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mesaSteeler
06-28-2009, 09:31 AM
Rod Woodson: The Steelers, the breakup and his date in Canton
Sunday, June 28, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09179/980468-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml

On occasion, a player comes along who does not belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a player so dominant in his sport that he deserves a higher honor.

A player such as Rod Woodson.

Who says? How about these guys:

"Without a doubt,'' Bill Cowher said, "he'll go down as one of the greatest players to ever play the game.''

"If you tell me Rod Woodson is your top defensive back of all time," said Dick LeBeau, "you will get no argument from me because he certainly merits that."

"He was a player you get once in a long time," said Dan Rooney.

And more ...

"He, in my opinion, might be the greatest athlete that Chuck Noll ever drafted," said Mel Blount. "And that's saying a lot when you think of all the Hall of Famers. This guy was special."

"He was one of those rare top draft picks who probably even exceeded what people thought he would be," said Tom Donahoe.

And, from Tony Dungy on coaching Woodson his first two seasons with the Steelers: "You could see the specialness. We felt he'd be a multi-year Pro Bowler. You could see that from the first day."

Woodson, who will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8, ranks among the best defensive backs in NFL history -- if not the best -- by testimony, by performance and by gaudy statistics.

Consider:

His 71 career interceptions rank third in NFL history while his 1,483 yards in returns and 12 touchdowns on interceptions are No. 1. He made the NFL's 75th Anniversary team in 1994, one of only five active players to do so -- 10 years before his retirement. He made 11 Pro Bowls in his 17 NFL seasons and was the only player to ever make it as a cornerback, safety and return man. No defensive back ever made more.

"Gosh, I guess I was all right," Woodson said when presented with the evidence. "It's kind of tough putting myself on that pedestal. I have a hard time doing that."

Instead, he took the stand to thank the many coaches who helped school him, those such as Noll, Dungy, John Fox, Rod Rust, LeBeau, Marvin Lewis, Brian Billick and Jim Mora.

"I was taught extremely well by some of best coaches in NFL history right there in Pittsburgh," said Woodson, 44. "Without them, I don't think I'd be in the Hall of Fame. I was naturally gifted, but how many times do you see naturally gifted guys who don't do anything?"

Woodson spent his first NFL decade with the Steelers, then left as a free agent to play one season in San Francisco, four in Baltimore and two in Oakland. He played in Super Bowls with the Steelers and Raiders and earned his only NFL championship with the Ravens after the 2000 season, after he moved to safety.

There are reasons some athletes dominate a sport more than others, and there was no mystery why Woodson was able to do so. Not only did he have good size at 6 feet, 200 pounds to play either cornerback or safety, he had everything else to go with it.

"Let's look at it this way: What is his minus? What is his weakness? He had none," said LeBeau, Woodson's secondary coach and later coordinator with the Steelers in the 1990s. "He had size, he had strength, he had speed, he had reaction, he had great instinct and he was very, very smart."

He also did not take his talent for granted. Dungy recognized that quickly, especially as Woodson and the rest of the Steelers endured a 5-11 season in 1988.

"He was very, very determined. His mindset was, "We have all these young guys who are going to be great players and I'm going to be one of this group'. You couldn't measure that pride, the determination, the desire to be the best."

And to think the Steelers got him with the 10th pick in the 1987 draft from Purdue. Think Cleveland and Arizona might like a redo on that one?

The Steelers once passed over Jim Brown in the draft, but it was payback time when the Browns passed over Woodson to claim Mike Junkin with the fifth overall pick (Junkin played three NFL seasons, two in Cleveland). Arizona drafted quarterback Kelly Stouffer with the sixth pick (Stouffer held out all of '87, was traded and played four seasons in Seattle).

mesaSteeler
06-28-2009, 09:32 AM
"You can always count on those franchises for help,'' said Donahoe, then a Steelers scout who would become their director of football operations. "Everyone was shocked he kept sliding.''

So shocked that when Dungy asked Noll when he should visit Purdue in the spring of '87 to see him -- as was traditionally done by the position coaches -- Noll told him not to bother because they would not have a chance to draft him.

Shortly after they snapped him up with the 10th pick, Noll declared, "I'm in love with him."

That love affair had a rocky start because Woodson did not sign until early November of his rookie season after the 1987 players strike. During that summer and fall away from football, he ran for the L.A. Track Club on the European track tour and his time of 13.29 seconds in the 110 hurdles was the fourth-best in the world that year.

