By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, May 28th, 2009 at 3:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Had a chance to talk with Rod Woodson today for a project down the road and got his thoughts on the current state of the Raiders.
As a studio analyst for NFL Network, Woodson has refrained from making cheap jokes at the Raiders expense and has hope the team can mobilize its young talent and turn things around.
He does think it would be beneficial for Al Davis to find someone he trusts to help run the football operation.
“I think a football mind has to come in with Al, somewhere,” Woodson said. “You need a football mind to help facilitate the ideas that he has . . . he’s the only gentleman ever to be a coach, a commissioner and an owner. Ever. So his knowledge is vast. I just think there has to be somebody up there with him because it will never get down to the players.
“There are some good players there. Some of his hires have no been the wisest. Schematically you’ve got to have something, but what you need is a leader. Your head coach doesn’t have to be an offensive or defensive genius. You need a guy who can lead 53 men and (have them) buy into what he’s selling on a weekly basis.”
Toward that end, Woodson thinks Tom Cable is on the right track in terms of his desire to run the ball effectively but concedes JaMarcus Russell is “an unknown with a lot of potential” at quarterback.
Woodson, a hurdler in college at Purdue, did think the Raider infatuation with 40-yard dash times at the expense of football skill is sometimes a problem.
“You’ve got to find a football player who runs track, you can’t find a track athlete that plays football,” Woodson said. “It’ different. It doesn’t equate. Football is played on the ground, track is off the ground. The faster you are, the less time you spend on the ground. You can’t be in the air in football. You’ll get knocked out. Football is played grounded. That’s why I think they have some issues sometimes when they get those fast guys.”