Packers Legend Floated as Potential Candidate to Replace Mike Pettine

Charles Woodson Packers DC

Getty Charles Woodson with the Green Bay Packers in 2013

Former Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson has yet to dip his toes into the coaching waters, but that hasn’t stopped some from hoping he does. The four-time All-Pro safety retired from the NFL in 2015 after spending 11 seasons with the Raiders and seven more with the Pack, the latter of whom he won his only Super Bowl with in 2011.

Woodson is one of 15 finalists for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, and he has remained a fan favorite in Green Bay even after finishing his career with the Raiders. Woodson still holds the Packers’ all-time franchise records for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns (nine) and most defensive touchdowns (10), also making four consecutive Pro Bowls with the team from 2008-11. His defensive acumen was second-to-none when he played, which is why some fans and analysts can’t help but wonder if he’ll ever try his hand at coaching.

When the Packers announced Friday they were allowing defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s contract expire, Woodson’s name was floated as an extremely unlikely yet intriguing possibility to replace him.

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Analyst Names Woodson as Not-So-Serious Defensive Coordinator Candidate for Packers

After news broke Pettine would not be returning, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic tossed the idea of Woodson as his successor out there, although he immediately addressed the unlikelihood of it all:

Schneidman also included Woodson in his column listing his top 10 candidates to replace Pettine, but it was more as a fun “Wouldn’t it be nice?” aside than anything else:

Imagine how cool it would be for the former Packers great to put his wine business aside to inject some life into Green Bay’s defense. It would probably never happen, but you can dream. Not only would our Thursday news conference with Woodson be legendary, but the Packers might lead the league in interceptions until the end of time. Woodson also is [cornerback Jaire] Alexander’s favorite player, for whatever that’s worth.

Still, the idea of the Packers legend heading back to Lambeau as a coach on the defensive side of the ball left many Packer fans on Twitter shook:


Woodson Has Recently Shared His Feelings About Entering the Coaching Foray

When it comes to coaching, Woodson doesn’t appear interested, at least not yet, although he seems flattered some think of him in such high regard. When the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Paul Guenther toward the end of the season, fans of the team immediately called for Woodson to fill the DC slot. The soon-to-be Hall of Famer responded to the requests with an appreciative yet doubtful tone:

“I appreciate you all for thinking I’d be a great coach, but I’ve never cut my teeth in the business of coaching or have I even considered coaching. There are far more qualified than me,” he Tweeted in December when a fan pleaded with him to head to Vegas to help the Raiders’ defense.

Since his retirement in 2015, Woodson has explored his business side, starting his own wine label called “Twentyfour by Charles Woodson,” and he also has his own brand of signature whiskey. One Twitter user jokingly wondered if perhaps Packer fans could woo the former defensive back by supporting his business endeavors:

While the thought of Woodson coming back to coach for Green Bay is an intriguing one, his lack of experience coupled with the fact that ex-players very rarely become stellar coaches make it a pipe dream at best. The role of defensive coordinator is also far too huge and significant to give to someone with zero coaching experience, even a former player as decorated as Woodson. He’ll always hold a special place in the hearts of Cheeseheads, but don’t expect him to enter the coaching world any time soon.

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