The only four-time Big Ten champ of the 55-yard hurdles still wishes he had run in the 1988 Olympics. "It always haunted me; what could I have done?"

Instead, he spent a long career haunting quarterbacks and receivers. He even played wide receiver for a few plays one game after hounding new coach Bill Cowher to try him there.

Woodson helped revive a Steelers team that had slumped in the mid-to-late 1980s, making the playoffs for the first time in five seasons in 1989. Starting in 1992, when Cowher became coach, Woodson was part of the Blitzburgh defense that dominated the NFL, but did not win a Super Bowl.

"It was a thrill really to just watch somebody be able to dominate the backfield like that," said former Steelers safety Carnell Lake, now coaching UCLA's cornerbacks. "Rod was a true professional in every sense. He was one of the last guys out at night, one of the harder workers on our team. He knew football, had a great instinct for football and wasn't afraid to take risks on the field. He's one of those guys that when we needed a play to happen, it happened."

Woodson's only appearance in the Super Bowl with the Steelers came after his most devastating moment in the NFL, when his ACL tore while he tried to tackle Detroit's Barry Sanders in the 1995 season opener at Three Rivers Stadium.

Since it generally was understood to take one year to recover from such an injury, Woodson's season seemed over. Well, his regular season anyway. Rather than place his star on injured reserve, Cowher took an unprecedented approach and held a roster spot open all year, just in case.

"That's one of the great feel-good stories of my coaching career," said LeBeau. "Coach Cowher saved that spot throughout the season and never saw fit to take that last spot and saved it for Rod. It was, in a way, a tribute to what a great player Rod was."

As Cowher remembers, "He was making progress and it was Rod Woodson. It meant so much to us. We put Carnell Lake at corner and Willie Williams started. Rod was coaching those corners and it kept him alive and ready. He had given so much of himself to our team, I thought it was a small thing to give him an opportunity to play in a Super Bowl."

Woodson did make it back to play in the nickel and dime defenses of the Steelers' 27-17 loss to Dallas in Super Bowl XXX.

It was the beginning of the end for Woodson with the Steelers. He played one more season and left as a free agent under sour circumstances.

Woodson had another Pro Bowl season in 1996, his last under contract with the Steelers, but he was not the same player as before the injury. At the end, Dan Rooney said he thought Woodson should be moved to free safety but that Cowher and Donahoe believed his knee and an injured shoulder would limit him there.

"There was a lot of medical evaluation with Rod and where he was in his career and where Rod thought he was," Cowher says today. "And certainly it proved out Rod was able to play a lot longer than we thought at the time."

Blount, the Hall of Fame cornerback from the 1970s, believes the Steelers did not try hard enough to keep him.

"This guy was special," Blount said. "The Steelers might not ever admit it, but I said it when it happened and I'll say it today, they made a big mistake when they let him get out of here. I think he proved that by having a great career and winning a championship somewhere else. He was a Steeler." Woodson, bitter at the time, now believes leaving helped him. He played one year in San Francisco, then moved to Baltimore, to free safety and to a Super Bowl ring.

"It was a journey I had to take as person and player,'' Woodson said. "Even though I wanted to stay in Pittsburgh, it wasn't in my journey, it wasn't for me."

He arrived in Baltimore in 1998 with great young defensive talent surrounding him.

"I saw this young talent and all the stuff I learned in Pittsburgh I got to give back a lot more in Baltimore, where they put me in the locker room in the middle of Peter Boulware, Ray Lewis and Jamie Sharper.

"All the stuff I learned from all these coaches, I got to talk to them about. It was fun to take that role, kind of an elder spokesman."

It was a two-way street in Baltimore, where the Ravens helped Woodson as well.

"Rod was kind of an anchor for us," says Brian Billick, who became the Ravens' coach in Woodson's second season there. "Obviously, by the time he came here, he had established Hall of Fame credentials.

"At that point in his career, it was all about one thing -- he had the big contracts, the Pro Bowls, the fame and everything that goes with a Hall of Famer. But he did not have a ring. His purity of intentions was a great benchmark for us."

Billick said rather than want to hog the spotlight, Woodson often deferred to Ray Lewis and let him have the spotlight "because Rod saw it was good for the team. That says a lot about Rod Woodson. Sometimes guys demand that role, but he saw a purpose in Ray Lewis having it."

He also had a new role with the Ravens, that of free safety. He played the position in high school and college but played cornerback his first 11 years in the NFL.

"That's a tougher transition than people realize," Billick said.

