Charles Woodson with the Green Bay Packers in 2013.
Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Charles Woodson has yet to dip his toes into the training water, but that hasn’t stopped some from hoping he will. The four-time All-Pro quarterback retired from the NFL in 2015 after spending 11 seasons with the Raiders and another seven with the Pack, the last of which, his only Super Bowl win, was in 2011.
Woodson is one of 15 finalists to be inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame this year, and he remained a favorite with Green Bay fans even after his career with the Raiders ended. Woodson still holds the Packers record for the number of interceptions returned for touchdowns (nine) and the number of defensive touchdowns (ten), as well as four consecutive Pro Bowl touchdowns with the 2008-11 team. His defensive skills were second-to-none when he played, making some fans and analysts wonder if he will ever try to coach.
When the Packers announced Friday that they were letting defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s contract expire, Woodson’s name came up as an extremely unlikely but intriguing possibility to replace him.
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Analyst nominates Mr. Woodson for Packers’ defense coordinator position
Following the announcement of Pettine’s non-return, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic floated the idea of Woodson as his replacement, but immediately pointed out the improbability of it all:
I know that’s not going to happen, but Charles Woodson in Washington would be cool. I bet Packer fans will start a GoFundMe campaign to get him away from the comfortable confines of where he is now.
– Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 29, 2021
Schneidman also mentioned Woodson in his column listing the top 10 candidates to succeed Pettine, but that was more of an amusing aside “That would be great.”
Imagine how great it would be for the former Packers to put aside their wine business to give a little life to Green Bay’s defense. It’s probably never going to happen, but you can dream about it. Not only would our press conference on Thursday with Woodson be legendary, but the Packers could lead the interception competition until the end of time. Woodson is also Alexander’s favorite player, if you ask me.
But the idea of the Packers legend returning to coach Lambeau on the defensive side of the ball made many Packers fans jump on Twitter :
Love where your heads are
– Liz Gonzales (@TheLizGonzales) January 30, 2021
Matt…. , this is the best idea you’ve ever had !!!!
– Big B (@bigpackers4x) January 29, 2021
– ᴅᴀᴅ ᴛᴡᴇᴇᴛ (@joelouisyancey) January 30, 2021
I thought Michigan should have considered hiring him as DC after Don Brown was relieved. Woodson sounds like a guy who would be a natural coach. He has had so many good ones, in college and in the NFL. Plus, he has a passion for soccer that is second to none.
– Mike Hogan (@MHoganReports) January 30, 2021
A man can dream
– JoeyGPG (@JoeyGPG) January 29, 2021
Mr. Woodson recently expressed his feelings about attending the training day.
As far as coaching goes, Woodson doesn’t seem interested, at least not yet, although he is flattered that some people think so highly of him. When the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther at the end of the season, fans of the team immediately turned to Woodson for the DC position. The future Hall of Famer responded to these requests with an appreciative but questionable tone:
“I appreciate that you guys think I’m a great coach, but I never considered being a coach. There are many more qualified than me,” he tweeted in December when a fan begged him to go to Vegas to help with the Raiders’ defense.
Since retiring in 2015, Mr. Woodson has explored his commercial side, launching his own wine label called “Twentyfour by Charles Woodson” and his own whiskey brand. One Twitter user joked that Packer fans can woo the former defender by supporting his business ventures:
Matt, let’s just say we’re offering every Packer fan a case of @CharlesWoodson wine or a bottle of his bourbon. Do you think this might lure him to the @packers sidelines as a DC?
– Mitchell Sadowski (@mitchsadowsky) January 30, 2021
The idea of Woodson returning to Green Bay as a coach is intriguing enough, but his lack of experience, combined with the fact that former players rarely become star coaches, makes it a pipe dream at best. The role of defensive coordinator is also too important and too tough to be given to someone without coaching experience, even a former player like Woodson. He will always hold a special place in the hearts of the cheeseheads, but don’t expect him to enter the coaching world anytime soon.
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