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Packers could ask Woodson to move to safety

Divisional Playoffs - New York Giants v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

We wrote about Charles Woodson’s contract situation on Tuesday.  Despite a big roster bonus and a huge salary, it’s hard to imagine the Packers cutting ties with Woodson this offseason.

They could potentially ask Woodson to change positions.

Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes that defensive coordinator Dom Capers will consider moving Woodson to safety if Nick Collins isn’t able to return from a career-threatening neck injury.

Capers worries about the tackling skills of cornerback Sam Shields in that scenario. Shields struggled to tackle this year with the team playing more zone coverage.  Shields was a revelation in man-to-man coverage as a rookie, but took a step back this year. So did Tramon Williams.

Getting many of Green Bay’s young defensive players back on track will be one of the big focuses for the Packers this offseason.

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31 Responses to “Packers could ask Woodson to move to safety”
  1. threedeep1998 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:04 AM

    Getting rid of Dom Capers might help out too.

  2. dannyreneau says: Jan 18, 2012 10:11 AM

    They’d probably still be in the hunt for another ring if learned to actually use their arms and grab someone instead of bumping into them with their shoulders

  3. kidpresentable says: Jan 18, 2012 10:13 AM

    “Getting rid of Dom Capers might help out too.”

    So get rid of the same Dom Capers who brought their defense from 20th to 2nd in his first year and whose 5th ranked defense was key in them winning the Super Bowl in his 3rd year in GB. So that’s it? One bad year when the defense is down its All Pro safety and after it lost one of its top pass rushers, and you think he should be gone.

  4. thehatefulnerd says: Jan 18, 2012 10:15 AM

    Woody already plays a hybrid position.
    As for Shields, he will benefit from an offseason in the system.
    Hope Nick Collins comes back though. Dude is all world.

  5. justafanofitall says: Jan 18, 2012 10:15 AM

    Woodson got burned so many times this year playing man to man coverage. Maybe safety would be a better spot so he can utilize his roaming ability like Polomolu. But is Woodson another guy like Harris was…..loosing a step or two and time to move on (showed in playoff against Giants). GB better start drafting good CB since they never go to free agency.

  6. jebsta16 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:19 AM

    Bring in a pass rush specialist opposite cm3 and watch theds problems vanish. Woodson should stay at nickel because of his saavy and tackling skills along the line. I would consider cutting peprah though. He was always ones step behind his coverages. He definitely got picked on this year.

  7. farvite says: Jan 18, 2012 10:27 AM

    Even with Shields and Williams regressing, I think the D would have been best served with Wood @ FS. Peprah played worst of all the Packer DBs.

  8. denny816 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:37 AM

    As it says in the article, the team used more zone defenses than it had before. This team’s corners are all built for bump-and- run man to man coverage and Capers decided to go away from that this season. His constant reliance on a 3-man rush was one of the big reasons we couldn’t get any pressure on Manning in the last game. If we get another DC or Capers finds his confidence in man to man coverage, maybe we could see a return to form for Tramon and Shields next season.

  9. jyernberg says: Jan 18, 2012 10:38 AM

    people dont understand just how important nick collins was to this defense. woodson is at his best in this defense when he plays the hybrid safety position in the nickle defense- allowing him to go from covering the TE to the LOS or a slot blitz position instantly. His man to man caverage skills are still good, but just like other aging CBs( yeah i’m looking at you winfield) the further he gets from the LOS the less effective he is.

    people are going to look for, point to, and suggest the one thing that brought down GBs defense this year- when in reality it was a combination of things. If collins cannot return, then upgrading the free safety position (either through the draft, FA, or by putting morgan burnett through a hell of an offseason training regimen) is arguably the most important aspect of turning this defense around.

    and for the guy who said dump dom, dude. GTFOH!

  10. bahshah27 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:39 AM

    Capers isn’t the issue. It’s the lack of Cullen Jenkins. He drew too much attention allowing 52 and 90 to MAKE PLAYS. And because they made plays the corners looked better.