Said LeBeau, one of the NFL's great corners himself, "You're seeing a different perspective on plays." But, "Rod was one of those rare guys who could play any position at any stage of his career."

And Woodson kept playing, and playing. In a sport where the average career lasts 31/2 seasons, Woodson played 17, closing it out in Oakland after an injury in 2003 at age 38. At 37, in 2002 in Oakland's Super Bowl season, he led the NFL with eight interceptions.

"He had great anticipation, range, just the ability to be around the football and that creates that type of statistic," Donahoe said. "A lot of people say guys get put at corner because they can't catch, but that was not the case with Rod."

Today, Woodson, his wife and five children live in suburban Oakland. He moved there from Gibsonia after his retirement when he went to work for the NFL Network, based in Los Angeles.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame does not make a member declare which team he will represent upon induction, but Woodson's heart remains with the Steelers.

"Sometime we have to separate the business and the game," Woodson said, "and sometimes that's hard. Sweat equity. Sometimes, for players, it's more difficult than the team might think it is."
Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.
First published on June 28, 2009 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09179/980468-66.stm?cmpid=steelers.xml#ixzz0Jjd3C5Cb&C

(One of the greatest mistakes of the Steelers ever made was to let him go. - mesa)

silver & black
06-28-2009, 10:09 AM
Nice read. Rod is fondly remembered by Raiders fans too.

RodWoodsonwasprettycool
06-28-2009, 10:18 AM
Nice read. Rod is fondly remembered by Raiders fans too.

I'll always remember him as the greatest player to ever play for my Boilermakers. :).

BlastFurnace
06-28-2009, 11:12 AM
What a difference he might have made in the 1997 and 2001 Championship games.

Of all our FA's who left in the exodus of the late 90's, he was the one I hated to see leave the most.

tony hipchest
06-28-2009, 11:40 AM
heres the biggest difference between woodson and other supposed "greatests of all time" (like d. sanders or ray lewis)...

their are certain players who can take a non-contender and instantly turn their team into one of the best in the league, single handedly. players like joe green, lawrence taylor, reggie white, and today i believe troy polamalu.

i think any of these guys coulda turned around the fortunes of teams like the lions, browns, cardinals etc.

lewis has done nothing without rod. sanders done nothing w/o being on 2 teams who are now called dynasties (and he didnt win multiple rings with either).

anyone who would take deion in his prime over rod is a fool. it is said that deion would take away half the field.

rod would help his team take away the ENTIRE field.

fansince'76
06-28-2009, 11:46 AM
What a difference he might have made in the 1997 and 2001 Championship games.

I think a legit QB would've made a bigger difference....

Preacher
06-28-2009, 12:12 PM
heres the biggest difference between woodson and other supposed "greatests of all time" (like d. sanders or ray lewis)...

their are certain players who can take a non-contender and instantly turn their team into one of the best in the league, single handedly. players like joe green, lawrence taylor, reggie white, and today i believe troy polamalu.

i think any of these guys coulda turned around the fortunes of teams like the lions, browns, cardinals etc.

lewis has done nothing without rod. sanders done nothing w/o being on 2 teams who are now called dynasties (and he didnt win multiple rings with either).

anyone who would take deion in his prime over rod is a fool. it is said that deion would take away half the field.

rod would help his team take away the ENTIRE field.

Between sanders and Woodson, I think it is WAY too close to call. Woodson was a much better all around CB. I have heard it said that Sanders was better while the ball was in the air, Woodson was better while the ball was on the ground... meaning he could hit better, tackle better, sack, etc.

Sanders gave you the opportunity to play both ways if you needed it, Woodson could turn a game around all by himself, though he took risks and got burned for it at times, however if Sanders allowed someone to catch the ball, he was hopeless to tackle the guy.

No, I think they are very close. . . and my dream team would have Sanders linining up on on side and Woodson on the other with Lake and Troy P. at safety. Throw the ball, I dare you.

tony hipchest
06-28-2009, 12:21 PM
one of rods best moves/plays in his arsenal was the cornerback blitz.

no DB ever rushed the quarterback like a linebacker quite like he did.

RoethlisBURGHer
06-28-2009, 03:44 PM
Woodson, IMHO, is the best cornerback to ever play the game.

He could cover a wideout, he could come up in run support and blast a running back, and he could rush the passer. Not to mention his skills as a return man.

