With Nick Collins‘ future unclear after the neck injury that ended his 2011 season and Charles Woodson getting a year older, there’s been some speculation that the Packers would move Woodson to safety this year.
Mike McCarthy put the kibosh on those notions, though. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that McCarthy has no plans to move Woodson to safety full-time even if Collins is unable to return from his injury.
“I think the closer Charles is to the ball the more dangerous he is and more impact he has to the offense,” McCarthy said. “He’s the most instinctive defensive player I’ve ever been around.”
According to McGinn, Woodson played slot corner 70-75% of the time in 2011 with the rest of his snaps coming as an outside corner or safety. He did a good job in that spot over the second half of the season, even as the Packers gave up the most passing yards in the league as a total unit. Some of that was a function of the big leads the team built in many games, but there were definitely flaws exposed in the pass defense in the regular season and in the playoff loss to the Giants.
Those overall struggles still need to be addressed. Finding a way to create a more consistent pass rush would certainly help as would a return to form by Tramon Williams on the outside, but the safety position will need to be addressed in case Collins isn’t able to make a full recovery.