking the talk as the Packers vocal leader.

“I told them, ‘The last words before we leave the locker room are going to come from our players,'” coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s a players’ game…. It’s an opportunity for our leaders to step to the forefront, and I’ve watched [Rodgers and Woodson] grow, particularly this last month, as leaders, and our team has responded in a very favorable way.”

Woodson has been a leader by example his entire career, with his 607 tackles, 47 interceptions, 22 forced fumbles and 97 passes defensed speaking for themselves. But, for the first time, he also is the team’s vocal leader.

“The guys kind of just said, ‘Charles, you’ll do it,'” said Woodson, whose only other Super Bowl appearance came in the 2002 season when his Raiders lost to the Bucs. “That was the end of it. I didn’t have to say anything. … I think it comes with a little bit of respect. I think the guys have a lot of respect for me, a lot of respect for my career, the way I play the game. That’s kind of how it is. You kind of lead by example, but at times, you need to speak and you do.”

When President Barack Obama vowed to attend the Super Bowl if his beloved Bears made it to Arlington, Woodson used the pledge to fire up the Packers before the NFC Championship Game.

“Hey, I want you all to think about one thing: ‘One,'” Woodson said to his teammates in the locker room in a speech showing on “For two weeks, think about ‘One.’ Let’s be one mind. Let’s be one heartbeat. One purpose. One goal. One more game. One. Let’s get it.”

Woodson paused, but he wasn’t done.

“And check this,” he said, a little louder. “If the president don’t want to come watch us in the Super Bowl, guess what? We’ll go see him. White House on three.”

Woodson’s teammates shouted in unison: “1… 2… 3… White House!”

After the Packers 21-14 victory over the Bears, Woodson autographed a jersey for the president with a message: See you at the White House. Go Packers.”

Tramon Williams and Sam Shields have each had a 2-Int day the past 2 Packer games. Don't be surprised to see Woodson step up and be the playmaker on Super Bowl Sunday.

“He’s done such a great job with it,” Hawk said. “I know he’ll have something good for us come Sunday. His postgame speech after Chicago, I’m sure that’s everywhere now. I told him right afterward, he was smart pulling the president into it. He knew what he was doing.”

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