One of my favorite Woodson memories is in Super Bowl XXX after a pass break up, him jumping up and down pointing at his knee.

revefsreleets
06-29-2009, 08:40 AM
Woodson >>> Sanders, and easily. While Woodson may have been just the slightest bit less of a coverage back, Deion NEVER made tackles, and Rod was a stud tackler and hit like a truck. "Neon Deion" was a douchy pussbag and wouldn't make a tackle to save his life, which also automatically means Woodson was a much more selfless team player.

HometownGal
06-29-2009, 09:04 AM
Woodson >>> Sanders, and easily. While Woodson may have been just the slightest bit less of a coverage back, Deion NEVER made tackles, and Rod was a stud tackler and hit like a truck. "Neon Deion" was a douchy pussbag and wouldn't make a tackle to save his life, which also automatically means Woodson was a much more selfless team player.

AMEN to that revs. :drink:

There is no comparison at all between Woodson and Deion. The only area where Deion trumps Woodson is in the big yap department.

Indo
06-29-2009, 10:42 AM
Agree that Woodson >>>Sanders

I also find it interesting that Woodson, not RayRay, was the real leader in the Ratbirds locker room. And, as much as I Hate the Ratbirds, I'm glad he got a Ring. That pretty much sealed his induction into the HOF.

I heard him say (on NFL Network) that he wants to be Inducted as a Steeler...

You're a Class Act , Rod :tt03:

thumper
06-29-2009, 10:49 AM
I think a legit QB would've made a bigger difference....

:applaudit:

thumper
06-29-2009, 10:52 AM
AMEN to that revs. :drink:

There is no comparison at all between Woodson and Deion. The only area where Deion trumps Woodson is in the big yap department.

I don't agree. Deion was better as a pure cover corner. I've seen Rod get beat (Rice, Irvin) flat out, but rarely did I ever see Sanders get flat out scorched. And, Sanders was better as a pure return threat,but a nose. But Rod was by far the better over all player, when you include tackling, hitting into the mix

revefsreleets
06-29-2009, 11:48 AM
Errrr...so what exactly are you disagreeing with? Or do you just feel compelled to disagree with certain posters no matter what they say?

43Hitman
06-29-2009, 12:53 PM
I don't agree. Deion was better as a pure cover corner. I've seen Rod get beat (Rice, Irvin) flat out, but rarely did I ever see Sanders get flat out scorched. And, Sanders was better as a pure return threat,but a nose. But Rod was by far the better over all player, when you include tackling, hitting into the mix

How can you disagree then agree that Rod was the by far the better player? Also, since it's tackle football we are talking about, don't you think tackling and hitting should always be considered when evaluating/comparing a defensive player?

thumper
06-29-2009, 07:06 PM
How can you disagree then agree that Rod was the by far the better player? Also, since it's tackle football we are talking about, don't you think tackling and hitting should always be considered when evaluating/comparing a defensive player?

Sure, which might be why I mentioned it in the first place. What I disagreed with was those who claimed, flat out, that Rod was WAY better than Deion. He wasn't. It depends what scheme you are playing in. If your D calls for your CB to come up in run support, then Rod would be better. If you scheme calls for out-of-this-world coverage and not asking them to tackle running backs, then Sanders would be the choice. You guys __DO__ understand that different systems value different skills, right?

No one is going to tell me that Sanders, on those Dallas teams, didn't make those Ds that much better, even though he never tackled anyone. As far as a pure cover corner, no one touches Sanders, including Rod. Being able to virtually eliminate the other team's best WR is a big deal.

thumper
06-29-2009, 07:08 PM
Errrr...so what exactly are you disagreeing with? Or do you just feel compelled to disagree with certain posters no matter what they say?

You are curiously paranoid. The poster said the only area where Sanders was better than Rod was in the "yap" dept. Fact is, Sanders was the better cover corner. Matter of fact, he might be the best cover corner in the history of the game. So, the poster's assertions were not accurate and I expressed why.

Got a problem with that?

Texasteel
06-29-2009, 07:28 PM
Personally, I am going to look at a players all around game. When I do that I see Rod as the better player. I have seen Sanders run out of bounds to keep from having to make a tackle, and to me that has to be taken into account. Sanders was a very good cover corner, but I didn't see him as head and shoulders above Rod. If I were picking a CB to play on my team it would be Rod. I will admit that I am a long ways from being impartial.

I can tell you one thing about Sanders, he is as obnoxious in person as he was on the Field.

thumper
06-29-2009, 07:49 PM
Personally, I am going to look at a players all around game. When I do that I see Rod as the better player. I have seen Sanders run out of bounds to keep from having to make a tackle, and to me that has to be taken into account. Sanders was a very good cover corner, but I didn't see him as head and shoulders above Rod. If I were picking a CB to play on my team it would be Rod. I will admit that I am a long ways from being impartial.

