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Q & A with coach Rod Woodson

By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 9:28 am in 2011 Preseason, Oakland Raiders.

First-year Raiders cornerbacks coach Rod Woodson spoke with the media Monday on a wide range of topics, from his thoughts on some of the young players under his charge, to what it’s like coaching after a Hall of Fame career as a player, to what the Raiders defense is going to look like this season.

Woodson spoke for nine minutes after practice. Here is a transcription:

 

 

 

Q: What has it been like coaching so far?

A: “So far, so good. One-a-days is not tough on the coaches. It’s not really, really tough on the players yet. So far, so good. I can’t complain about it.”

 

Q: Has anything surprised you yet?

A: “Nope. No. Seven years removed, I’ve prepared myself for the worst. It hasn’t gotten to that point yet, but I’m ready for the long days when the season starts.”

 

Q: Are you a guy who isn’t very vocal when coaching?

A: “Well, I don’t think I need to scream and holler. Every coach has his own style. At the end of the day, the train is leaving. It’s going to leave with the guys or without the guys. My style is, if you want to get a paycheck, be on the train. I don’t need to tell you that. At the end of the day, if you’re not doing your job, you’re going to get cut. That’s the bottom line. That’s the reality of it. Throughout my career, my coaches never really yelled at me too much. I was a player that didn’t really respond to yelling. There’s some guys you need to push. There’s ways you find to push certain players. Other guys, you just tell them what to do, and they’ll do it. You have to find your way.”

 

Q: Which coaches influenced you during your 17-year playing career

A: “Gosh, all of them. Chuck Noll, Rod Rust, Tony Dungy, Dick Labeau, Dom Capers, Bill Cowher, Steve Mariucci, Johnnie Fox, he was a rookie coach when he was in Pittsburgh. All those guys who I coached under, I learned a little bit of something from them all.”

 

Q: What was it like watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame speeches this year? Enjoyable?

A: “Oh, yeah. They’re getting longer. It feels like they’re getting longer. But anytime you can go back and see the great classes that come back. I think there was like eighty-something guys that went back this year. It’s always good to go back and see those guys and see the guys that are getting enshrined that year.”

 

Q: What can you tell people about rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke?

A: “Well, DVD is his nickname. He’s going to be good. It’s the little things that he has to work on. He has to learn how to finish. He’s still learning the little things about playing corner in this league, playing the different coverages, when to do certain things, when not to do certain things. But if he keeps progressing in the positive manner like he has in the first week or so, he’ll be a decent player.”

 

Q: What is it about Van Dyke that caught your eye when you worked him out before the NFL draft?

A: “He has great hips. He reminds me of a player that I played with in Baltimore, Duane Starks. When he got drafted coming out of The U, and we were in Baltimore, he had great hips, great feet. DVD reminds me of him. He’s a little bit taller. His range, I don’t think too many receivers are outrunning him. So, he has to learn to break down, move his body weight and transition when he’s playing in space. If he does that, he can be a pretty good player.”

 

Q: What are your impressions of free safety Michael Huff?

A: “Mike’s a player. He’s a playmaker. He has a natural instinct, a natural gift. I’m also coaching the nickels. I coach more with the other guys than I do with him. When you don’t have to coach as much with a certain guy, it makes your job a little easier. That’s when you know he has that natural gift. You don’t have to tell him to do the little things. It just comes naturally to him.”

 

Q: Do your Hall of Fame credentials help you coach so many young players?

A: “It’s a start. But if I tell them to go the wrong way, it’s not going to last too long. I’m just trying to point them in the right direction. Each player is different. Every player learns differently. Some guys are audio learners, some guys are visual, some guys need to do the reps. The things that I did in my career, I can’t ask the same guy to do the same thing. It really depends upon their abilities. Each player plays within that ability. If they can do that and I can help them cultivate their tool belt, so to speak, in their craft, then I’m doing my job as a coach.”

 

Q: What kind of coverage does defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan prefer?

A: “Multiple. The great defenses that I played with, and I know Chuck has been around, have done a multiple of things. I don’t think you can do one thing and be good at it. What has to happen in this league is, you have to make the quarterback think after he touches the football. What Chuck is trying to cultivate with his defense is, to give multiple looks, make sure we have our disguises in the secondary and linebackers and from that we move to what we’re going to play in. If we can do that, then we’re headed in the right direction. Chuck, what he wants to do is, give multiple looks, multiple defenses and make the quarterback guess.”

