ALAMEDA _ The Raiders may be revisiting “Fremont” on Christmas Eve as part of a farewell to retiring safety Charles Woodson.
“Fremont” was a package of plays former coach Jon Gruden installed for Woodson to play offense as a wide receiver in 1999.
“Yeah, I remember `Fremont,’ ” Woodson said with a laugh Wednesday. “We had it. Didn’t use it enough, in my opinion.”
Woodson caught one pass for 19 yards in 1999 and one pass for eight yards in 2000 and said he remembers being on the field for four plays.
Gruden named the package after Woodson’s home town of Fremont, Ohio.
As a two-way player at Michigan, Woodson had 21 receptions for 370 yards and three touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons.
Del Rio offered a thin smile when asked whether Woodson would be available to play wide receiver or return punts over the last two games of the season.
“I would say we’ve taken the opportunity to consider the possibilities,” Del Rio said. “We’ll just leave it at that. Obviously, he’s a special guy.”
Former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon said on his Sirius XM NFL radio show said Gruden used `Fremont’ as a way to entice Woodson to be more involved in the offseason program.
“Jon Gruden made a deal with him. He said, look, if you spend more time here in the offseason we’ll put more plays in for you,” Gannon said.
O.co Coliseum figures to be electric if Woodson takes the field on offense, which Gannon said was the case back in the day as well.
“We’d put him out there in a game and the crowd would go crazy and it made it difficult for us to call the plays, the checks, and the cadence,” Gannon said.
Gannon said he regards Woodson as the best cornerback he faced during the six years they played together based on the way he defended two eventual Hall of Fame receivers in practice.
“At that point we had Jerry Rice and Tim Brown,” Gannon said. “I don’t want to be disrespectful and say Charles owned those guys, but let’s just say he got the better end of it most of the time.
“At that point he was just physically faster and so tough to beat off the line of scrimmage. I saw him do it to other quarterbacks. He would bait quarterbacks, when he got the ball in his hands he could score.”