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View Full Version : Rod Woodson and big plays synonymous in long career


Galax Steeler
06-28-2009, 07:06 AM
Rod Woodson made Hall of Fame plays throughout his 17-year career, none more memorable than his rocket in the Astrodome that forged Chuck Noll's first playoff victory in five years.

The Steelers squeaked into the NFL playoffs as a 9-7 wild card in 1989 and opened at the Houston Oilers, the AFC Central Division champs.

The underdog Steelers found themselves on the brink of elimination in overtime as Houston drove near midfield toward a possible winning field goal. Halfback Lorenzo White took a handoff and ran around left end, where Woodson smacked into him, forcing the ball loose. Woodson recovered the fumble at the Oilers' 46 and five plays later Gary Anderson kicked a 50-yard field goal to win it.

"It was a phenomenal play," said Tom Donahoe, the Steelers' former director of football operations. "In the space of one play, Rod changed the whole game. It just seemed with Rod, when a big play had to be made, he'd make it."

Woodson anticipated plays like few others. He made a habit of breaking on sideline patterns to intercept passes, like the one he made against Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills in 1994.

"We were playing on Monday night in Pittsburgh," former teammate Carnell Lake recalled, "and Rod was talking in the huddle: 'Hey, you safeties, watch my back, they've been running this play a lot and I think they'll run it here and I'll pick it.' Sure enough, Kelly threw the ball his way, Rod picked it and ran for a touchdown."

It covered 37 yards, the Steelers' first touchdown on way to a 23-10 victory.

Woodson's influence, though, went beyond big plays. Former Baltimore coach Brian Billick remembers vividly a game in 2000 when his great Ravens defense faltered early against the Cleveland Browns.

"Cleveland was a team struggling at the time, and we figured, here's another shutout," Billick said. "But the game opens and they go the length of the field for a touchdown."

Billick was about to say something to his defenders as they came off the field when Woodson interrupted him.

"As I was making my way to the defense, Rod approached me and he said, with respect, 'We're fine, leave them alone.' It was his calculation, his assessment, they don't need a butt-chewing right now.

"That's the type of leadership I'm talking about. At times you have to judge, 'Leave them alone.' He sized up a very prideful group and probably the best thing that could happen was what happened, it shocked them and brought them back into focus.

"Cleveland had 80 yards on that first drive and I think 120 for the whole game. The rest of the day was a total beatdown. Rod had that perspective, he could give you those insights."



http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09179/980394-66.stm

HometownGal
06-28-2009, 09:28 AM
Woodson was a true leader and had that knack of bringing his teammates and coaches "over to his side" which was to never quit. With Woodson you knew without a shadow of a doubt that no matter which end of the scoreboard his team was on, he was going to continue to bring it right up until that final second ticked off the clock and expected nothing less of his teammates. :drink::hatsoff:

KingofSparta
06-28-2009, 12:59 PM
My hat's off to acknowledge one of the greatest Cornerbacks to ever play the game - arguably THE greatest. :helmet:

Oh wait, that hat's not coming off.

Texasteel
06-28-2009, 01:06 PM
Woodson was a true leader and had that knack of bringing his teammates and coaches "over to his side" which was to never quit. With Woodson you knew without a shadow of a doubt that no matter which end of the scoreboard his team was on, he was going to continue to bring it right up until that final second ticked off the clock and expected nothing less of his teammates. :drink::hatsoff:

I have listen to him talk many times. I believe he still considers himself a Steeler. He looks like he could still play as well.:tt:

RoethlisBURGHer
06-28-2009, 03:17 PM
Woodson is one of my all time favorite Pittsburgh Steelers.

I will always remember him as a Steelers.....not a 49er, Raider, and damn sure not a Raven.

OX1947
06-28-2009, 03:35 PM
You know, I grew up with Woodson and loved him, but 7 years outside the Steelers uniform and him wearing a Ravens and Raiders jersey ruined it for me. Still like him but for me, a true Steeler doesnt wear a niner, raven and raider uniform. I mean, could he have picked 3 worst teams to play for after his steeler career?

LambertLunatic
06-28-2009, 06:49 PM
Still like him but for me, a true Steeler doesnt wear a niner, raven and raider uniform. I mean, could he have picked 3 worst teams to play for after his steeler career?

Browns, Cowboys, Patriots?

Preacher
06-28-2009, 08:12 PM
You know, I grew up with Woodson and loved him, but 7 years outside the Steelers uniform and him wearing a Ravens and Raiders jersey ruined it for me. Still like him but for me, a true Steeler doesnt wear a niner, raven and raider uniform. I mean, could he have picked 3 worst teams to play for after his steeler career?

Sorry, you may work for the Ford company for half your life, be completely dedicated etc. But when they tell you that you aren't good enough for them at that position anymore, you have to move on and work someplace else. Where do you go? You go to GM.

Exact same thing. Don't begrudge the man for playing football. I could care less where he went after playing for the Steelers.

TackleMeBen
06-28-2009, 08:56 PM
i have always like woodson, and he is about the only one on the NFL network worth listening too. he knows what he is talking about.

Aussie_steeler
06-29-2009, 05:48 AM
Rod Woodson is the reason why I am a steelers fan. One chance viewing of an NFL game in the early hours of the morning and I was hooked as a steeler fan for life.

Whenever I think of Rod I can only ever see him in Black and Gold. I have no memory of the other teams.

Thank you Rod.

Galax Steeler
06-29-2009, 05:59 AM
Rod was a play maker and you always had to account for him on every play. He was always one of my vavorite players.