 

Q: What is your impression of Stanford Routt after 10 days? Is he an elite cornerback?

A: “He can be. Stanford, he’s a work in progress. He has natural gifts. Every player that gets drafted in the NFL has those gifts. He has to cultivate those gifts. He’s had Willie here for so long, he has learned under Nnamdi. It’s his turn to learn how to play the game and learn to trust himself. The elite players learn to trust themselves on the field. Once he does that and he pulls the trigger when he has opportunities to pull the trigger, his game is going to elevate, his interceptions is going to go up and that’s when you’re going to start hearing his name more so than you have in the past.”

 

Q: Can pulling that trigger once and making a big play start that process?

A: “Everything’s a process. Step by step. What Stanford has done so far in this new system is, he’s learning the system, he’s learning how to trust himself, he’s learning how to work his eyes, his balance with his feet, all the things that you need to do as a defensive back, as a defensive player, as an NFL player, to trust what you have learned in the meeting room, on the field and apply back to the practice field and game day. Those are the elite players. He’s in the process of doing so.”

 

Q: Do the Raiders really play 90 percent man or however much?

A: “I know when I was here, we played multiple coverages. We played four, we played man, we played some zones. That’s what we’re going to do again. I don’t know what they did in the seven or eight years that I was gone, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is, this year, 2011 Raiders, that the guys buy in to what Hue is selling. All the guys are doing that. We’re learning that there’s a standard that we’re asking of our players when they step on the practice field, there’s a practice for when we step (on the field) on game day. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the first-team guy, second-team guy, the third-team guy, the standard is set. You have to live up the standard or you won’t be a Raider.”

 

Q: What do you think of Chris Johnson?

A: “Chris can play. I like Chris. He’s an old wily vet. He’s kind of the same way as Stanford a little bit. He has to start trusting himself and start pulling that trigger. All the film study, everything we’re giving him as coaches, everything he’s learned throughout his career and from other players, once he can apply that back to the field and not hesitate, those are the guys that you really look forward to see play. C.J. is in that process. He believes that he can do certain things and as he progresses this year, he’s going to have a good year.”

 

Q: Do those guys need to play better to compensate for the loss of Asomugha?

A: “Even with Nnamdi, if Nnamdi was here, I would tell him Nnamdi the same thing. He didn’t have a lot of picks. He was a shut-down corner but pulling the trigger gives you the opportunity to make picks. They have to start pulling that trigger. There’s certain things throughout the practice, there’s certain plays, you only get two or three plays as a defensive back to make plays. Once they start learning how to pull that trigger, and I’m talking about the safeties, the DBs, the linebackers, the defensive linemen, everybody, we’ll be an explosive defense.”

 

Q: Have you always wanted to coach?
A: “I thought about it for years but after playing for 17 years I was offered my first few years when I first retired, but I needed to get away. So, being away for seven years, I thought this was the best time to give it a shot, see if I like it, see if I don’t mess the guys up too much. If I can do that, then I’ll try to make a career of it.”

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  • raidertbone

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Say it like it is. being supportive isnt the same as wanting him to be the qb. you support him but you would rather have some one else. you dont think he is good enough or a good qb.

    I do think he is a good qb, and i do think he is good enough to win a super bowl.
    ___________________________________-

    A lot of people said the same thing about Brad Johnson, before he went to Tampa Bay … and Trent Dilfer, before he arrived in Baltimore.

  • http://repealitnow.org MistaBrown

    Looks like R Woodson is going to make a difference coaching the DB’s. Too bad #21 wasn’t here maybe Rod could’ve made a player out of him. Routt, Johnson, and the youngsters will step their game up. A concept that alludes MR.

    Just pull the trigger!

  • alex7

    Raidertbone,

    we don’t exactly have the Ravens or Bucs’ defense.

    So we’ll need something more than a marginal QB to even sniff the playoffs.

  • JoePR78

    I know that, Alex….but that’s what I was getting at when I said we were rough around the edges. The talent is there. They just need to execute. Also, the oline needs to give Soup enough time to actually get through his progressions so that he can prove that he’s not destined to be Cpt Checkdown for the rest of his career.

