As we continue to work through the list of all the things about which we wanted to write this week but couldn’t find the time, we remembered that we’d heard about Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin expressing an opinion that former Steelers, 49ers, Ravens, and Raiders defensive back Rod Woodson should not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Because Irvin thinks Woodson is “soft.”
“Soft,” Irvin repeatedly said while talking with Scott Paulsen, Mike Logan, and Eddy Crow of ESPN Radio 1250 in Pittsburgh.
When I lined up with him I saw intimidation in his eyes,” Irvin said. “I just call that soft.”
After Irvin finished his thought, the hosts moved to another topic. And Irvin then pulled it back to Woodson and pointed out that Irvin repeatedly beat Woodson when they played.
The folks who determined in 1994 the league’s 75th Anniversary Team apparently disagreed with Irvin’s assessment. As did the folks who picked the 1990s All-Decade Team.
As do we.
Regarding the 75th Anniversary Team, Woodson was one of only five active players to make the team. The others already are or will be in the Hall of Fame on the first try — Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Reggie White, and Ronnie Lott.
So, yeah, Woodson should be in. Today, not in a year or two.
In our view, Irvin’s position on Woodson making it to Canton on the first try has less to do with Woodson and more to do with the fact that Irvin didn’t make it to the Hall of Fame on the first attempt.
We’re talking about some of the most intense competitors in our society. And in every club there are classes. In the Hall of Fame, the elite level contains the guys who made it in on the first try.
And since Irvin isn’t in the elite level and thinks Woodson was “soft,” Irvin surely doesn’t want to see Woodson leapfrog him in the Canton clique.
We’ll find out whether Woodson gets it done in less than two hours.

84 responses to “IRVIN CALLS WOODSON "SOFT"

  1. Irvin is a self-serving loudmouth who hate it when other people get talked about more than himself. He made the hall of fame because he played for Americas team, if he had played for almost any of the other teams he would still be on the outside looking in.

  2. I seriously doubt Woodson was intimidated by him, maybe wonder what drugs he took before the game. I can’t believe someone even gave Irvin a job after his playing days were done. Oh yeah, it’s ESPN, they don’t hire on ability, they hire on whether you like to be controversial or not.

  3. Woodson is more of a Hall of Famer than Irvin. He excelled at multiple positions.
    One of the great DB’s of all time. Irvin just misses his ESPN gig and has to jaw off at something.

  4. I definitely disagree with Irvin here, but I did look up his stats in head to head matchups just to see how they were. I only found 4 head to head games and Irvin definitely put up numbers in each of them.

  5. Irvin’s not in the elite level???
    Florio, are you high?
    Aside from Rice, name another receiver that dominated the 90’s… Herman Moore? Jimmy Smith?
    You’re a biased Florio… it’s so obvious reading your content.
    Imagine that in this day and age – a biased media outlet. Who would have thunk it?

  6. I think it is easy for guys like Irvin to say such things when they played in an era that really limited what defensive backs could do in coverage.

  7. woodson is soft, he allowed the steelers to get dominated in that ’94 afc championship game by a bunch of no-name san diego receivers, plus the dude had to move to safety later in his career, cuz he was too soft to play cornerback and he couldn’t play man-to-man defense anymore, he aint a first ballot player.

  8. I seem to remember that Rod Woodson was one of those DB’s that the WR’s and QB’s tended to watch out for…he was along the lines of Ronnie Lott. My fingers are crossed that he gets in this year.
    Was Michael saying this with his Fuchsia Cowboys jersey on??

  9. Hmmmm…..I’m thinking that what he preceived as “soft” on Mr. Woodson’s part was actually some side effect of all the lines of coke the man had done.

  10. Rod Woodson was one of the greatest DB’s to ever play the game. Just look at his remarkable stats for further proof. If Cokehead Irvin wants to call someone soft, he need look no further than teammate Peion Sanders – who was always looking for the Int. and never wanted to stick his head in there and tackle anyone.
    Perhaps Cokehead Irvin should be thanking his lucky stars his a$$ either isn’t in jail, or that he hasn’t been shot by some hooker or disgruntled husband !
    Or, here’s an idea, try and straighten out what’s wrong with the Cow-Pies, they haven’t won even one playoff game 12-13 years, ala the Bengals, the Lions, etc.

