Obviously it didn’t happen in time for my story on Shawn Springs possibly moving from cornerback to free safety in the coming seasons, but Rod Woodson did get back to me and here’s what he had to say about the switch:
Q: What do you remember about making the move?
Woodson: When I was in Baltimore my first I played corner, but after that I told [Ravens GM] Ozzie Newsome if you guys get a replacement for me I would be more than happy do it. That year they drafted Chris McAllister, so I was able to make the transition.
Q: What is different about the two positions?
Woodson: The game is played at a different angle. Everyone says it is an island at corner, but the biggest thing is the game is viewed from an angle. If Shawn does move to safety, now he will see everything from the top down. The angles are different when it comes to tackling, breaking on the ball, and things like that. That is the biggest adjustment. You are also going to be involved to be involved in more tackles as a safety, so you have to have the right mindset going in.
Q: Do you think it added years to the end of your career?
Woodson: Without a doubt. I played 12 years at corner, and it is inevitable – your feet slow down, your body can wear down and you don’t come out of your breaks as quick. I think he can still be a great cover safety, and that is an advantage for a defensive coordinator. Look at how teams go to three-wide sets so quickly. Instead of automatically going to the nickel or a slot corner, Shawn will be able to slide down and pick up that extra guy.
In a lot of ways it is more fun to safety, and I think he’ll see that. You are almost like a centerfielder back there, able to run around and make plays.