ESPN Wisconsin

Woodson ready, willing for move to safety

May 08, 2012 -- 1:20pm
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GREEN BAY – Charles Woodson is willing to move to safety if the Green Bay Packers need him to – but only if the team’s other cornerbacks are ready to step up.

“I’m not opposed to that,” Woodson said on Green & Gold Today on Tuesday morning. “But we have to make sure that our cornerback position is going to be solidified and we’re going to be comfortable with who’s going to be out there at the corner.”

The eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback said last year he would have been willing to shift to safety if the team had signed his friend and former Oakland Raiders teammate, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, in free agency.

That, of course, never happened, and Woodson stayed at his cornerback spot, working frequently from the slot in the nickel defense and being used in a variety of ways by defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

But now, with the team having released three-time Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins because of his career-threatening neck injury, it might make sense to move Woodson, just as Capers watched one of his former players in Pittsburgh, Pro Football Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, make the move late in his career.

Charles Woodson finished last season with 83 tackles, seven interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two sacks, one fumble forced and one fumble recovery. He did see time at safety in Capers’ “Corner Okie” base defense, in which safety Charlie Peprah would come off the field, Woodson would shift to safety and No. 3 cornerback Sam Shields would come in and be paired with Tramon Williams at corner.

When the Packers drafted Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward with the second of their two second-round picks, it fueled speculation that Woodson could be on the move.

“We haven’t even had those discussions. You want to get through the draft and see where you are and all those things,” Capers said after the Hayward selection. “Charles has played so many different places for us – corner, nickel, dime, safety. Wherever we’ve wanted Charles to play, he’s played.”

In addition to Hayward, the Packers have Williams, Shields, Jarrett Bush, 2011 fourth-round pick Davon House, practice-squadder Brandian Ross and Hayward at cornerback at this point, along with Woodson.

“I think it comes down to what the other guys are going to be able to do,” Woodson said. “If one of those guys could take over that role and make the plays needed to be made at corner, and with us having Nick Collins being released there being a need for me to play safety, I’m not opposed to that.”

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