  11. The comment was totally classless and coming from Irvin only makes it worse. Irvin’s drug use, hiring of hookers and the mere fact that he played for both the Unv. of Miami and the Cowboys is all you need to know about his character.
    TV executive’s should take note, Irvin doesn’t belong in front of a mircophone or camera unless it is to take his next mug shot. What a punk, no wonder Vox loves the Cowboys.

  12. Irvin was soft enough to rely on drugs to escape his problems instead of facing them like a man.
    Stay classy Irvin.

  13. Stfnwlf says:
    January 31st, 2009 at 12:49 pm
    You’re a biased Florio… it’s so obvious reading your content.
    A biased Florio? Should I presume you are familiar with enough Florios to be able to differentiate the style and character of Florios?
    In any event, PFT is a blog, a rumor site. PFT is not a “news outlet,” although, sports reporters should not exactly be spoken of in the same sense as actual reporters. Rather, we might refer to them as sports writers rather than reporters.
    M. Florio is a blogger, not a journalist. Why hold him to standards not relevant to his activity? Moreover, bias is inevitable in reportage–the very act of observation is a subjective act.

  14. stfnwfl how dare you leave Andre Reed off of that list. I’d take Reed anyday over Irvin. Reed went over the middle all the time. He deserves the hall more than the coke head Irvin.

  15. Woodson is not a first ballot hall of famer. he was beat far too many times and let great receivers make him look second rate.
    I do believe he IS a hall of famer but definitely not a first ballot.

  16. What are you a psychiatrist now too Florio? Who do you think you are Dr Phil, that you think you can discern the motives of a guy you don’t even know from a distance?
    Maybe he said what he said because he believes it. It doesn’t make him right but it would mean he not lying about Woodson to feel better about himself.
    What a cold black heart you must have to always ascribed sinister dark motives to people with whom you disagree. It’s a common trait among your professional and political ilk in my experience.

  17. You gotta love Cow-Pie apologists like Stfnwlf who never think anyone was any good besides there own Cow-Pie players.
    As to great WR’s in the 1990’s – how about Cris Carter, Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown, Andre Reed- ALL of whom have more career receiving yards than does Cokehead/Crackhead Irvin. Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens, Torry Holt, and Randy Moss had they started a few years earlier, would have had more FAR yards in the 90’s, and Sterling Sharpe would have destroyed Irvin’s numbers, had he not gotten a neck injury in 1994.
    By the way Stfnwlf, the Jimmy Smith who you try to marginalize in your comments – he has more career catches, for more yards, and more Touchdowns than does Cokehead Irvin. DUHHHHH

  18. Why are we paying attention to crackheads ? He is only saying to draw interest into his new reality show . The cowboys and its players are becomming more and more dumb as the years go on . I bet he wouldnt call Woodson soft to his face lol ….. If anyone was a soft CB it was Deion Sanders ,he wouldnt hit a fly or tackle anyone .

  19. well i guess when you’ve ingested that much coke, you might tend to hallucianate, get delusional, then again this is the same guy that concocted some bs story about someone pulling a gun on him etc etc… yeah irvin’s opinion are legit. ” a mind is a terrible thing to waste”..if there is any doubt just listen to irvin.

  20. As a huge Cowboys fan, I would not take Irvins opinion anyway. The reason He has an issue is because RW is not a piece of crap like like his buddies Deion, Pacman, Tank, Vick. I am surprised Irvin would say this. I do not believe Woodson is a first ballot if Darren Woodson isn’t. But Irvin needs to find out what the penalty for filing a false report to get ratings is. Off the football field, Irvin sucks a much as Emmitt. I am starting the all pro foot ball athletes. The media gives them a mouthpiece for subjects they have no business talking about, yet they do.

  21. If Woodson was soft I wonder how Irvin would rate Deon Sanders? I seem to remember Woodson actually coming up and playing the run and hitting people. He was very aggressive which did lead to being beaten on play action sometimes. He had great ball skills and could return it. Definite HOFer.

  22. So you guys are saying that the other writers for PFT are ficticious persons created by Florio?

  23. Isn’t it nice that we have a place to get rid of our frustration by writing on a blog of all things that will never mean anything to anybody? That said, as a Cowboys fan, I wish Irvin would just go away. Great when he played, but useless as a human being.

  24. That’s just the coke talking. I quit thinking being in the Hall of Fame should be a big deal for anyone when they let Irvin in.

