Charles Woodson: 2011 Green Bay Packers Evaluation and Report Card

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Packers Cornerback Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson

1.) Introduction: If there is one member of the Packers secondary that played consistently this year it’s Charles Woodson. Despite struggles around him, Woodson remained the heart and soul of the Packers defense.  The former Defensive Player of the Year is the locker room leader and the big playmaker in the Packers secondary.

2) Profile:

Charles Woodson
Height: 6’1”
Weight:  202
AGE: 35

Career Stats:

3) Expectations coming into the season: Woodson was expected to bounce back from his collarbone injury and return to form as the most dangerous player in the Packers secondary.  After only two interceptions during the regular season in 2010, the hope was Woodson would make more plays on the ball and force some more turnovers.  Along with Tramon Williams, Woodson was expected to be part of the most lethal cornerback tandem in the NFL.

 4) Player’s highlights/low-lights:  Woodson’s best game of the season came in Week 7 in the Metrodome against the Minnesota Vikings.   With a closer than expected game due to good play by rookie QB Christian Ponder, Woodson’s two interceptions and four pass deflections helped the Packers hang on to a 33-27 win which was crucial in them finishing with a perfect record in the NFC North.

It’s like beating a dead horse, but again we have to point to the playoff loss against the New York Giants.  Woodson wasn’t totally at fault for the hail mary touchdown pass right before the half, but he was there in time to make some kind of play on the ball and he didn’t.  On a day the entire secondary got shredded, Woodson as the leader should have stepped up and made some plays and return focus to a deflated defense. He didn’t

5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Woodson by far was the most consistent player in the Packers secondary.  This isn’t really a surprise but given the gap between him and Williams and Sam Shields (both whom I think regressed by the way), it’s surprising he had the season he did.  Opponents still threw at him and he made them pay.  His clutch playmaking skills helped preserve some wins as the Packers set a franchise record for regular season victories.

 6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: As stated earlier, Woodson (along with the rest of the defense) needed to make plays when they had to and they didn’t.  This isn’t to lay the blame solely at the feet of Woodson as the leader of the defense, but superstars need to make the plays when their team needs them and in a rarity, Woodson failed to do so.

 Season Report Card:

(B+)Level of expectations met during the season
(B+) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(C) Contributions to team during the playoffs

Overall Grade: B

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Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for AllGreenBayPackers.com and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and CBSSports.com.

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  • JimR_in_DC

    B? Is this on a Homer Grading Scale? Sorry, but Woodson was as big a part of the lousy defense we had this past season. I can’t in any way imagine him getting any higher than a C-.

    • Kris Burke

      I think we’re being a little bitter over how the season ended. Look at Woodson’s stat line. About par for his career.

      • JimR_in_DC

        I’m not bitter, Kris. I think Woodson was mediocre, at best, this past season, based on what I saw in the many games I watched.

    • PackersRS

      JimR_in_DC
      B? Is this on a Homer Grading Scale? Sorry, but Woodson was as big a part of the lousy defense we had this past season. I can’t in any way imagine him getting any higher than a C-.
      Hot debate. What do you think? 5  6

      He still led the league in interceptions, and was 5th in passes deflected. This year overall wasn’t very good for DBs. He still had some very good games, like the Carolina, the first Lions game and both Vikings games.

      I’d give him a b- but I thought it was overall a good assessment.

  • Bearmeat

    Agreed. Every player on defense other than CM3, Bishop, and Pickett gets either a D, F or I this year. Woodson included.

  • hotpockets

    I love Chuck, but his time has passed I believe. He has regressed drastically and was a poor tackler, cover corner and could not get home on blitzes. He took chances that put other DB’s in bad positions and only really feasted on young or talentless QB’s. I hate to say it but he really needs to restructure his contract or he is not worth keeping around. My grade for his season would be c-.

  • Oppy

    ouch..

    I’ve been pretty outspoken about my feelings as far as Woodson’s coverage this year (I think it’s been fairly lousy), so I’m going to be biased on this.. but, I can’t see anyone coming to this grade for Woodson after actually watching him play the entire season. a “B” grade seems like a grade you’d give to him if you just looked at the numbee of INT’s and ignored the very regular big plays given up by Wood.

    He was the most consistently poor cover corner of the packers top three DB’s, imo.

  • Tarynfor 12

    Nice to see or read rather,that many felt my EGO needs checking ala Woodson in the Bad Tackling post rolled over to his personal grade post.
    At best a C and he hurt the young guys this year more as we expected him to help them.