    That being said, he did get a lot better at buying time with his legs towards the end of the season…once he started getting more comfortable with the system.

  • Raider J

    QB Jason Campbell projected stats
    based only on the last 5 games of 2010

    18 comp/g
    27.8 att/g
    213 yds/g
    3400+ tot. yds
    19 tot. td
    6 tot. int
    64% comp %
    90+ passer rating

    It took him a while but once he learned the system and became the undisputed starting QB, he performed well. 9-11 wins if he continues to play like this.

  • alex7

    Brad Johnson

    also had a 4,000 yard season, a Pro Bowl birth, and an incredibly high WINNING record BEFORE he went to TB.

    Let’s stop the silly comparisons.

  • John David Booty

    Who will have the better year, Matt Shaughnesy or Lamarr Houston?

  • alex7

    Yes, if JC can somehow play the way he did in his last 6 games, we’ll be a playoff game.

    But I think that stretch had more to do with playing some weak teams than with JC suddenly getting it after 5.5 years in the NFL.

    He was rather terrible vs the Colts until the final 2-minute drive when Indy was up 2 scores and in a soft D.

  • Raider E

    RAIDER Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 11:43 am
    Mistic, by covering your bets like that, and giving the disclaimer that “If Campbell gets protection, he’ll be good”, you’re only showing us you really don’t believe in him. Otherwise, why cover your bets? Why not just flat out say he’ll be good? Think Green Bay fans are saying Rodgers will be good if he gets protection? They just know he’ll be good, one way or the other. Either take a stand for your player or stand mute. You sound ridiculous. Everyone here knows what you’re doing.

    ——————————

    This idiot talks like he covers his own bets lol….Hey MR, who did you say the starting quarterback would be for the Raiders opening day 2010?

  • JoePR78

    Raider J Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:24 pm
    QB Jason Campbell projected stats
    based only on the last 5 games of 2010

    18 comp/g
    27.8 att/g
    213 yds/g
    3400+ tot. yds
    19 tot. td
    6 tot. int
    64% comp %
    90+ passer rating

    It took him a while but once he learned the system and became the undisputed starting QB, he performed well. 9-11 wins if he continues to play like this.
    ————————————-

    This. I’m basing all my expectations on Campbell being able to build off of what he did over those last 5 games. If he doesn’t, we won’t be any better than we were last year.

  • John David Booty

    Prediction, Campbell will put up big numbers this year, but itll be due to the play makers on our team and the YAC they pick. Campbell will get the media hype as the QB, but Raiders fans know where the credit belongs. Jackson, DMac, the WR’s and so on. Statistically, this will easily be Campbells best season.

  • Ryan

    Houston will have a better year, only because he is working against RTs while Nasty has to go against LTs.

  • CJ Legend 34

    ****Nice Article about oru DBSs life after Nnamdi in USA Today!****

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/raiders/2011-08-08-nnamdi-asomugha-life-after_n.htm

  • CJ Legend 34

    The only way our DBs do well this year is if we put a rush on like nobodys business!!! We must penetrate as hard and as fast as we can!!! We must penetrate!!!!

  • Raider J

    alex7 Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    But I think that stretch had more to do with playing some weak teams than with JC suddenly getting it after 5.5 years in the NFL.
    :::::::::::::::
    4 of the 5 teams were in playoff contention at the time they played. & he gradually got it (this system) over the course of one season

  • Raider J

    Im done responding to in house haters.

    Go Raiders 2011!!!

    I will continue to read and post after games

  • CJ Legend 34

    Hey John Boy! What you said is Booty!!!! Give Campbell his credit if he has a good year. Nobody said that about Grads when he had good games. There was nothing but but kissing going on!

    That is the dumbest thing I have heard to take a guys credit. Did you disscredit Gannon when he threw a 10 yard out to Tim Brown and he turned up field and ran for 40 yards. Would you say well Gannon only threw the ball 10 yards? Heck no, so give the guy his credit.
    —————————————–
    211.John David Booty Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:27 pm
    Prediction, Campbell will put up big numbers this year, but itll be due to the play makers on our team and the YAC they pick. Campbell will get the media hype as the QB, but Raiders fans know where the credit belongs. Jackson, DMac, the WR’s and so on. Statistically, this will easily be Campbells best season.

