Charles Woodson was finally able to get his first Super Bowl ring as the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 Sunday. He got it even though he had to leave the game early due to a broken collarbone.
After Woodson’s absence, the Packers' defense stepped up and rallied around its playmaker, and tried to fill the void left with his absence.
When all was said and done, the Packers were just able to do just enough and held on for the win, although it certainly wasn’t easy after his early exit.
Even though Woodson is getting up there in age (he turns 35 during next season) he still has shown that he can be an impact player on the field, even though his major cornerback responsibilities are slowly being reduced.
Woodson is a force and is truly an elite talent year in and year out. This is a player with 809 career tackles, 13.5 sacks, 27 forced fumbles, and 47 interceptions over 13 NFL seasons.
What is even more remarkable are the great numbers he put up this year (92 tackles, five forced fumbles, two interceptions and two sacks) following up a NFL Defensive Player of the Year award last season.
People keep thinking that the elite corner will take a step back with each year, but he continues to be a force and the undisputed leader of the Packers defense.
Even though he might have lost a step, he is still one of the best tacklers at the corner position in football and his versatility is something that no one else in the entire league poses.
He can be moved around the field, and is most effective covering the slot receiver and bringing pressure off of the edge at this point of his career. He also is great in run support.
Even though he only had two sacks this season, the pressure that he created on blitzes and stunts gave quarterbacks fits as they were rushed into throws that they did not want to make.
Woodson, who is a free agent after this season, needs to be re-signed by the Packers. He is such a playmaker that is moved all around to give his defense the upper hand in matchups against almost any other team in the league.
We all saw in the Super Bowl how the Packers defense struggled against the pass after Woodson left the game. He is the most important part of the defense and it shows.
To go along with being such a great talent, he also is a hard worker and great leader whose inspirational halftime speech helped lead his team to victory.
Woodson still has two years left of being an elite NFL player, as his versatility not only lets him continue to put up big numbers and make plays but it also adds life to his career as he doesn’t possess the speed to be a true shutdown cornerback anymore.
Being the team player that he is, he doesn’t care where he is lined up on the field as long as he can continue to make plays and help his team win ball games.
As long as the Packers are smart and re-sign their emotional defensive leader, the wins should continue to pile up for the Packers for years to come.