  • Zack

    Ok guys I’m sure that I’m gonna catch some heat, but I kind of have to stand up for Kris a little bit on this one… maybe a little bit higher than I would have graded woodson but not much higher. although I have to say that I would have proportioned the grades a little differently.

    The reasoning:

    C+ for level of expectations met durring the season. Woodson still had the big play ability that he did in years past. I don’t think anyone expected more from him in his clutch playmaking than he brought to the table this year… but he didn’t execute the play to play fundamentals that he has been so strong at in the past. In the past he had been one of the strongest tackling corners in the league… so expectations were very high. He did not deliver. His tackling was horrible and he gave up some huge plays. due to this his grade in this category suffered.

    A for contributions to team’s overall success. Some of you are probably going “What the hell?” Allow me to explain. Woodson gave up some huge plays… but that being said a large portion of the time teams were unable to capitalize on the huge plays that he gave up. The defense’s MO this year was giving up a TON of yards then holding teams to a field goal or forcing a turnover. That is why we were the 32nd ranked defense on yards allowed but middle of the road as far as points allowed (I think 19th?). On the other hand, Woodson made some CLUTCH plays. The bad parts of his game didn’t cost us a single game durring the regular season but his clutch plays turned the momentum of games and put points on the board therefore he made great contributions to our team’s regular season success. He directly won us a few games and indirectly a couple others. Those of you who argue against this grade must measure success differently than me. I measure success as winning.

    D for contributions to the team’s success in the playoffs. There’s not really any way to stand up for anyone on defense for their playoff performance. Durring the regular season the defense was able to make up for the insane and historically bad amount of yards they gave up by forcing ALOT of turnovers and holding the opposition to field goals. The biggest contributer to that was Charles Woodson. He didn’t do that in the playoff game. He offered the poor points of his game and brought none of the good things he did throughout the year. The reason the grade is not lower is because I think that he did deflect a couple passes so he did contribute (although not very much) to the team. F would be not defending any passes and giving up plays every time he was thrown on. He didn’t do quite that bad.

    Overall grade for me: B-

    • Zack

      maybe a C+

  • cow42

    this grade has caused me to decide not to read anymore of this site’s grading articles. total joke. a c would have been too high. woodson was horrible all season.

    • CSS

      And for that, this site, its contributors and readers will all be better off. Perhaps you could start your own Packers site where the articles would consist of single, incomplete sentences, where you only manage, ‘they suck’, ‘yikes’ and ‘awful.’

      Even that might exceed the depth of your analysis.

  • Kris Burke

    Do I get a chance to explain my grade a little more or do we automatically get roasted without being able to defend ourselves? Oh, it’s the internet. Nevermind.

    Seriously though Woodson played with a VERY poor secondary this year. Still, I think if we’d won the Super Bowl despite the defense we would all be singing a different tune.

    Am I a homer? If you’ve read this site long enough you know that’s not the case.

    • JimR_in_DC

      Don’t take it personally Kris. We all have opinions & a__ holes. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish which is which. :D

      • Kris Burke

        They’re definitely interchangeable these days!

  • Kris Burke

    Or I just suck at grading. This is the last of my evaluations for the year, so for cow42 this is it.

    • Zack

      I don’t think you suck at grading. Although I disagreed a little on your grades I didn’t think you were as far off as everyone thought. People love to criticize when someone puts their opinion out there… It makes them feel smart. But if you look through the comments not many of the critics support their thoughts with facts. They simply throw out vague opinions fueled by bitterness over not being successful in post season and even the ones that do use facts aren’t taking into account the full picture. They just wanted to see you blast Woodson because he didn’t play how they wanted him to. He sucked at tackling, he blew some coverages, he was slower than he used to be… those things aren’t the categories we are judging him on.

      The categories are:
      1. Level of expectations (probably where most of your opinions would come into effect)
      2. Contributions to teams overall success
      3. Contributions to team durring the playoffs

      If you want to rate him on tackling, I would agree with a D. If you want to rate him on coverage I would agree with a C. When you rate him on clutch playmaking abilities I would give him an A+.
      But when you rate him based on the categories kris did, he is much closer than you guys are giving him credit for.

  • Bearmeat

    Cow – you have some football knowledge. You catch so much flak because you come across as a jerk on the screen with the way you state things.