  • CJ Legend 34

    Raider J don’t go away mad Raider Brother I support you! You are right it is time to be positive. Some of these idiots on this blog would not give Campbell his due if he had an Aaron Rodgers like year. It is crazy man. They will pump up a journey man like Grads like he was the truth and turn around and dog Campbell for playing well the last half of the year. Best offense and QB play we saw since Rich Gannon, hands down!

  • RaiderRockstar

    We must penetrate as hard and as fast as we can!!!

    ***

    CJL,

    are you on the wrong website?

  • http://repealitnow.org MistaBrown

    Slow day huh RR ?

  • http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/526101/AlDavis1_medium.jpg KoolKell

    BrownStains

    I’m about to dump some pulled pork, maybe you want to supplement your pork n beans?

  • RaiderRockstar

    QB Jason Campbell projected stats
    based only on the last 5 games of 2010

    18 comp/g
    27.8 att/g
    213 yds/g
    3400+ tot. yds
    19 tot. td
    6 tot. int
    64% comp %
    90+ passer rating

    It took him a while but once he learned the system and became the undisputed starting QB, he performed well. 9-11 wins if he continues to play like this.

    ***

    that would be solid !!!

    It’s almost impossible to predict such things, though.

    Tom Cable, Paul Hackett, Ted Tollner & Jim Michalczik all played a part in coaching up that offensive unit.

    Plus players such as Gradkowski, O’Sullivan, Gallery, Walker, Henderson, Zmiller & Higgins were in the fold

  • RaiderRockstar

    Slow day huh RR ?

    ***

    Brown,

    it’s actually been pretty busy here at work. I’m taking a late lunch. 10 minutes left

    what’s the latest on Prez BO?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor plans to conduct a Pro Day workout on Friday. One team that plans to attend could possibly keep him in the state of Ohio.

    Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns will attend the session. It’s not known which member(s) of the staff will be present.

    -PFT

    ***

    sounds like we might have some competition!

  • RaiderRockstar

    LeBron James working out with Hakeem Olajuwon

    ***

    Miami Heat = 2012 NBA Champs!

  • J Hill

    LeBron James working out with Hakeem Olajuwon

    ——————————————————

    Yeah I saw that.

    Dude about to go into the post where he should’ve been 8 years ago instead of on the perimeter giving guys a break by pulling up for jumpers.

    They can trade Bosh now and really make a run at some rings.

  • http://raiders.com Raider Ray

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    LeBron James working out with Hakeem Olajuwon

    ***

    Miami Heat = 2012 NBA Champs!
    ———————–
    never

  • Shake A Leg

    Kool Kell is a cut and paste Artist in the first degree. Don’t mess with the Zohan.

    CODE BLACK

  • J Hill

    Chris Johnson not reporting to camp and effing of an accrued year is kinda puzzling.

    Tenn is going to be garbage with or without him. I’d call his bluff if I were the owner.

  • Shake A Leg

    KoolKell Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    BrownStains

    I’m about to dump some pulled pork, maybe you want to supplement your pork n beans?

    ——————–

    Man, people just want to have fun with you in a respectful manner and you gotta go and say somethin mean and nasty. Come on man, just lighten up and have fun.

  • DutchRaider77

    Chris Johnson not reporting to camp and effing of an accrued year is kinda puzzling.

    Tenn is going to be garbage with or without him. I’d call his bluff if I were the owner.

    ______________________________________________________

    Think Johnson should honor his contract? Do you think he is worth more than: “The final two years of his deal can max out at roughly $2.7 million.” The Titans said they will only talk contract extension when he reports, would you believe them if you were him?

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    230.Shake A Leg Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
    KoolKell Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    BrownStains

    I’m about to dump some pulled pork, maybe you want to supplement your pork n beans?

    ——————–

    Man, people just want to have fun with you in a respectful manner and you gotta go and say somethin mean and nasty. Come on man, just lighten up and have fun.

