Sorry – just had another cup of coffee (“Andy never has a later evening cup of coffee at home”) and I wasn’t sure where to go with the numerous thoughts floating around in my head. So, I came here.
For the last few weeks, Charles Woodson has thrived marking the opponents’ most dangerous offensive weapons. Starting with Witten, then Vernon Davis (until Capers took Woodson off of him), then Calvin Johnson, Woodson not only shut these studs down, but he also managed to make a bunch of other plays that helped the team out at the same time. So, it made me think: would Capers consider having Woodson mark Balt’s most dangerous weapon in Ray Rice? Doing something like this would be pretty much unprecedented and the idea may in fact seem downright ridiculous. And, I know there are logistical issues with a CB guarding a RB closely. But the fact is, right now, I’m not sure any assignment given to Woodson could be considered “ridiculous” considering how dominant he’s been on defense. I’m not sure there is anything Charles Woodson can’t do well. And, the fact is that Ray Rice is not only a great rusher, but he’s #9 in receptions in the NFL. We could play a sort of 4-4-3 line-up with Woodson operating almost like a MLB marking Rice and Barnett dropping into coverage a lot (or we could use a 3-4-4 bringing in an extra CB allowing Woodson to cheat up to stay on Rice).
(I suppose the other far less exciting and far too sensible approach would be to have Woodson mark WR Derrick Mason closely to shut down Balt’s passing game which would allow us to put 8-9 in the box to stop Rice. That would be OK too, but not as creative and not nearly as cool.)