  25. In his later days in Pgh Woodson seemed awfully susceptible to double moves and play-action. But then Pgh’s DBs still are.
    I don’t know how soft Woodson is, but I bet he wished that astroturf he blew his knee out on when he stupidly tried to match Barry Sanders cut for cut was softer. A lot softer…

  26. Irvin was talking specifically about Super Bowl XXX. That was Rod Woodson first game after tearing an ACL 19 weeks earlier.
    One of the hosts of the talk show was Mike Logan, a safety for the Steelers from 2000-2006. Both Logan and Irvin were engaged in some trash talking. Logan jokingly wanted his two aging, grotesquely unfit, former pothead co-hosts to take on Irvin’s radio guest, Nate Newton.

  27. Jackson1:
    “I do believe he IS a hall of famer but definitely not a first ballot. ”
    WRONG! I guess the HOF disagrees with you ! Woodson is as a deserved first ballot.
    This is just the cherry on top for the win in Super XLIII!

  28. Once an asshole reaches the level of douchebaggery Irvin has achieved, it becomes impossible to tell when he goes back on the pipe.

  29. As I recall, Woodson has only seen the back of Irvin’s jersey.
    Woodson was a good player. He was a great athlete. He was versatile.
    He was never a shutdown corner, and was repeatedly beaten the elite receivers of that time, such as Irvin. Often times on the biggest stage.
    I like Woodson on TV, I like what he did even late in his career in Baltimore, but he is not a first ballot Hall of Famer. This is just Steeler Nation doing whatever it takes to get one of their own in.
    Who’s next, Barry Foster? Carnell Lake?

  30. as a diehard Steelers fan I will say this in defense of Woodson as far as his matchups against Irvin. The Dallas Oline was the best in history and never allowed any pressure. This gave receivers much more time to get open and nobody can cover a receiver for that long minus Deion. Steelers D in that day was pretty darn good and we gave Dallas all they could handle in that SB…the best any team did against them. Irvin pushed off quite a bit and he also had maybe the most accurate passer in history throwing to him. That said…Woodson was a better than average corner who really should have been a safety as he didn’t have the fluid hips to dominate at CB. He was instrumental in both SB runs his team had and should be a HOF albeit not his first year. He is not one of the best CB to play the game…maybe top 10 during his career.

  31. Yeah Irvin was doing Coke and drinking/smoking….not a performance enhancers as far as I know. He would still completely dismantle Sanders, Woodson, Darrell Green. Your boy Woodson was riled in controversy for Steroids and still couldn’t hang with the Playmaker.
    Imagine what Irvin could’ve done to Rod if he was sober.
    Seriously, even Prime Time was scared to cover Irvin.
    Oh, of course the Steroids were only to help him recover from a knee injury, rrrright. Doctor Rodney Harrison would like to see you now…

  32. I agree with Michael. I’ve never seen such a soft DB that shies away from contact.
    Deion Sanders

  33. Next time the push-off artist known as cokehead Irvin opens his mouth, just remind him how a no name cornerback named Bobby Taylor SHUT him down EVERYTIME the Irving Cowgirls played the Philadelphia Eagles. Shut him down in front of a national TV audience as a matter of fact like the whiny Bitch he is cause he couldn’t get a flag thrown his way.

  34. Pretty much every DB went soft when they came up against Mike Irvin. He’d tell you what he was going to do, do it, make the catch and talk smack about your mama the whole time. Can’t really hold it against Woodson because he did that to guys that were better than Woodson, too. And there aren’t many of those.
    “And since Irvin isn’t in the elite level”
    Pick your words carefully, Florio. Many will think you mean that he wasn’t an elite WR. Dr. Z is already on record as saying that the ONLY reason Irvin didn’t get in on first ballot is because many voters just didn’t like him, and that’s why he and others didn’t vote him in on first ballot. Pretty unfair after all the crap that was stirred up by Lawrence Taylor’s nomination. Maybe they liked the crack smoking deadbeat dad thing he had going on for a long time.
    “Irvin got my vote. I didn’t vote for him the year before. Then I sat down and analyzed myself (the psychiatric term for this is “screwing up your own head”) and realized that I hadn’t voted for him because I couldn’t stand him on ESPN TV. The Advice to Selectors brochure is quite clear on this point. “Selectors shall not stiff a guy because of airwaves trash.” Given this mandate, and concentrating more on his ability on the field, he became a yea vote.”

  35. “I think it is easy for guys like Irvin to say such things when they played in an era that really limited what defensive backs could do in coverage. ”
    How so? They’re much more limited now.

