Charles Woodson vs: Darrelle Revis: Battle of Elite Cornerbacks

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03:  Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers looks on from the field against the Arizona Cardinals in the second quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In a league full of talent, skill, and drama it seems that not a day goes by when NFL fans don't choose a time during their busy days to gather around the water cooler or the local coffee stand, and compare two NFL elites. 

Whether it's Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, or Eli Manning and Peyton Manning, comparison is something that is within us all, especially when it comes to being sports fans.

The most recent comparison that seems to be sort of "slipping under the radar," is between two cornerbacks that have made a name for themselves throughout their careers.  I'm talking of course about Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, and New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis.

When you see these two men play, you automatically realise that you are witnessing brilliance.  Whether it's Darrelle Revis shutting down Chad Ochocinco in two consecutive games, or Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson making pick after pick in the most unbelievable way possible, there is something about these two gentleman that set them apart from the rest.

But what about when we look at the two together?  Under the same light, they seem like two average hard working guys that just happen to be among the NFL's best and brightest, but surely there is a cause for concern when determining who is the better of the two, right?  Absolutely.

Charles Woodson

When looking at Charles Woodson, many see just a Defensive Player of the Year award winner, rather than the full character that comes with No. 21.  For you see, Packer fans know first hand what Charles Woodson is all about, and like a Christmas present freshly wrapped, many newer NFL fans are unclear as to who Charles Woodson is underneath.

A nice guy to the public, and more than willing to choose a child's bike in offseason practices for the Green Bay Packers, Charles Woodson is the leader and backbone of the Packers defense, although at times it does seem that the role is equally shared amongst Packer players.

In 2006, Charles first debuted for the Packers and managed to rack up 8 total interceptions.  In the following years, the same style of consistency seemed to follow.  In 2008 7 total interceptions, and more recently in 2009 a career high of 9 was seen.

A star from his early days in Michigan, Charles Woodson seemed to be destined for a career full of highlights and awards in the NFL, and although his presence in Oakland was felt, it became clear that the Green Bay Packers were his more suited team.

Aside from stats, a story is also told in the threat department.  In case you missed the mid season clash in 2009 between the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, you may have heard about a shaky and seemingly under confident Joe Flacco in the passing game. 

Sure, Nick Collins and AJ Hawk loom on the defense, but the under confidence was shown directly toward cornerback Charles Woodson and it became painfully obvious that the Ravens receivers were all to wary of Woodson's presence.

Although Charles failed to rack up any interceptions during that game, he did however pose the simple but meaningful threat of "I'm here, and this is my backfield," something that Charles takes pride in, and often makes heard loud and clear throughout his play.  It may be a lude statement to some, but I think it is fair in saying that Green Bay's recent transition to the 3-4 wouldn't have come as easily if it weren't for Charles Woodson. 

More importantly though, it is safe to say that Green Bay's 11-5 final 2009 record may not have come if it wasn't for Charles Woodson's prolific sack of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, that set Green Bay up for a 17-7 victory in Lambeau Field, and a confidence run right into the Wildcard race.

Darrelle Revis

As the latest craze of "Revis Island" has swept over the NFL, so has the love for Darrelle Revis.  Two seasons ago, Darrelle Revis was almost an unheard of in this league, as the New York Jets had bigger and more important problems. 

In present times, the former Pittsburgh Panthers cornerback has become the subject of much speculation.  With 6 interceptions to his name in 2009 and 5 in 2008, funnily enough Darrelle Revis does appear to be a young Charles Woodson.

However, for the New York Jets Darrelle Revis has been Rex Ryan's favorite.  If not for Darrelle, the Jets may never have made the AFC Conference Championship Game, and if not for Darrelle, the Jets may not be labelled the favorites in the AFC East division at this point in time.

Game wise, Darrelle does everything that Charles Woodson does, but sometimes just a little better.  Younger and less experienced, Darrelle certainly shows a lot of character on the field and actually looks like a future veteran cornerback for some lucky team. 

The most obvious explanation I can give here is Darrelle's juggling act against the San Diego Chargers in the playoffs, where he managed to intercept the ball more or less off of his bootlaces, something that would have LeBron James himself in awe.

The most important factor when looking at Darrelle Revis though, is his ability to cover.  As always, long time pal Chad Ochocinco chose to run his mouth during the playoffs in anticipation of facing Darrelle Revis one on one on the field.  Unfortunately for Chad, another plan backfired, as Darrelle managed to shut down Chad worse than the New Jersey Nets offense.

Overall though, Darrelle still has a long way to go in the NFL but if the tracks are facing the right way, he's definitely on them.  His confidence and love for the game has already gotten him far, and if it continues Rex Ryan will have a golden boy in his hands that he would be stupid to let go.  Two time Pro Bowl selection in the span of four years, Darrelle is a star in the making and the fans know it.


Normally when I conclude my articles, I end up with a fairly obvious pick as to who to choose out of the comparison.  This one however, has me scratching my head.  On one hand you have talent and experience, while on the other you have youth and a promising future.

If I do have to choose though, it would have to go to Charles Woodson.  His game play is almost always 100% worthy of watching, and Charles always manages to have me wondering just when and where he will intercept a pass.  Yes, Darrelle Revis has the same ability, but he still has a long way to go in a league that has seen talent come and go and ultimately end up as a bust.

Experience counts for a lot, just ask Brett Favre.  Therefore, Charles is the better cornerback of the two, at least for now.

To quote reference LeBron James once again, "I Am A Witness," and boy am I grateful for it.


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