There is an article Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about how Charles Woodson has turned to boxing as part of his workout regimen. This is nothing unique; a lot of NFL players, including a handful of Woodson’s Packer teammates, have become offseason pugilists lately.
What jumps out in Bedard’s article is this little tidbit:
“Woodson, 33, has never been out of shape. But he admitted that at this time of year he has usually been at least 12 pounds over his playing weight of about 200. Then he uses training camp to get work in and weight down before the season starts.”
Throughout his career, Woodson has always done his own thing during the offseason. He rarely shows up at voluntary workouts and OTA’s. Often, players who stay away – especially veteran players like Fred Taylor, Troy Polamalu, Brian Waters and pretty much anyone who played at the University of Miami – claim they get a better workout on their own than with the team. When they show up at training camp, they’re in top shape.
But Woodson seems to go about things differently. He uses training camp as a time to round into shape. Coaches these days often claim this is an erroneous route to take (training camp is too late to catch up, they say). If offseason workouts are a black or white issue, how could you not side with Woodson? Not only has he had perhaps a Hall of Fame caliber career, he’s also gotten better with age.
Of course, not every player is Charles Woodson. Not every player is responsible enough to stay “near top shape” in the offseason and know how to flip the switch at just the right time. Not every player can skip practices nursing minor injuries during the regular season and still perform on Sundays. But clearly, Woodson is doing something right, and whatever he’s doing is unconventional in today’s NFL.
(P.S. It’d be unfair if we didn’t note that the thesis of Bedard’s article is that Woodson, for the first time, is in tip-top shape already, thanks to the boxing.)
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