    Shame on the packers for being cheap. Sign Jenkins to what he deserved you’d still be playing.

  11. bigjdve says: Jan 18, 2012 10:46 AM

    I think making sure to keep Woodson is a good idea. He has a good nose for the ball but is losing a step with age.

    He is also one of the leaders on that defense.

    Capers isn’t the problem, you can tell that because the people are in the position to make the tackles. It isn’t his job to teach them how to tackle.

    It is the job of the position coaches to make sure that their mechanics are correct.

  12. tnmke says: Jan 18, 2012 10:47 AM

    I agree with bahshah. The problem is the lack of pressure on the QB. More pressure will allow the corners to play more man, which is what they are good at.

    Both corners struggle in zone coverage and tackling, …they were set up to struggle. And to be fair, they failed to step up and meet the challenge.

  13. anthonydilweg says: Jan 18, 2012 10:49 AM

    Shields is the only one in the secondary paying attention to his assignment. He held up the best in coverage this season…because he wasn’t staring at the QB trying to be a hero. A missed tackle from him here and there are the least of the Packers worries on D.

    Right now Dom Capers has a Defense with 4 guys on the field playing QB spy. Its the type of selfish play that we watched all season from Williams, Wood, Hawk, and Burnett that need to be corrected.

    Hell let Sheilds cover the opposing teams Number 1 WR. Maybe we won’t have to sit there and watch the other teams best option run wild and open all game long.

  14. cobrala2 says: Jan 18, 2012 10:52 AM

    I think it’s smart to move Woodson to FS.

  15. lovemyqueens says: Jan 18, 2012 10:53 AM

    lol @ the guy that says Capers is the issue.

    I would LOVE for Capers to be the DC for my team. It would be nothing short of a God send to see someone that could take mediocre talent, and hone them into a top ranked defense. Granted, a lot of that has to do with position coaches, but creating a defensive system that works for all your players talents is something special.

    As a Vikings fan, they don’t have the personnel for him to come in and work a miracle. He’s not Tebow. But clearly Capers isn’t the issue.

    I also believe Woodson said some time this season he would gladly take a safety position if he felt he wasn’t the best cornerback on the depth chart. That’s something to note.

    All this from a Vikings fan. From Wisconsin.

  16. deadmanwalking47 says: Jan 18, 2012 11:06 AM

    woodson should consider hanging it up.on that 1st td pass to akeem the dream,woodson could have easily tackled him had he not just quit on that play,and where was he at with his hands and letting hicks get behind him on the hail mary? He’s never really shown me much,and should have been retired awhile ago.
    if he wants to stay around the team,let him buy nfl sunday ticket!

  17. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jan 18, 2012 11:08 AM

    Rebuilding year.

  18. brewcitybummer says: Jan 18, 2012 11:15 AM

    I keep coming back to the draft and the decision to take Sherrod. A lot of analysts thought brooks reed was the smart pick and it turns out this time the analysts knew better than ted thompson. If you never bring in vets to fill holes than you can’t afford to miss like that and not pay the dearly on the field.

  19. yettyskills says: Jan 18, 2012 11:27 AM

    I know another Woodson who played at a very high level once switching to safety.

    Hopefully this one can pull it off

  20. glac1 says: Jan 18, 2012 11:28 AM

    Woodson’s days as a cornerback are over. He lost a step this year.

  21. rgledz says: Jan 18, 2012 12:27 PM

    Bad idea, it will be so much more difficult for him to commit pass interference on every play from the safety spot.

  22. thefnlimit says: Jan 18, 2012 12:57 PM

    threedeep1998 says:Jan 18, 2012 10:04 AM

    Getting rid of Dom Capers might help out too.
    ===============================

    This is the dumbest thing you could have said in response to this topic. You probably should have left your 2 cents out. Capers is definitely one of the best DC’s out there. This from a Vikings fan.