  36. “TV executive’s should take note, Irvin doesn’t belong in front of a mircophone or camera unless it is to take his next mug shot. What a punk, no wonder Vox loves the Cowboys. ”
    Bitch, you’re a Packer fan and as such have no business calling anybody out about their team allegiance.

  37. That’s pretty funny coming from Irvin, who never met a sideline he didn’t like.

  38. “how about Cris Carter, Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown, Andre Reed”
    Irvin’s got more rings than all those guys put together.
    “Sterling Sharpe would have destroyed Irvin’s numbers, had BertFarve not almost killed him in 1994.”
    Fixed that for ya.
    “I bet he wouldnt call Woodson soft to his face lol ”
    I bet he did, likely dozens of times.
    “If anyone was a soft CB it was Deion Sanders ,he wouldnt hit a fly or tackle anyone . ”
    How do you get ~500 tackles by not tackling anybody?
    “I quit thinking being in the Hall of Fame should be a big deal for anyone when they let Lynn Swann in.”
    Swann’s 5462 receiving yards compels me to correct you yet again. Might as well induct Marty Booker or Laveranues Coles, they both had more yards than that.

  39. Well – as Michael and I remember it, 8 for 139 on September 4, 1994 in Pittsburg and totally dominating Woodson in the process is one reason.

  40. “just remind him how a no name cornerback named Bobby Taylor SHUT him down EVERYTIME the Irving Cowgirls played the Philadelphia Eagles.”
    Taylor matched up well with Irvin, but don’t go off the deep end, here.

  41. It’s the “good hurr” factor: light-skinned guys with “good hurr” are perceived as “soft” – mostly by jealous dark-skinned dudes who feel the need to use “hair crack” to approximate the hair-type that Woodson has naturally. Yes, Irvin uses “hair crack” as often as he uses “nose crack”.

  42. In 1995, Woodson blew out his ACL and returned five months later on a surgically repaired knee to play in Super Bowl XXX. Maybe Irvin is still smarting from that oft-replayed highlight where Rod breaks up a pass intended for Irvin and then gets up and points at his knee. Has anyone ever come back that quickly from reconstructive knee surgery? Recovery times for major injuries are constantly shrinking as medical technology advances and five months for a torn ACL is still unheard of, and it’s definitely not “soft.”
    I probably watched 90% of Woodson’s games with the Steelers and there’s no debate to me, if he’s not a first-ballot guy, no one is. He was the definition of a game-changing player. He wasn’t quite the same after his knee injury, which necessitated the eventual move to safety. Still, he was such an elite player before that that he made the NFL 75th Anniversary Team in 1994 when he’d only been in the league since 1987. He was the youngest player on that all-time team, so I guarantee the selection committee scrutinized his name greatly.

  43. Stay Classy Rod.
    And just remember that the commentators did not leap at the opportunity to say all kind of bad things about Mike Irvin that could have been said when he had his chance to go into the Hall. As I recall, everybody was quite kind to him.
    So remember that, even if Michael does not. Congrats!!!!

  44. I’m still amazed this classless, drug addled jerk got in the HOF faster with inferior numbers than a classy person like Art Monk.

  45. The difference between Irvin and yourself Florio is that he actually played against Woodson and you didnt, so i think he would know more than you as to who is/was soft in the NFL, so when you are playing in the NFL come back again and we will talk.
    Until then, well you know…………

  46. Hey Vox, get a life. Your boy Cokehead/Crackhead/Slutmagnet Irvin is already in, he shouldn’t be, but is.
    They need to install a special ALL-FELONS ward at Canton, O.J., and Irvin would be the charter members.

  47. who is michael ervin to call Rod Woodson soft, He must of been medicated again if you know what mean, What a role model Ervin was, he’s been busted about 3 or 4 times,He has no business calling anybody soft. Rod Woodson was tremendous player and had long sucessfull career, and I hope he get’s in Quick. Michael you really should keep your yap shut, because I still can’t believe you in with your off field activities. Thank’s, just my opinion.

  48. Irvin wasnt a first ballot because he was a coke head when he played .He was a good receiver but a lousy person.

  49. I don’t know whether Woodson was a soft player but I’m also not so sure he should have been a first-ballot HoF guy, either. I recall him as a pretty good DB with a fairly long career. I don’t remember him as a shutdown guy that QBs were afraid of.
    That said, Michael Irvin is the LAST guy who should be commenting on guys getting into the Hall who don’t deserve it.