    You don’t need to get personal. I find Kris’ posts (and allgbp.com in general) are informative and well thought out. I don’t always agree, but I can at least see where he’s coming from.

    Please, continue to participate. Lose the nasty edgy tone, biting words, and panic attacks every single friggen day.

  • Dan

    Just went back and reviewed my Feb , 2, 2012 edition of my JS Packer Plus paper. They also gave Woodson a B. So let’s lay off Kris a little guys. We all have our opinions, I’m not saying who’s right or wrong, but we are all Packer fans rooting for the same team. Woodson gives a lot to this team. Yes, He took chances and he’s lost some ability, missed to many tackles, but I’m still glad we have him for another year. He may move to safety next year. I gave him a C+ for 2011.

  • Dan

    I’m not sure what Woodsons salary is for 2012 but I would guess its probably more then it should be. I just don’t see him taking a cut.

    • Oppy

      I haven’t checked personally, but I’ve seen it written that Woodson is due 11 million… Yes, that’s ELEVEN million, next season.

      That will not happen.
      Renegotiate or gone, got to be that way.

      • Zack

        Although I rate woodson’s performance higher than most on this eval, there is an obvious regression. He has probably 1 or 2 years left in him and he’ll either play the same or regress more… probably the latter. So I can’t help but agree, he isn’t worth anywhere near that number. I’ve said it before in the past and I’ll reiterate it here, I don’t know if he’ll be willing to take a pay cut. And even if he is I don’t think he’ll be willing to take ENOUGH of a paycut. 11mil, I think he was worth, at most, about 6mil this year. His ego won’t allow him to take that. His glaring mistakes didn’t cost us games this year but I can’t say that I trust that to happen again next year.

        Does anyone else think that his injury in the Superbowl had something to do with his HORRIBLE tackling? Maybe he decided he wouldn’t put himself out there as much as he had in the past after being punished for giving 100% last year.

  • Ron LC

    Let’s get this straight, I love Woodson’s style of play. For whatever reason, it didnot work and it showed a weakness that caused Woodson and other defenders to lay a very big egg. His grade for his actual performance could not be any higher than C, as in average.

    Much of the D’s problem went beyond individuals and to the coaches for not finding a solution to those weeknesses during the year. The curse was the fact that the coaching staff was unable to improve the D at all. No one cared about it because the Offense was so good that they kept winning. Unfortunately, one of the O’s bad games was the playoff loss. With two weeks prep time for the Giant game, I expected better from DC.

    They now have the off-season to fix it. This is not only a DE here an OLB there, it is also a change in the style of play. Over almost everyone of the 16 reular season games, it never improved.

    • Kris Burke

      Ron, let me ask you this: The defense undoubtedly played well leading up to the Super Bowl last year. Did the unit just catch lightning in a bottle at the perfect time or was there one big reason for such a large drop off in 2011?

    • Zack

      Ron, I don’t understand. How did Woodson’s style not work? Woodson gave up big plays but most of the time the opposition didn’t capitalize on the opportunities. we had a +25 turnover ratio and 31 of the turnovers came from interceptions. Woodson led the team in interceptions with 7. Without those interceptions we lose more games than we did. In fact I would say that he played more conservatively in the playoff game and had almost no impact. I would have liked to see him go for broke more durring that game. Through out the year he played his strengths and without playing his strengths he would have only brought his weaknesses… which is what happenned in the playoff game.

      As far as coaches not fixing the problems throughout the year, I think DC used every blitz package known to man. He mixed it up as well as he ever has in years past. His players failed to execute. As a coach all you can do is put your players in a position to make plays and I feel like DC did that but the players didn’t execute. To me this is more about personnel than coaching. (And it’s impossible to say how much the lockout affected us.) DC is a proven expert… one of the best. Please don’t jump off the band wagon based on one year, especially one as unusual as this. As for your statement that “it’s not about a DE here or OLB there” I have to disagree. I think that’s exactly what it’s about.

      My repsonse is not meant to be antagonistic in any way. I have read your posts in the past and I enjoy what I read most of the time. most of your posts have a few thumbs up and I’m responsible for many of those, =P. I just disagree with you in this case.

  • Dan

    Good points Ron, and another factor that didn’t help the secondary was a lack of pass rush. They still played poor as a unit, but a better pass rush would have helped some of the problems In coverage.
    I hope the team can put a competitive D on the field in 2012. It starts with TT and then as Ron has indicated, the coaching staff.