  23. daknight93 says: Jan 18, 2012 12:59 PM

    if a team plays decent defense, they can move on into playoffs…why are folks shocked saints and packers are out..well, both team defenses suck..there’s the answer.

  24. boover3 says: Jan 18, 2012 1:05 PM

    I would definitely move Woodson to safety. All i know, is that a horrible pass rush makes a horrible secondary. No doubt about it. I hope it is a defense heavy draft for the Pack. I honestly beileve they are only an OLB and a healthy Collins away from being good defensively.

  25. Derty Ernie says: Jan 18, 2012 2:03 PM

    One of my favorite all time players (Go Blue), but I question if he has the speed anymore. He is a healthy 34 and still have the drive of a 20 year old but speed in everything.

  26. Derty Ernie says: Jan 18, 2012 2:06 PM

    Zone coverage? Zone coverage? Are we talking “The Twilite Zone” here or what.
    You have zone coverage when you DB’s are slow, small and lousy tacklers.
    I hope the Pack learned one thing, their own QB is only so so when he plays against cover packages.
    Kansas and NY figured that out and made him look less than average.
    The pack needs cover guys with height and speed.
    That is a game changer.

  27. rabidbillsfan says: Jan 18, 2012 2:16 PM

    If my memory serves correctly, didn’t Capers move more towards Zone after the Collins injury? Zone takes alot of pressure off the saftys, and with Peprah coming in, who is no where near the level of Collins, Zone would have been better suited to this defense. Also, to whomever said the Packers used to many 3-man rushes, thats impossible. The purpose of the 3-4 is to mask where the 4th rusher is coming from. Sure, some passing downs will only be 3 man rushes, but to say the packers relied to much on 3-man rushes is inaccurate. If anything they had failed 4-man rushes, and less blitzing, which is a direct correlation to the Collins injury.

  28. dbellina says: Jan 18, 2012 2:22 PM

    I wouldn’t mind the Vikings doing the same with Winny or Cedric.

  29. matthewcarlson1 says: Jan 18, 2012 2:55 PM

    The Vikings should do that with both Winfield and Griffin.. I’ve been saying this for two years. But I suppose we are gonna need a couple corners first.

  30. chris6523 says: Jan 18, 2012 2:58 PM

    In regard to Cullen Jenkins and what his absense meant, I’m conflicted on that. Jenkins over the last few years had missed a number of games with injuries and the defensive performance didn’t seem to fall off when he wasn’t there, particularly in ’10. I think the pack expected Jenkins to get a larger contract than he ultimately ended up getting and that may have played a pretty large part in the Packers parting ways with him. It’s ironic as hell that AJ Hawk got a big contract from the pack and Jenkins got a smaller contract in the FA market.

    In ’11, the pack certainly would have been better defensively with Jenkins. However, specifically Shields, Peprah, Hawk, Walden, Raji, and Matthews had years that were so much worse than ’10 that even with Jenkins, the pack defense would have been lousy. Add to that the loss of one of the top three safeties in the league and it’s impossible to put the loss of Jenkins in the top 5 list among things that made the packers defense play so bad this year.

  31. stavreafavre says: Jan 18, 2012 3:59 PM

    Great defense isn’t necessarily a requisite. New England is still playing. But you have to go to the strengths of your players. This year reminded me of when they asked Al Harris to play more zone. All of a sudden he was a bum. (Well, he was a bum in the ’07 Giants playoff game too, but anyway…) In both the losses this year, the opposition jammed the Packer receivers at the line and had a good enough front four pass rush to put on pressure before the receivers got back into their routes. McCarthy should have been using a guy in motion as the ball was snapped to counter, but maybe that isn’t in his playbook. Amd it didn’t matter if the Packers tried to jam because they could get no pressure on the QB. Have to fix that.
    Woodson is smart but I don’t know that he has a safety mentality. Think he works best in his current role. Safeties rarely go high in the draft; there should be a good guy available for the Pack in 1st or 2nd round.

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