Rod Woodson vs. Deion Sanders

ESPN AFC North blogger James Walker wrote a great piece about Rod Woodson in anticipation of number 26’s upcoming induction into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton.

In addition to a great overall retrospective of Rod’s career, Walker listed each quarterback Woodson intercepted during his playing days (he only picked off Warren Moon 3 times, I’d have thought the number was higher,) and Walker delves into the debate over who was better, Rod Woodson or Deion Sanders.

  • Walker overviews the arguments in favor and against both men, and quotes any number of league figures.

Walker leaves his readers with no clear answer however, and that is where you come in. So take a moment to vote in Steel Curtain Rising’s poll “Who was better, Rod Woodson or Deion Sanders?”

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5 thoughts on “Rod Woodson vs. Deion Sanders

  1. I’m a Steeler Fan but I also believe what I am about to say is based on watching both of them and having a good feel for football defense.

    Rod was clearly better in Defense. Deion Sanders was clearly better on covering mid-deep patterns (He could have been great for short also but I think he almost had a phobia about being hit. Maybe because he could be hit within 5 yards, he stayed away from covering on short patterns. What I saw in Deion was freakish muscular reaction (much like Kobe) but an incomplete defensive mind. With Woodson, I saw a man will slightly slower reaction time but with an incredible defensive mind. When I watched Steelers games (and I saw almost every steelers game with R. Woodson), it was like he was a Corner and a Linebacker all in one. He wanted to take part in every part of the play. He was truly a defensive genious

    So who was better?
    If your goal was to cancel out one dominant player (Irwin, or Rice) and you had the rest of the defense covered, I would go with Sanders. But if you were looking to have an over-all player that was 90% of Deion and could lead a defense by taking part in every play, the Woodson is your man.

    But Neither was the Greatest. The Greatest goes to the man who was so dominating and destructive (legally) that the rules had to be changed (And yes, he is a Steeler. That defense was so dominant that he might be the 3rd or even 4th on that defense (1) Greene 2) Lambert, 3) Ham 4) Blount.

    Mel Blount will always be the greatest cornerback because the Rule Change was even known as “The Blount Rule”

    Sorry Rod and Deion. #1 is the Man who Changed NFL Rules.

    • Darrell,

      Thanks for your comments. To be clear, the poll (which is what the article/stub was meant to support) was only focused on Sanders or Woodson.

      I wholeheartedly agree, as someone who grew up on “In Rod we Trust” that Mel Blount is better than both. As you pointed out, the NFL changed rules because of Blount.

  2. Rod Woodson:

    71 Interceptions (3rd all time)
    1,483 INT Return Yards (1st all time)
    12 INT Return TDs (1st all time)
    20 Forced Fumbles
    32 Fumble Recoveries (1st all time, defensive players)
    1050 Tackles
    17 Total non offensive TD (2nd all time)
    6 Time First Team All Pro
    11 Time Pro Bowl
    7256 Kick/Punt Return Yards
    13.5 Sacks
    One Defensive Player of the Year Award

    Deion Sanders:

    53 Interceptions (22nd all time)
    1,331 INT Return Yards (3rd all time)
    9 INT Return TDs (3rd all time)
    10 Forced Fumbles
    13 Fumble Recoveries
    492 Tackles
    19 Total non offensive TD (1st all time)
    6 Time First Team All Pro
    8 Time Pro Bowl
    5,722 Kick/Punt Return Yards
    1 sack
    One Defensive Player of the Year Award

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