Training Camp Countdown: 22 Days

The Packers have a potential void at safety that Charles Woodson surely could fill. However, any talk of moving Woodson to safety permanently is just plain stupid. He's going to the Hall of Fame because he's the best nickel cornerback in the league by a mile.

There are 22 days remaining until the Green Bay Packers kick off training camp.

Every day until the start of camp on July 26, we'll be giving you one juicy nugget to whet your appetite for the return of football. We'd give you more but the CBA forbids two-a-days. Sorry.

Woodson to safety? Why?

Once it became clear that Nick Collins would never play another snap for the Packers, the "logical" solution would be to move Charles Woodson to safety.

"Logical" because old cornerbacks are moved to safety.

"Logical" my butt.

Would Woodson solidify a possible weak spot on the Packers' defense? Sure.

But moving Woodson to safety would be akin to fixing a leaky dam by replacing a broken brick with the perfectly good one right next to it. Sure, the original leak has been fixed, but what about the new one?

Someday, Woodson might have to move to safety on a permanent basis. But, based on last year, that time isn't now.

The Packers' base defense is their nickel package, which they used more than 70 percent of the time last season. In that, Woodson plays the nickel position — going man-to-man against a receiver lined up in the slot.

It's in the slot where Woodson has forged a Hall of Fame career. Last season, according to data kept by Pro Football Focus, Woodson allowed a passer rating of 40.3 when in the slot. That was the best in the league — a fact that doesn't quite do that number justice. No. 2 on the list was Houston's Brice McCann with a 48.5 rating. Nobody else allowed a passer rating of less than 60, and Woodson was one of eight cornerbacks to yield a passer rating of less than 70. His four interceptions also led the league.

"We didn't play good as a group, but it wasn't because of Wood," cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt said. "You don't make the plays that he made – and don't give up the plays that he didn't give up – not playing (well). And he turned 35 last year. Everybody wants to hang up on the age. Wood is going to be Wood, and Wood is going to play at a high level. Because when he feels like he can't play at the level he's playing at, he's not going to play anymore. But that time is not here. Wood, he's the last person I'm worried about. We've got 10 other guys we need to worry about before we worry about Charles Woodson."

Would Woodson be an upgrade over, say, Charlie Peprah as a full-time safety? Sure. Should Woodson have a role at safety in the base defense, like he did on a semi-regular basis last year? Sure. Could Jarrett Bush or Casey Hayward be as brilliant at the nickel position? Right now, no chance.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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