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Raiders Sign Woodson

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by RocketsPimp, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. RocketsPimp

    RocketsPimp Contributing Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I've always liked Rod Woodson. Although I wish he was still a Steeler, the next best thing is him being a Raider!!


    ALAMEDA, Calif. -- After 15 NFL seasons, 10 Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl victory, Rod Woodson doesn't have many lifelong ambitions left. He did get one more Tuesday, joining the Oakland Raiders.

    Woodson, the 37-year-old safety cut by the Baltimore Ravens in February, signed with the Raiders as the latest addition to a veteran-laden roster with urgent designs on a championship.

    Though Woodson became a star in Pittsburgh and won a Super Bowl in Baltimore, the silver and black held a special place in his heart since his youth in Fort Wayne, Ind. In fact, his first pee-wee football team was named the Raiders.

    "I've been a Raiders fan forever," Woodson said. "If you could look at the walls of my old bedroom, I had (posters of) Kenny "The Snake" Stabler, (Lester) Hayes, (Jack) Tatum -- I had it all. If it was the Raiders, it was mine."

    Woodson played the last four seasons in Baltimore, but he was the latest of several members of the Ravens' dominant defense to move on from the salary cap-troubled team.

    He was released in a cost-cutting move after recording 74 tackles and three of his 61 career interceptions - tops among active players and eighth in NFL history - in 2001.

    Rod Woodson was a key element to the feared Ravens defense. (Allsport)

    "That's the reality of the NFL now," Woodson said. "Your window is small. I think I'm going from a team where the window is closing to one where the window is still wide open."

    He seems to be a particularly good fit for the Raiders, who wanted Woodson as a leader and a contributor in a defensive secondary that was one of their primary weaknesses last season. When he joins star cornerback Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson likely will take the job of Anthony Dorsett, whose inconsistency became more glaring late in the season.

    First-year coach Bill Callahan said Rod Woodson will call the Raiders' defensive signals next season as the starting free safety. Callahan also expects Rod Woodson to mentor the Raiders' young defensive backs, including safety Derrick Gibson and rookie cornerback Phillip Buchanon.

    "He'll be able to impact us today and in the future," Callahan said. "We will always take on a great player here when the opportunity becomes available. If you look at his seasons in Baltimore, I don't think there's any question he's still playing at a high level."

    Raiders owner Al Davis lived up to his history of signing veteran stars with several good years left in them -- Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Lyle Alzado, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes and Eric Dickerson, among others.

    The Ravens originally hoped to bring Woodson back after June 1 at a lower salary, but Woodson jumped to the AFC West champions after six weeks of periodic negotiations, he said. Terms of his contract weren't disclosed by the team.

    It's the latest in a series of offseason moves by the Raiders to bolster a defense that faltered down the stretch last season. Oakland earlier signed veteran free agent linebacker Bill Romanowski and defensive lineman John Parrella, then drafted Buchanon and linebacker Napoleon Harris. In addition, Trace Armstrong will return from the leg injury that kept him out nearly all of last season.

    Woodson sees the Raiders' veteran roster as a positive, not a drawback.

    "Old is good," he said. "This is wine country, so it's like a fine wine. It gets better with age. I think so-called experts get too caught up in age. If you can still prepare and perform at a high level, then your experience is a positive that young guys don't have."
  2. moestavern19

    moestavern19 Member

    Dec 8, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Damn we are getting old. Woodson was one of the best cover corners for many years and a punt returner as well so he should help Philip Buchanon develope into a premier double threat. Plus the Raiders really need a good safety not just to play but to set an example for the young guys like Dorsett and Gibson. Good move by the Raiders.
  3. Mr.Scary

    Mr.Scary Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Likes Received:
    He should shore up the safety position for a few years plus I agree serve as
    a good tutor for Derrick Gibson and Buchanon. I know the safety spot was in need of some help badly for the last few years. Oakland has had a wonderful offseason so far with the great draft and the pick-ups of guys like Parrella and Romanowski. One more run-stopper should make the defense VERY good.

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