    ***************************

    Having fun would go against everything the guy stands for

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    LeBron James working out with Hakeem Olajuwon

    *******************************

    Man u saw how much better Kobe got when he worked out with the Dream…..LBJ needs more game….but he also needs to man up

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    226.J Hill Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:19 pm
    LeBron James working out with Hakeem Olajuwon

    ——————————————————

    Yeah I saw that.

    Dude about to go into the post where he should’ve been 8 years ago instead of on the perimeter giving guys a break by pulling up for jumpers.

    They can trade Bosh now and really make a run at some rings.

    *********************************

    Dont worry aint about to be a season Jhill…..so we dont get to see Klay,Curry and Wright run a train of deep 3s on the lakers

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    231.DutchRaider77 Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    Chris Johnson not reporting to camp and effing of an accrued year is kinda puzzling.

    Tenn is going to be garbage with or without him. I’d call his bluff if I were the owner.

    ______________________________________________________

    Think Johnson should honor his contract? Do you think he is worth more than: “The final two years of his deal can max out at roughly $2.7 million.” The Titans said they will only talk contract extension when he reports, would you believe them if you were him?

    **********************************

    These guys live better than 99pct of this blog…..spare me what he is worth….is he worth more than a teacher or fireman?

  • Master Beeecham

    Brian the Genital, you’re supposed to be standing up for your poor grandpappy Krappy.

    After all, only a few more days until you’ll be changing his soiled diapers at half time.

    BOOYAH RIFFIC

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    202.MistaBrown Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Looks like R Woodson is going to make a difference coaching the DB’s. Too bad #21 wasn’t here maybe Rod could’ve made a player out of him. Routt, Johnson, and the youngsters will step their game up. A concept that alludes MR.

    Just pull the trigger!

    **********************************

    And there u have it

  • Dakota

    229.J Hill Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 2:30 pm
    Chris Johnson not reporting to camp and effing of an accrued year is kinda puzzling.

    Tenn is going to be garbage with or without him. I’d call his bluff if I were the owner.

    +++++++++++++

    Chris Johnson is doing the right thing. If the shoe was on the other foot the team would cut his azz without hesitation.

    If Chris Johnson plays on his cheap rookie contract and gets injured his ability to provide for his family would be greatly reduced. He has out performed his contract, and I use the term contract loosely, so the Titans need to pay the man his fair market value.

    Johnson should have told the team he would report on time, but if he didn’t have a new contract by the first preseason game he would never re-sign with them once his deal expired. Right now he is the ONLY reason to watch that team.

  • Master Beeecham

    Dudes it’s looking like we’re going to get a team in LA after all. Don’t worry, I’ve already got my luxury box reserved, it’ll be near the 40 yrd line.

    Word is there’ll be room for a Coors Light Party Ball near the buffalo wing station, so my ladies can party serious.

    Love the Silver & Black, but I’ll also support whatever team makes LA their home, wizzle. That’s just how I do.

  • GoodOle00

    Three big questions for Oakland this season.

    Kinda puts things in perspective but I still think we got a good team.

    http://www.raidernationstation.com/exclusives

  • http://raiders.com Raider Ray

    Master Beeecham Says:
    August 9th, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    Dudes it’s looking like we’re going to get a team in LA after all. Don’t worry, I’ve already got my luxury box reserved, it’ll be near the 40 yrd line.

    Word is there’ll be room for a Coors Light Party Ball near the buffalo wing station, so my ladies can party serious.

    Love the Silver & Black, but I’ll also support whatever team makes LA their home, wizzle. That’s just how I do.
    ———————
    I hope you get kidnapped by terrorists and have your eye balls burned out.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Wow. Almost an entire thread discussing JaJason.

    One ardent JaJason supporter who likes to call anyone that disagrees with him about JaJason an “impostor”.

    A few posters that think JaJason will have a good year.

    A lot of JaJason skeptics, hoping he has a good year.

    I kind of fall into the last category.

    I’m hoping he does well. But I’m convinced he won’t.

    I’m really not skeptical about JaJason.

    I’m certain he sucks.

  • dvrick

    CODE Jump off the sinking ship!!!

  • dvrick

    Did you order the CODE BLACK on Rod Woodhead!!

  • Pingback: Some of My Thoughts on Rod Woodson’s Q & A with Steve Corkran

  • dvrick

    WOODSON COULDN’T COACH LITTLE LEAGUE!!

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