If Nick Collins is forced to retire because of his neck injury, Charles Woodson will not be his replacement at safety. Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the veteran corner will not be making the switch, despite widespread speculation to the contrary.
“I think the closer Charles is to the ball the more dangerous he is and more impact he has to the offense,” McCarthy said at the NFL combine. “He’s the most instinctive defensive player I’ve ever been around.”
Although Woodson’s days as a shutdown cornerback are behind him, he’s still a solid defender. The Packers used him most effectively to cover slot receivers and tight ends in 2011 and he was also solid against the run.
Woodson’s weakness in recent seasons has been matching up with faster outside receivers, which would make the move to safety reasonable. The Packers have no interest in putting Woodson in those matchups, though. Instead, they’ve used Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Jarrett Bush to cover outside receivers, to varying degrees of success.
McCarthy is also quick to talk up his young safeties, particularly M.D. Jennings, who was an undrafted rookie last season, and Anthony Levine, who’s spent two seasons on the practice squad.
While that’s all well and good, we fully expect the Packers to draft a safety relatively high if they find out Collins can’t return. Counting on Jennings or Levine to take over a position where Charlie Peprah was largely a failure in 2011 is a lot to ask.
Why do people feel Peprah was a major failure? He is a better tackler the Burnett and had more INT’s. Sure, Burnett was a bit better covering the pass defense but I still consider Peprah a decent starter.
Decent if you like really s-l-o-w guys in your secondary.
I don’t think the question is Peprah vs Burnett it was Peprah compared to Nick and you could see he was much slower than Nick. Many plays last year where Peprah was late Nick would have made. That is the concern he is a solid backup but not a starter IMO.
Burnett was one handed most the season. Peprah had a C- at best last season.
C-Wood has not shown tremendous instincts from the safety position and his tackling fell off dramatically last season. In short, having him at safety would be like having Darren Sharper in his later years, with big plays being made in both directions.
Cornerbacks rarely make good safety’s. They are not hitters. Woodson is fine tackling up at the line. but not tackling full speed, even the Packer coaches know that wont fly. I love Woodson, but the sooner people realize he’s slower and lost coverage skills, the better. People get old and slow. No matter how much you like them. As far as Peprah….BDSwingin needs to watch Peprahs shoulder tackle on H Nicks 66 yard td pass and catch….pathetic effort. Peprah isn’t half the player Collins was (is). Anyone ever wonder why Burnett played with a club for so long? He couldn’t tackle or pick off passes, why was he in? Although i’m not a huge J Bush fan, i’d rather have Bush in there with 2 good hands. Burnett playing made NO sense.