Talk of Fame Network
The votes are in, and it’s clear who mans the cornerback positions on our All-Everything Team: Deion Sanders and Rod Woodson. They were the winners of our two rounds at the position — with readers this past week voting Woodson in over runner-up Mike Haynes.
The totals were close, with Woodson pulling down 42 percent of the vote to Haynes’ 36, but Woodson maintained a lead at the polls throughout the week. Charles Woodson (14 percent) and the 49ers’ Jimmy Johnson (8 percent) were distant finishers — but not in the eyes of at least one member of our Hall-of-Fame board of selectors.
Rick Gosselin chose Johnson.
“Size, speed and strength — just like his brother, Olympic decathlete Rafer,” said Gosselin. “But he never won a championship, so it took Johnson 13 years to gain enshrinement into Canton. As smooth a cover corner as there was in the game during the time of the AFL-NFL merger.”
You can make the argument that Johnson was the best cornerback never to play in a Super Bowl, and Clark Judge and Ron Borges would. But neither sided with Gosselin here. Instead, they chose someone who did play in a Super Bowl, someone they saw on multiple occasions and someone who was a recent guest on the Talk of Fame Network radio show.
“He was as smooth as butter,” said Borges, who, as a beat writer, covered Haynes.”He went weeks without a pass being thrown his way because it was futile to do so, and he played the run in a way unfamiliar to a guy like Deion Sanders. He also was one of the league’s most dangerous return men until he was judged too valuable to keep doing it.”
Judge agreed, especially with Borges’ point about tackling.
“There’s a difference between Mike Haynes and Deion Sanders,” he said, “and it’s not in coverage where it was a photo finish. No, the difference for me was in run support. Haynes was good at it. Deion wasn’t.”
That didn’t convince readers. They liked Deion big a week ago. They liked Woodson — Rod, not Charles — this week. Opposing quarterbacks would like neither.