The question as to whether or not he is the greatest cornerback ever has sparked a huge debate in football circles, and still, the debate goes on. Perhaps this is simply what his supporters feel, and people shouldn’t look any further than that.
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Long-time Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has attested to what Woodson can do, describing the athlete as an all-around player he ever worked with. Whether it was about being a cornerback, a defensive tackle, a quarterback, or any other role given to him, Woodson seemed to have the stuff to do it all.
Looking at the time when he entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though, only a mere 20 defensive backs were a part of it, and only 11 of those, Woodson included, were naturally seasoned cornerbacks for most of their careers.
He wasn’t only physically skilled, but he was mentally gifted, too. He was the type of player who wanted to be at the point of the attack. He wanted to be the player who was in the eye of the fire all the time, and he genuinely embraced that role.
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His peers very often leaned on Woodson as a natural leader, whose voice simply couldn’t be helped but be listened to whenever he wanted something to happen. He was the coach on the field, and he understood how offenses wanted to attack.
So, when the scribes always exclaim “Rod is God!” when they celebrate his memory, they are right to do so.
Duval Love is a former football tackle who was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1985. Later in his career, he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. For more on American football, follow this Twitter account.