I can tell you one thing about Sanders, he is as obnoxious in person as he was on the Field.

Make no doubt about it: I find Sanders to be a phony idiot when it comes to his persona. And I find Rod to be an authentic, honest, real deal DUDE or will man up on any occasion or situation. If we are discussing which person I can admire and respect, as a person, then it's Rod 100, Deion -50. Deion's act is obvious and hackneyed. He's a phony. He's a snake oil salesman. He is shallow.

Rod is all the things polar opposite of what Sanders is.

Now, we weren't talking about them as people, but as players. Sanders was the better cover corner if we are purely talking about covering the WR in his route. Sanders was incredible at that.

___IF___ you system places the most emphasis on covering, he might be the better player. That is all I am saying. Rod was very good in coverage but not the greatest ever. That's all. There is no sin in admitting that.

Texasteel
06-29-2009, 08:01 PM
Make no doubt about it: I find Sanders to be a phony idiot when it comes to his persona. And I find Rod to be an authentic, honest, real deal DUDE or will man up on any occasion or situation. If we are discussing which person I can admire and respect, as a person, then it's Rod 100, Deion -50. Deion's act is obvious and hackneyed. He's a phony. He's a snake oil salesman. He is shallow.

Rod is all the things polar opposite of what Sanders is.

Now, we weren't talking about them as people, but as players. Sanders was the better cover corner if we are purely talking about covering the WR in his route. Sanders was incredible at that.

___IF___ you system places the most emphasis on covering, he might be the better player. That is all I am saying. Rod was very good in coverage but not the greatest ever. That's all. There is no sin in admitting that.

Can't argue with that at all thumper, but I will say that if Rod was playing for Dallas, and Sanders was playing for Pittsburgh that IMO, Rod would do a better job for Dallas than Sanders would have done in Pittsburgh.

We can agree on one thing. I don't think either one of us would invite Sanders to lunch.

tony hipchest
06-29-2009, 08:16 PM
You guys __DO__ understand that different systems value different skills, right?

No one is going to tell me that Sanders, on those Dallas teams, didn't make those Ds that much better, even though he never tackled anyone. As far as a pure cover corner, no one touches Sanders, including Rod. Being able to virtually eliminate the other team's best WR is a big deal.

atually, i am.

you do understand that a system will do all it can to mask and hide a player who cannot tackle.

you do understand that the cowboys won 2 of their 3 superbowls in the 90's w/o neon (and did it in blowout fashion). the one he played in was nearly a loss where the steelers offensively outgained the cowboys in leaps and bounds.

neon did nothing for the falcons, redskins, or ravens, and merely road the coat tails of great cowboys and 49er teams to sb's.

rod led 3 different teams to the superbowl.

deion could run and he could catch. as far as skill level, he is right there with devin hester and ed reed.

as far as one of the best football players of all-time, he is nowhere near rod.

what about the rest of these great deion led dallas defenses? you mean the ones that got embarrassed by k. collins, and j. plummer in the playoffs?

you are talking about the same deion who had only 14 ints in his 5 years with the cowboys, right?

the same team that got progressively worse the longer he stayed?

BlastFurnace
06-29-2009, 09:16 PM
I think Rod could play in any defense. Wherever he went, the defense improved, with possibly the lone exception of San Francisco.

Deion would not have been as big of a star in the Steelers defense. He would not have been able to take the physical pounding necessary and would have broken down much earlier in his career.

What I can't help but think is the amount of rushing yardage that was given up on Deion's side of the field in comparison to Rod's. How many games were lost for the Falcons, Cowboys, Redskins, and Ravens because of that. The 49'ers team he was on and the 94 and 94 Cowboy teams were so stacked that it probably didn't matter.

I would have chosen Rod over Deion if ever given the chance. He was a more complete player.

revefsreleets
06-30-2009, 09:17 AM
You are curiously paranoid. The poster said the only area where Sanders was better than Rod was in the "yap" dept. Fact is, Sanders was the better cover corner. Matter of fact, he might be the best cover corner in the history of the game. So, the poster's assertions were not accurate and I expressed why.

Got a problem with that?

Yup.

