Friday, November 27, 2009

Charles Woodson Is A Great Player

It's amazing, after all these years, just what a great football player Charles Woodson remains. He is still a tremendous shutdown cornerback. I know Calvin Johnson is playing hurt, but Woodson did a terrific job of staying with him Thursday. It was textbook, actually. The Heisman pose after he returned an interception for a touchdown proved Woodson still has a lot of swagger.
In the last two seasons, Woodson has 14 interceptions, returning four of them for touchdowns. At 33, he is playing the best football of his NFL career. At Michigan, Woodson was one of the greatest college players of all time. That leaping interception he made in the Michigan State game is still the most unbelievable I've ever seen. Woodson's NFL career has kind of floundered at times. Not anymore. He is getting better with age.

Random Thoughts

- I don't think Kevin Smith is a bad football player, but the Lions need another running back. Smith would be fine splitting time with a back that plays at a similar level, but a different style. I don't believe he is an every down, 25-carry, five-reception per game back if the Lions are to be a playoff-caliber team.

- Anybody notice Nicklas Lidstrom has one goal and seven assists this season? One goal? Could it be he is slowing down faster than anticipated? He is still seeing 25 minutes per game of ice time, and playing regularly on the power play. That is alarming. The good news: Lidstrom is plus seven on a team that currently has a lot of minus players

My Column in Friday's Oakland Press on Matthew Stafford:



Anonymous Michael C said...

This is kind of off-topic, but its an interesting realization I came to. A good argument could be made that the Lions made the PERFECT selection in each of their top four draft picks. As in, even using hindsight unfairly.

Stafford was clearly the right choice. Too talented with too many intangibles, at the most important position in the game which we had a need at. Even if he doesn't work out in the long run it was still obviously the right choice. Pettigrew is looking like a top flight TE recently, its clear we needed a 2nd option (and a 3rd now) to Calvin and he can be that while also helping out the O-Line.

Delmas looks like a steal, easily could've (and probably should've) been a first round pick. Levy obviously is a steal, outplaying Sims as a rookie 3rd round pick. And hell, even 4th round pick Sammie Lee is starting. 6th round pick Aaron Brown is also contributing.

This wasn't just a good draft, it seems like an AMAZING draft to me. Millen never had a draft even 1/3 this good. He'd at best have one or two decent contributors in a draft, while we have 4 potential stars and 6 players already contributing significantly.

My heart sank the day it was announced that Mayhew and Lewand would be taking over this year instead of an established GM. That, more than the 0-16 season, made me question if it was really worth it to be a Lions fan. But they seemed to hire the right coach.

And for a first draft this seems like an awfully good omen. We just need to have some patience as a fan base. (again)

3:22 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
I, too, think this draft had a lot of promise. Do question not taking a defensive player instead of Pettigrew, but do feel like he will be a good player. Derrick Williams has been disappointing, but Aaron Brown late in the draft might make up for it.

5:32 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Plus, seriously, if they hit on their first 4 draft picks (and 6th too) how can you criticize them for missing on his 5th?

I mean, no one hits on all of their first 4 draft picks. And each could be a major contributor.
The Pettigrew pick at the time also had me scratching my head. But I think they just didn't like anyone else on D near as much at that position.

As long as they show as much skill as getting guys that'll actually succeed in future years, I'll forgive them for not addressing major needs in order.

As I said the day after the draft, fans and the media just don't know much of anything about how good prospects are on draft day. They always think that whomever is highest rated by the media but drops (because actual scouts don't like them that much) are the steals (like Oher, Mike Williams, Leinart, etc.) and guys they've never heard of being taken high are the reaches (like Levy), but we have to assume that NFL teams know a lot more than we do.

At least ones not run by Millen or Al Davis ... Millen seemed to specifically target those guys that dropped. At least it got him good draft day grades ...

9:29 AM 
Blogger Sandy Gholston said...

Charles Woodson still playing a DB position at such a high level is an amazing accomplishment. When most guys begin to fade away Woodson is still playing at a high level and not only has the skill to cover, but the physical nature to blitz and make good and solid tackles.

6:32 PM 
Anonymous rakeback said...

When Calvin Johnson is healthy he is one of the top 5 wide receivers in the NFL even as a 2nd year player. Stafford has been inconsistent, but shown that he has the potential to be a great qb a few years down the line. Cant wait to see these guys develop together.

4:19 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Will be the key to Lions future - if they can build a decent team around them.

12:08 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael C thinks this was a good Lions draft? Are you kidding me? Matthew Stafford was average in college and we overpaid for him, and he should not even been drafted by us. You don't take a QB #1 when you don't have a running game, an O Line, or a defense. Louis Delmas may turn out to be an OK safety, but I would have addressed the terrible corners we have instead of a taking a "OK" safety. Deandre Levy would only start on maybe 2-3 other teams in the NFL. Once again the Lions blew the draft like Charles Rogers blew his weed. No O-lineman was taken in the early rounds. Why? Why do they continue to over-value Jeff Backus and Raiola? Two of the worst in the league at what they do, yet they are paid top dollar.

Next years draft: defense first 3 rounds. Look at Terrence Cody and Javier Arenas. Two BAMA boys

10:24 PM 

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