Raiders safety Charles Woodson talked with a few reporters Saturday night in a brief interview before a dinner honoring him as the winner of the club’s Commitment to Excellence award. Woodson talked about the new free agent class, missing out on Ndamukong Suh and his optimism regarding the Raiders future. A transcription:
Q: Free agents said you have been on the recruiting trail, helping bring some guys in?
Woodson: I met a few of the guys over at the Raiders facility. I think when I got to them most of them were just about signed. Just welcomed them to the Raiders, but I think we got some quality guys that are coming to help us. Just want to congratulate them coming over to the Raiders. Looking forward to the future.
Q: Such a dramatic overhaul to the coaching staff, the guy you lobbied for came back, a couple of quality control guys, other than that all different. Haven’t played for any of them yet, but what kind of vibe are you getting? The free agents seem pretty fired up . . .
Woodson: From what I’ve seen so far, the vibe is crazy right now. A lot of positive energy coming from everybody in there. The great part about it is you have a lot of ex-players, so I think that energy is kind of innately there, because you have a lot of fiery guys, a lot of guys that have played in the NFL at a high level so they have that natural energy. So it’s been. It’s been great to talk to ’em and kind of see their vision. I think it’s going to be a great year for us.
Q: You think you could be good, like, right now?
Woodson: For me, man, I don’t see it any other way. I don’t look at it any other way. It doesn’t matter where I’ve been or what it looks like. Any season I’ve gone to I’m looking at winning the Super Bowl. I feel good about the direction. I do feel good about where things have gone so far in free agency and also with the coaches. I think the season is going to be a lot of fun.
Q: Last year you played kind of a waiting game, weren’t sure if they wanted you back, this year they moved quick. You were back right away, was that something that was told to you before end of the season?
Woodson: It wasn’t told to me before then, but that was something that was stressed. I didn’t want to wait around. If we were going to do it, get it done now, and then I would know. So we got it done quickly and I’m happy about that. I think it says a lot about how I went out there this year and played the game, for them to want me back, to get it done quickly. So I’m proud of that.
Q: Excited about Ken and Jack about defense and scheme are you excited? Nate Allen talked about playing fast . . keep it simple, play fast . . .is that how you expect it to go?
Woodson: I think so. I think that’s going to be the key to bringing in a lot of different faces is keeping things faces and seeing things and not worrying about too much. You can go out there and play football because the game is not going to be moving too fast for you. Not trying to worry about what the other team is going to do, just worrying about what you’re going out there to do because you’ve practiced whatever it is over and over and over again. If you can go out there and do that, you’ll be fine.
Q: Fan base looks from the outside and says, we didn’t get Suh, we didn’t get Murray, and it seems like there’s decent part and spent a lot of money, but not the big splash names. Fromw hat you see, are you OK with what you’re bringing in?
Woodson: Yeah, I mean. There’s no question that Suh would have been huge. He would have been huge. He would have been a great addition to the team. But at the same time, if you don’t get a Suh, you can get three or four other players to make up for it. And what that does is build depth. So you bring in guys that are possibly starters, that will compete for a starting job, and then we’ve still got money to get three or four other guys. Then you’ve got the draft coming up. So you have the potential to build the team the way you want to. Just because you didn’t get the one guy, we’ll have the opportunity to build this team the right way and that’s what Reggie’s looking at.