Packers welcome James Jones, Charles Woodson back on Friday
Jan 5, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson (21) celebrates a play during the fourth quarter of the NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 24-10. Image by Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Packers will welcome back two familiar faces to Lambeau Field on Friday night when they host the Raiders.
Both were part of the team's victory in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and definitely left their mark on the franchise.
Jones was re-signed to a three-year deal after that Super Bowl victory, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers was one of his biggest supporters. Based on the impressive work ethic both players had in Green Bay, that shouldn't come as a surprise.
"James Jones is the same guy every day," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said on Tuesday after the team's practice of Jones. "Tremendous work ethic. He's going to work at night when no one's here. He put a lot more into his profession than many realize."
In seven seasons with the Packers, Jones tallied 310 receptions, 4,305 receiving yards and 37 touchdowns. He also played part of last season with two broken ribs, after suffering the injuries late in the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"James is a talented guy," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of Jones on Tuesday. "I loved his presence in the locker room. I loved the way he practiced. He's a guy who you knew would go up and get the ball. He made some incredible catches during his time here."
Woodson arrived in Green Bay back in 2006, signing a seven-year contract with the team. A crucial part of the Packers' Super Bowl winning season, Woodson was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2010 season.
"The impact he had on our football team, I thought he did an exceptional job, particularly with our younger players," McCarthy said of Woodson.
"Charles is one of my all-time favorite teammates," Rodgers said. "Probably the most talented guy, the most dominant player I've played with during his stretch from his time when he got here until he left."
Rodgers agreed with McCarthy in regards to Woodson's impressive leadership ability, noting he misses the defensive back's presence in the Packers' locker room.
"Charles had that presence when he walked into a room," Rodgers said. "There was something about the energy and the charisma that he has that he could really get everybody's attention, and guys really cared about what he said."
After the 2012 season, the Packers released Woodson. A few months later he signed with the Raiders. Woodson played in Oakland from 1998-2005, where he was a four-time Pro Bowl player.
When asked about having to release Woodson, McCarthy said it was one of the toughest cuts he has been a part of.
"I know Ted and I sat down that day and the final decision's made, you go back to his first year and everything that's accomplished since then, and the entire dynamic of our football team's changed," McCarthy said of having to part ways with Woodson. "That's definitely one of the tougher ones."