2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Woodson back in familiar environment with Raiders

By JOSH DUBOW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-07-27 21:04

NAPA, Calif. (AP) - Charles Woodson is back on the familiar practice fields in Napa once again wearing the No. 24 Oakland Raiders jersey he had for his first eight NFL seasons.

There's plenty else that has changed for Woodson and the Raiders in those seven years between his two stints in Oakland.

Woodson returned this offseason to his original NFL team to much fanfare as a far different person and player than he was when he left for Green Bay following the 2005 season.

Once a brash young star who clashed with coach Bill Callahan, Woodson returned as a respected veteran with Super Bowl-winning credentials who is being counted on to contribute with his talent on the field and his leadership off of it.

``I'm just older. That's really it,'' Woodson said of the changes since 2005. ``I play the game now going on 16 years. The great thing about it is it's still fun. I still love it. I plan on having a great deal of fun this season with the guys who are going to the first game. I feel good. My body feels good. As far as anything being different, I'm a Raider again.''

That was somewhat surprising after he was released early this offseason by Green Bay. After first talking with a couple of contending teams like San Francisco and Denver, Woodson finally ended up signing with the Raiders in late May after his free agent visit featured a throng of fans who came to the team facility to welcome their old hero back to town.

Woodson said that fan support - along with financial support from a one-year deal with $1.8 million guaranteed and a potential value of $4.3 million - helped make his decision to return easy.

``The one thing about it is the fans, they treat me as if I never left,'' Woodson said. ``That's probably the greatest part of it. The reception when I got to the facilities a couple of months ago, the love that the fans showed me. That was huge. That meant a lot to me. That's another reason why you go out and work the way you work and play the way you play is for the fans. You want to give them the best you can possibly give them out there on the field and that's what I plan on doing.''

Woodson is being counted on to help a revamped secondary that struggled last season with inexperience and ineffectiveness. Strong safety Tyvon Branch is the only returning starter with free-agent signees Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins competing with first-round pick D.J. Hayden to start at cornerback and Woodson stepping in as the starting free safety.

That overhaul is part of the big defensive changes in Oakland, where only Branch and defensive end Lamarr Houston might be the only starters from 2012 to remain in that role this year.

But with head coach Dennis Allen having a background as a defensive backs coach, upgrading the secondary was a high priority.

``It's an improved group,'' Allen said. ``We have some veteran players in there who understand how to play the game. I think there's some leadership on the back end. This is a passing league, and you have to be strong in the secondary to survive.''

Woodson's versatility as a former cornerback who has the ability to play free safety, cover slot receivers and blitz will only help that group.

Woodson has 55 career interceptions, 17 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and 11 interception returns for touchdowns in eight seasons in Oakland and seven in Green Bay.

He has already had an impact as a mentor to the younger players.

``It's just the way he approaches practice and film study,'' Branch said. ``He's smart. We talk a lot during the play. We talk a lot pre-snap. He's a smart guy. He helps me make those split-second decisions that much quicker because he's already alerted me to them.''

Woodson missed nine games during the regular season for Green Bay last year because of a broken right collarbone but says he is completely healthy this summer.

While Allen said he would limit Woodson's time on the practice field as a 36-year-old veteran, Woodson said there's no need for such treatment.

``My age is not going to dictate for me whether I practice a lot or not practice a lot,'' he said. ``I'm going to take as many reps as I can just because I still love football. To stand on the sideline that's not what I enjoy. I like being on the field. They're going to have to pull me off the field at times because I love being out there. ... I'm going to work hard. I feel like there's nobody who will outwork me.''

NOTES: LBs Kaluka Maiava, Sio Moore and Billy Boyko and WR Greg Jenkins left practice with injuries. Allen had no details on the injuries but Maiava has a walking boot on his left foot as he left the field. ... The Raiders will have their first padded practice Sunday.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Brandon BrownerOct 30 04:32p

New England Patriots DT Alan Branch (non-injury related) and DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Nate Ebner (finger), DL Dominique Easley (knee), OL Cameron [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 30 04:22p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DT Domata Peko (toe) and OT Andre Smith [ More ]

Dwight FreeneyOct 30 04:22p

San Diego Chargers LB Manti Te'o (foot), CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) and S Jahleel Addae (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was limited. CB [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 30 04:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) practiced fully Thursday, Oct. 30.

Terrell SuggsOct 30 04:02p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (foot) and LB Terrell Suggs (neck) all did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Marshal Yanda (knee) [ More ]

Brett KeiselOct 30 03:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury), SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) and SS Ross Ventrone (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Ike Taylor (forearm) and FS [ More ]

Bruce CarterOct 30 03:22p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (finger) suffered a broken ring finger during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, but expects to play in Week 9. He will wear a splint on his finger for protection.

Cullen JenkinsOct 30 03:12p

New York Giants DT Cullen Jenkins (calf) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (back, hamstring) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) were both limited in practice.

Brandon BoykinOct 30 03:12p

Philadelphia Eagles FS Nate Allen (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. TE Brent Celek (back) and WR Brad Smith (groin) were both limited in practice. CB [ More ]

D'Qwell JacksonOct 30 03:12p

Indianapolis Colts LB D'Qwell Jackson (toe), DT Arthur Jones (ankle), LB Erik Walden (quadriceps) and LB Josh McNary (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB Vontae [ More ]

Rashad JenningsOct 30 02:42p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) said he is on track in terms of his rehab, but there is no timetable for his return. Jennings said he has [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 02:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Anthony CollinsOct 30 02:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Oniel Cousins is working at left tackle with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, because OT Anthony Collins (foot) is sitting out practice.

Doug MartinOct 30 02:22p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Jason VerrettOct 30 01:52p

San Diego Chargers CB Jason Verrett (shoulder) is expected to miss two to three weeks with a torn labrum, according to two sources.

DeAngelo WilliamsOct 30 01:52p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (ankle) will start the team's Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints Thursday, Oct. 30, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 01:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) received most of the work with the first-team offense during practice Thursday, Oct. 30, and will start in Week 9 if he [ More ]

Jaylen WatkinsOct 30 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles SS Earl Wolff, FS Chris Maragos and CB Jaylen Watkins could be options to start at safety if FS Nate Allen (hamstring) is not able to play in Week 9.

Giovani BernardOct 30 01:22p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 01:02p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) didn't take part in the walk-through Thursday, Oct. 30, and will not practice with the team. However, head coach Jason Garrett remains hopeful [ More ]

Trent RichardsonOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Reggie WayneOct 30 12:42p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (elbow) is not participating in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Tony RomoOct 30 12:22p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's (back) status is making head coach Jason Garrett feel optimistic about his availability for Week 9.

Dallas ThomasOct 30 11:43a

Miami Dolphins OG Dallas Thomas would be the most likely candidate to start at left guard if OG Daryn Colledge (illness) is not able to play in Week 9.

Rashad JenningsOct 30 11:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9.

Phil BatesOct 30 10:52a

The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent WR Phil Bates (Seahawks) to the practice squad and released CB Marcus Cromartie Thursday, Oct. 30.

Charles SimsOct 30 10:13a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims could have 10 or more touches in Week 9, in the opinion of beat writer Greg Auman.

Ryan MathewsOct 30 09:52a

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) is likely to sit out of the Week 9 game and return after the Week 10 bye.

Dennis PittaOct 30 09:52a

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) may never be able to play football again after two surgeries on a fractured and dislocated hip in as many seasons.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group