  50. Never been a Steelers fan or a Cowboys fan but I’ve been a bigtime fan of the NFL and that jackass, Irvin, never should have made the hall.
    He wasn’t good enough ON the field and he was a waste of humanity OFF the field.
    Woodson was one of the greatest ever at both CB and Safety, not the best, but one of the best.

  51. if rod woodson never worked for the nfl network, he wouldn’t get all that hall of fame hype.
    vox veritas belongs in the hall of fame, with jerra jones’ plastic surgeon, pacman jones, tank johnson, hollywood henderson, and gary busey.

  52. the look that says “this stoned P.O.S. is going to push off again and get away with it”!!!!!

  53. Actually, I think Mike hit it right on the head in his article, as did the person above who mentioned Woodson’s remarkable comeback to play in Super Bowl XXX.
    Irvin’s comment about Woodson being soft is patently ludicrous, and almost certainly fueled by the Super Bowl XXX episode — remember, Irvin had come back from the same injury early in his career, and had tried to get in Woodson’s head by talking before the game about how long it took to get back to full strength, that Woodson couldn’t possibly be at full strength, etc. And then Woodson played a very good game.
    No matter what you think about Irvin’s off-the-field stupidity (that’s putting it lightly), there’s no doubt he was as tough as they come. The fact that he has a problem acknowledging the toughness of an opponent can really only be explained by what Florio suggested — frustrated competitiveness. In the very last “game,” Woodson got the best of him.
    Woodson and Irvin were both phenomenal players. I have no problem with Rod attaining enshrinement in his first year of eligibility, while Irvin had to wait a couple years. And that’s coming from someone who counts Michael as his favorite player of all time.

  54. Hey Vox, you know what I think is soft? 44-6 in the final weekend of football for a trip to the playoffs. That’s soft. Eat a d*ck.

  55. Stfnwlf says:
    January 31st, 2009 at 12:49 pm
    Irvin’s not in the elite level???
    Florio, are you high?
    Aside from Rice, name another receiver that dominated the 90’s… Herman Moore? Jimmy Smith?
    You’re a biased Florio… it’s so obvious reading your content.
    Imagine that in this day and age – a biased media outlet. Who would have thunk it?

  56. Doesn’t surprise me at all. Irvin’s selection getting him in the Hall is a JOKE. The worst WR in the history of the NFL at pushing off on every single catch. And a big mouth coke snuffer as well. Rod Woodson was a class act and a great player. And until he became a Raider for a couple of years, I wouldn’t have admitted that either. Congratulations Rod- you were one hell of a player!

  57. Hi all u irvin haters, chill, mike was only telling the truth, if u look back a film when woodson played against mike, woodson made no impact in the game to stopping irvin in making td. mike had woodson spooked in all the game he played against him. mike had a td on him in super bowl 30, but the refs step in and called offensive pass interference because of mike propensity to push off, but hey that part of the game. woodson may have made impact against other teams, but not against irvin. plus woodson played almost 20 years for 4 teams and won a ring with the ravens because he was a coach on the field and was surrounded by players on that defense that got him his ring, woodson lost in his other 2 superbowl appearances with the raiders and the steelers. woodson got in because he played for 2 east coast teams and nfl network lobbied hard for woodson. i have to disagree with u on irvin assesment. film do not lie.

  58. As a die hard Cleveland browns fan, Michael drug Irvin must still be high on some illegal drug…. I can’t stand the steelers, but for anyone to say Rod Woodson was soft, they are full of crap. The late Donnie Rogers, whos career and fearful neighborhood got cut short, these two players would’ve sent Michael Irvin to an emergency room and not looked back….. Gotta respect Woodson as much as I love the memory of watching Donnie Rogers level anyone who dared catch a pass in his part of the field……. Irvin is on crack.

  59. Maybe Rod could make up a story about how some guys were going to rob him but, changed their mind when they realized: Oh My God, it’s Rod Woodson!

  60. a couple of years ago, i might have actually read this article but after watching Irvin on tv making an ass out of himself quite often… i just dont give a sh** about anything he has to say anymore

  61. soft like when irvin always ran out of bounds, soft like having off the field issues, soft when he took that hit at the vet and retired afterwards……that kind of soft mike…..

  62. Micheal, your very very Lucky your in the Hall, still can’t figure that one out AT ALL!!! . Please don’t knock a super guy like Rod, Because he would never do that to you-NEVER- so why don’t you let him have his shinning moment, He is a true roll model for younger kid’s. I bet you wish you could say the same. STILL can’t figure out how you made it.

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