Q&A: Cornerback Charles Woodson

In this Q&A, standout Packers cornerback Charles Woodson talks about Sunday's showdown against Minnesota and the personal importance of reaching 40 career interceptions last week.

Packer Report's Bill Huber and a few other reporters talked to star Packers cornerback Charles Woodson on Friday. Here is what he had to say about Sunday's showdown against Minnesota and reaching 40 interceptions last week. And for more on Woodson, he will be on the cover of the next edition of Packer Report Magazine.

How important will it be to pressure Brett Favre, considering it didn't happen at their place?

Just like any other quarterback, you've got to get some pressure on him. If you don't do that, there's no reason for him to rush into anything. So, it's pressure.

How confident are you that it will happen Sunday?

I'm confident. I think we've all looked back on the last game and we can't do the same things we did. I think even more importantly is the mistakes that we made as a defense, because there were some good calls that we had where we just broke down in coverage. It's a combination of us not making mistakes and getting pressure on him at the same time.

How much is it going to help to have Atari Bigby for this game?

It's good. I think the most important thing's having him back the previous couple games and him getting in a feel for the game again. We feel good about the way he's playing and feel good about the way the team's playing. We've just got to put another good game together on Sunday.

What did you learn from that first game?

Well, at that point, we weren't where we thought we were as a team. Again, it's all about execution. We made a lot of mistakes as a team, as a whole, and you're not going to beat a good team like that.

What's the atmosphere going to be like at 3:15 on Sunday?

It's going to be electric. You're going to be able to feel the energy as soon as you step on that field. I think if you play this game, then that's what you love. You love to have a game like that where there's a lot on the line, of course, for a lot of different reasons. It's a division game, first and foremost, so it's going to be a lot of fun.

Could this be more electric than the Super Bowl?

You know, the Super Bowl's for all the marbles. That trumps this game in that respect, but any other game, Monday night, playoff or whatever, this game will be up there with it.

What does it mean to you to have 40 interceptions?

It means a lot. It means a lot. There was a time in my career where I wasn't getting a lot of interceptions. Coming out of Oakland, it just became a goal of mine to somehow get to 40. I kind of got discouraged a little bit for a while. All of a sudden, I get here and the ball's flying my way a little more and it became a real dream again and I finally got it last week. So, 40 meant a lot to be.


Charles Woodson wraps up Kevin Smith on Oct. 18
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
How do you explain having 19 interceptions in eight years out there to (Woodson jumps my follow-up, just like he did a Derek Anderson pass last week)?

Opportunity. It's all opportunity. I think I'm around the ball enough that if I get enough opportunities, then I'll come up with them.

Bernard Berrian hurt his hamstring last week. How much of a factor is it going to be play if he's slowed or can't play?

It's not about Minnesota. It's about the Packers, and regardless of if they have him or don't have him, we've got to make sure we play as close to mistake-free football game as we can play, then we can eliminate a lot of what they're doing.

Berrian said your corners didn't play bump in the last game and he got a free release. Are you playing more bump now?

We mix it up. I know I was on him a few times but they weren't pass plays anyway, so really there was no reason to get my hands on him. I don't know. I don't think we're bump-and-running anymore than we used to, but we'll take our shots when we get the chance to.

Is this a more aggressive game plan going into this game?

I don't know yet. I never know until during the game. I thought one thing going into the first one, so we'll see what happens.

Getting back to 40 interceptions, was that your goal coming into the league?

I just thought that coming into the league, I just thought I would get picks. I never really had a number in my mind. As years went on, I kind of said, ‘Man, if I can just get to 40.' I would get maybe one pick one year, four the next. It seemed kind of distant. I just kept thinking about 40, thinking about 40. I went into free agency, came here, had a good year the first year with eight. It kind of picked up steam again for me and I finally got there. That's a little bit of a monkey off my back.

Is 40 some sort of benchmark for a corner?

I don't know about any other corners. I just know that for whatever reason for me, 40 was like a big deal. So, I'm excited about 40.

What about 50?

Well, I think it's in reach now. I've got 40 out of the way. Now anything else is just going to be a bonus.

You still need one on Favre, right?

I thought i had one (in the first game), so we'll take another shot at it on Sunday.

I know this is old ground, that when you came here as a free agent, this wasn't exactly your choice. Are you amazed at how it's turned out for you personally?

You know, I couldn't have asked for a better script. I'm done talking about not wanting to come here and just accepting the fact that it was a great move.

What would it have meant to get No. 40 against Favre?

It was going to be special either way. It would have been big because of the magnitude of that game, but now, anything over 40 will be a bonus. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on some balls on Sunday.


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.


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