The difference in cover skills was negligible. I have Deion #1 and Woodson no worse than #5 all-time AS A COVER CORNER. Considering how many DB's have played the game, that's too teeny of a difference to matter to anyone other than someone purposefully looking to stir up a fight (which I've seen you do on numerous occaisons, just being contrarian for the sake of nothing but, well, being contrarian). As for being a complete corner, Deion drops WAY down the list, and Woodson moves right to the top.

I also found this which was interesting:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-06-22-top-five-cornerbacks_N.htm

Considering that Rod was a much better ALL-AROUND corner, and was complete in every phase of the game, he is overall a much better CB. If you want a guy that will NOT tackle or provide run support, it's no different than drafting a lineman who will only pass block and refuses to run block. It's a key aspect of the game, ESPECIALLY in the post-modern era where defenses will have specific schemes designed to filter plays back to DB's.

Add in blitzing, which Woodson was also better at, and it's a lock.

But (yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn) I'm sure you'll diagree....again.

pancake
06-30-2009, 09:22 AM
Rod may be the greatest DB ever...

Steel Head
06-30-2009, 09:24 AM
The difference in cover skills was negligible.

LMAO. I am all about listening to arguments for Woodson being the overall better corner/football player than Sanders BUT to say that "The difference in cover skills was negligible." is absolutely moronic.

In Sanders prime, the opposing QB would not even throw the ball in his direction the whole game. Nothing remotely close to this happened with Woodson.

Steel Head
06-30-2009, 09:26 AM
rod led 3 different teams to the superbowl.


no he didn't

You do know that Woodson was hurt all year when the Steelers made the Super Bowl and lost to the Cowboys right? The SB was his first game back

revefsreleets
06-30-2009, 09:57 AM
Stat breakdown.

I think we can all concede that Woodson was the far superior tackler (they didn’t track tackles prior to 2001, so I can't show them, but in the years they did Woodson recorded 74, 82 and 51 [last year] while Sanders recorded 30 and 9 [last year]). What about other stats? Let’s do a head-to-head.

(A note concerning “The legend of the shut-down corner". For those of us who watched both play, I remember seeing Deion get beat when teams threw at him. I contend that his reputation overshadowed his actual capabilities, and some teams simply refused to throw his way. But he’d never have any interceptions if teams just ignored his half of the field, so can we please keep this real? He was a GREAT cover corner, probably the best ever, and he was a better cover corner than Woodson, but not by that great of a margin. Woodson is probably in the top 5 all-time, so what is 4 spots on that list really worth?)

Sanders: 53 career INT’s. 9 TD’s. 1331 RY’s. 1 (yes, ONE) career sack. 0 FF’s, 6 Fumbles recovered. KR 22.7 average, 3 TD’s. PR 10.4 avg, 6 TD’s.

Woodson: 71 career INT’s. 12 TD’s. 1483 RY’s. 13.5 career sacks. 1 FF. 14 recovered. KR 22.2 avg. 2 TD’s. PR 9.1 avg. 2 TD’s.

In almost every statistical category, Woodson comes out on top. He even holds up well as a returner. I simply cannot imagine ANY GM or FO that, given the choice, would choose Sanders over Woodson.

Dino 6 Rings
06-30-2009, 12:16 PM
No one is going to tell me that Sanders, on those Dallas teams, didn't make those Ds that much better, even though he never tackled anyone. As far as a pure cover corner, no one touches Sanders, including Rod. Being able to virtually eliminate the other team's best WR is a big deal.

Deon was on the last Cowboys team to win the Super Bowl. He wasn't on the first two vs Buffalo. In fact, he was on the 49ers the year before, in SB XXIX, then went to the Cowboys, for SB XXX. So Don't say "Those Dallas Teams" when talking about Deon Sanders. He was a Hired Gun for the 49ers, for One Season, then was Hired away from them for 7 years by Dallas, where he was part of the Dallas team that got lucky to beat the Steelers.

thumper
06-30-2009, 04:19 PM
atually, i am.

you do understand that a system will do all it can to mask and hide a player who cannot tackle.

you do understand that the cowboys won 2 of their 3 superbowls in the 90's w/o neon (and did it in blowout fashion). the one he played in was nearly a loss where the steelers offensively outgained the cowboys in leaps and bounds.

neon did nothing for the falcons, redskins, or ravens, and merely road the coat tails of great cowboys and 49er teams to sb's.

rod led 3 different teams to the superbowl.

deion could run and he could catch. as far as skill level, he is right there with devin hester and ed reed.

as far as one of the best football players of all-time, he is nowhere near rod.

what about the rest of these great deion led dallas defenses? you mean the ones that got embarrassed by k. collins, and j. plummer in the playoffs?

you are talking about the same deion who had only 14 ints in his 5 years with the cowboys, right?

the same team that got progressively worse the longer he stayed?

