Got a few minutes with Raiders coach Dennis Allen Wednesday to get his reaction on the signing of Charles Woodson. Here’s a transcription:
Q: What does Charles Woodson bring to your team at this stage of his career?
Allen: I mean, I think there’s a lot of things. But when you really look at it and you get a chance to add a veteran presence in the defensive secondary, I think that’s something that was very exciting for us, very intriguing for us. But I think when you really look at it, here’s a guy that’s got 55 career interceptions. He’s run 11 of them back for touchdowns. The guy takes the ball away, and when he does, he scores points. So I think this is a guy that can come in and get the ball back for our offense and set us up in good position with a chance to score some points.
Q: His ball-stripping and all-around skills were evident during his first go-round with the Raiders, but he seemed to take things to another level in Green Bay in terms of being a leader. How appealing was that?
Allen: It was real appealing. Obviously, you’ve got the player, and you see the talent and the player, but when you combine that with the maturation process that he’s gone through, he’s a real pro. It was exciting for us because it was evident in visiting with him that he wanted to be a Raider. He wanted to be part of what we’re doing here, and bringing a guy in that wants to be here, and he has those attributes, leadership abilities. I thought it was a good fit.
Q: He’s one of the more charismatic guys I’ve covered in terms of giving off a vibe, did you feel that yesterday when he walked in the building?
Allen: Oh, absolutely. He’s a grown man. He has his ideals and his thought process and he’s not afraid to express his opinion and we sat down and had a great conversation together and I’m looking forward to getting a guy in here like that can bring that added dimension to the team.
Q: How comfortable are you with his health and the twice-broken collarbone? That all went past your doctors?
Allen: Yeah, we didn’t have any issue with hit. That was one of the things we wanted ot make sure of when we brought Charles in here. We wanted to make sure everything was fine and he was healthy, and from a medical standpoint we didn’t have any issue with it.
Q: I assume it’s going to be a little more quiet driving out of work today . . .
Allen: (laughs). I would imagine. I’ll tell you what, it was a great scene. That really says a lot about Raider Nation and the type of fan support that we have here and we’re trying to do everything we can do really get back to those winning ways and give these people that love this team, and love this organization, win lose or draw we wanted to give them something to be excited about and happy about, and I think Charles is a great addition in our movement that way.
Q: Would imagine the same thing goes with the team, a realization among the players that, `Wow, we just got Charles Woodson.’’ . . .
Allen: You want to play this game with a swagger, with a little bit of an air of confidence, not a cockiness but an air of confidence that you know you’re good, you’re going to be good. I think Charles, obviously, him individually, he’s got that swagger, but I think he can bring some of that to our football team _ not just defensively, but the whole team in general.