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.
Charles Woodson, in his 14th season in the NFL, tied for the league lead with seven interceptions.
That's pretty remarkable.
Here's something even more remarkable.
Including the AFL, there have been 121 interception champions, either outright or tied, since 1940, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. Of those, only 22 had celebrated their 30th birthday by Week 1 of the regular season. Woodson, at age 35, is the second-oldest interception king in professional football history, behind Rod Woodson, who was 37 in 2002. What's more, there have been only two players to lead the league in interceptions twice past their 30th birthday. They are Charles Woodson in 2009 and 2011 and Rod Woodson in 1999 and 2002.
As you'd expect, Charles Woodson is relying more on experience and study than God-given ability at this stage of his career.
"Now, it's experience," Woodson said. "I've been around the game a long time and I've seen just about everything. It's all about preparation throughout the week, getting ready and knowing what teams are doing to try to attack you. Now, at this stage, it's not so much about the receiver any more. It's about formations, it's about the offensive set, it's about their personnel that they have in the game, where they are on the field, on their side of the 50 or our side of the 50. It's not so much about the receiver any more."
Woodson's extensive preparation was apparent last season. Amid the carnage of the Packers' porous pass defense, Woodson allowed a passer rating of just 40.3 when in the slot — far ahead of Houston's Brice McCann (48.5), according to ProFootballFocus.com. Four of his seven interceptions came in the slot. He had one pick from the slot in 2010, and league-leading figures of three in 2009 and four in 2008.
Woodson enters the season tied for 20th all-time with 54 interceptions. Only nine players have reached 60. Six are in the Hall of Fame: Paul Krause, Emlen Tunnell, Rod Woodson, Dick "Night Train" Lane, Ronnie Lott and Dick LeBeau. The others are Ken Riley, Darren Sharper and Dave Brown.
With another big season or two, Krause's 32-year-old NFL record of 81 could be in jeopardy. Woodson is 27 off the pace — a big figure — but he's got 37 picks in six years with Green Bay.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.