Deion was shot physically his last year(s) in Dallas and all season after Dallas. I thought it was obvious and was shocked any team would sign him after that. But he did win a ring while in SF and your other claims about Rod "leading" 3 teams to the SB is misguided at best and an outright distortion at worst. How does a DB "lead" a team to a SB? That is crazy. As if a single DB is what drives the team's over all success. He can help. But claim a DB "lead" a team to a SB is outrageous.

Before Deion had the foot problems, he was a huge asset, regardless if the Falcons teams he was on had little else in terms of much talent. Just because the guy is basically an ass doesn't erase the reality that he was an outstanding cover corner in his day.

And, yes, personally, I would prefer a Rod in his prime over DS. But that doesn't mean that DS didn't have some skills that were superior to Rod's. I don't understand how some of you find so much difficulty in admitting certain truths.

thumper
06-30-2009, 04:24 PM
Can't argue with that at all thumper, but I will say that if Rod was playing for Dallas, and Sanders was playing for Pittsburgh that IMO, Rod would do a better job for Dallas than Sanders would have done in Pittsburgh.

We can agree on one thing. I don't think either one of us would invite Sanders to lunch.

I might go to lunch with him, but not because he inspires me, but more as for entertainment to see how deep his jack ass and phoniness goes. Maybe in person he is more of a likable, real guy. But the dude I see on TV isn't. That being said, I thought Michael Irvin was worthless as a person and on TV as well, and he has kind of grown on me and I don't loath him anymore.

As far as Rod in his prime being better for Dallas than Deion in his prime, you might be right. All I know is that when Deion was covering a WR in his prime, it was near impossible to complete a pass on the guy he was covering. I do recall seeing Rod give up some big pass plays, particularly while covering Rice and Irvin.

Dino 6 Rings
06-30-2009, 04:24 PM
I think the only argument is that Rod was an over all Better Football Player than Deion. Deion had two on the field skills that he made his career out of, Covering, and Returns.

Rod Covered if not as well as Deion, still at an Ultimately High Level, and then also was a Great Run Support Corner. So as it comes to being the better Football Player, Rod wins.

Deion was a great Corner, no doubt, but his self hype and high stepping highlights didn't make up for the fact that the entire league knew, you could run at him all day and he'd avoid making tackles.

tony hipchest
06-30-2009, 06:11 PM
no he didn't

You do know that Woodson was hurt all year when the Steelers made the Super Bowl and lost to the Cowboys right? The SB was his first game back

yes he did. he led by example and inspiration just like jerome did in '05

Deion was shot physically his last year(s) in Dallas and all season after Dallas. I thought it was obvious and was shocked any team would sign him after that. But he did win a ring while in SF and your other claims about Rod "leading" 3 teams to the SB is misguided at best and an outright distortion at worst. How does a DB "lead" a team to a SB? That is crazy. As if a single DB is what drives the team's over all success. He can help. But claim a DB "lead" a team to a SB is outrageous.
.im beginning to think you guys didnt witness rods career, let alone take the time to read the (rather long) article in the OP.

rod was the bonafide star and perennial pro bowler on the steelers. he was team captain. he was the leader. even when he did miss a year he was coaching the other cb's and his spot was held open for him in unprescedented fashion.

you think they did that for shits and giggles? no, they did that because they knew how important his leadership was to the team.

the ravens, with all their talent, werent shit before or after rod. ray ray can play cheerleader all he wants, and reed can pretend to be a man others will follow, but it aint happening.

rod was the glue... the proverbial straw that stirs the drink. brian billick basically says as much.

the raiders havent been shit either. not since rod LED their team (and the entire nfl) in interceptions. he gave their defense respectability. he taught players what he learned from the likes of dungy, noll, and lebeau.

rod is considered the greatest of all time because he PROVED a db could lead multiple teams to superbowls. thats what makes him special and sanders just a one trick pony, front running, hired gun.

i would expect die hard football fans who claim the steelers to be able to recognize.

Texasteel
06-30-2009, 06:29 PM
Rod may be the greatest DB ever...

No, Mel is.

BlastFurnace
06-30-2009, 07:08 PM
No, Mel is.

Agreed. Mel is the best Corner the Steelers have ever had. Rod is close, but I still loved Mel.

Crow-Magnon
07-01-2009, 08:07 AM
Deion Sanders was exciting to watch, but if anyone would take Deion over Rod Woodson, I want what they've been smokin', because it must be some high-quality chit.

Woodson is one of the best NFL players of all time, regardless of position. He exemplifies what it means to be a professional football player in every sense of the word. And even though he played a big role in bring the Ravens their first Super Bowl victory, I'm glad he's being inducted as a Steeler in the HOF. Had he not been the dominant DB that he was in Pittsburgh for a decade, he would have never been picked up by the Ravens when he hit the market.

Rod is a class act.

Dino 6 Rings
07-01-2009, 08:39 AM
Deion Sanders was exciting to watch, but if anyone would take Deion over Rod Woodson, I want what they've been smokin', because it must be some high-quality chit.

Woodson is one of the best NFL players of all time, regardless of position. He exemplifies what it means to be a professional football player in every sense of the word. And even though he played a big role in bring the Ravens their first Super Bowl victory, I'm glad he's being inducted as a Steeler in the HOF. Had he not been the dominant DB that he was in Pittsburgh for a decade, he would have never been picked up by the Ravens when he hit the market.

Rod is a class act.

Great Post Crow, I myself was happy to see Rod win a SB even if it was with the Ravens. Rod was and still is a great embassador of the game.

Crow-Magnon
07-01-2009, 08:41 AM
Great Post Crow, I myself was happy to see Rod win a SB even if it was with the Ravens. Rod was and still is a great embassador of the game.

One thing I like about him still is that he speaks his mind if it's something he believes in.

43Hitman
07-01-2009, 08:50 AM
Deion Sanders was exciting to watch, but if anyone would take Deion over Rod Woodson, I want what they've been smokin', because it must be some high-quality chit.

Woodson is one of the best NFL players of all time, regardless of position. He exemplifies what it means to be a professional football player in every sense of the word. And even though he played a big role in bring the Ravens their first Super Bowl victory, I'm glad he's being inducted as a Steeler in the HOF. Had he not been the dominant DB that he was in Pittsburgh for a decade, he would have never been picked up by the Ravens when he hit the market.

Rod is a class act.

Very well said Crow. :hatsoff:

revefsreleets
07-02-2009, 09:55 AM
The thing that always strikes me about Sanders is that his legacy is pretty much based on his character, which was all about him and the limelight. He played for like 15 years or something, yet everyone seems to remember him as a Cowboy. Why? He was only there from 95-99. I think it's all just part of "The Hype". His reputation on the field became larger than life, and his abilities have, I think, exceeded the reality in peoples minds over the years.

Great CB, but at least some of this is just hyperbole and rep...

BKAnthem
07-03-2009, 08:42 AM
Between sanders and Woodson, I think it is WAY too close to call. Woodson was a much better all around CB. I have heard it said that Sanders was better while the ball was in the air, Woodson was better while the ball was on the ground... meaning he could hit better, tackle better, sack, etc.

Sanders gave you the opportunity to play both ways if you needed it, Woodson could turn a game around all by himself, though he took risks and got burned for it at times, however if Sanders allowed someone to catch the ball, he was hopeless to tackle the guy.

No, I think they are very close. . . and my dream team would have Sanders linining up on on side and Woodson on the other with Lake and Troy P. at safety. Throw the ball, I dare you.

Gotta co-sign this post right here

rich4eagle
07-03-2009, 08:05 PM
Rod Woodson was indeed great and deserves all the kudos he gets..............but Championship Teams are won by offense always was always will be

and I understand this will get a lot of flack

But numbers and stats support what I just said

NO Ben NO Bowls........NO Bradshaw no Bolws............NO Holmes and Bettis and Ward no bowls

No Franco and Swann and Bradshaw and Stallworth no bowls

Bottom line Offense Wins Championships always did

But you gotta love the Steeler D year after year

Psyychoward86
07-03-2009, 09:01 PM
The thing that always strikes me about Sanders is that his legacy is pretty much based on his character, which was all about him and the limelight. He played for like 15 years or something, yet everyone seems to remember him as a Cowboy. Why? He was only there from 95-99. I think it's all just part of "The Hype". His reputation on the field became larger than life, and his abilities have, I think, exceeded the reality in peoples minds over the years.

Great CB, but at least some of this is just hyperbole and rep...

Those are kind of my thoughts about him too, but you gotta give it to Deion though. He was kind of an attention 'hore, but he's still been called a great locker room guy, and he didnt cause any drama for whatever teams he played with.