Woodson: “I don’t think it’s affecting us at all. I think the communication has actually been pretty good. So, with those guys being out, I think we’re fine.”
Q: Dennis Allen says he doesn’t want to read too much into a couple of series at the beginning of preseason games. The two starting quarterbacks from the Vikings and Lions game have had pretty good statistics. How much do you read into that?
Woodson: “You have to read into it a little bit just because we started those games slow and allowed teams to go down the field and put up points. So as a defense, there is something to read into as far as that’s concerned because when we come out in games, we have to come out and be ready to play and not allow big plays or allow a team march down the field, so there is tiny bit of concern as far as that goes, but we feel confident about who we are as a team and what we’re going to be going into the season. So, we’re not circling the wagons or anything like that. We’re going to be alright.”
Q: How big is it for you to play alongside
Woodson: “It’s been good. It’s great to have him back, just from the standpoint of a guy that missed a large part of last year and him being able to get out and play the game that he loves to play. It’s great to have him out there. But, ‘Ty’ is a guy that knows this defense very well. So, you bring a guy back that has a lot of experience as far as that is concerned, so it’s great to have him back. I know he is eager to get into the regular season and help this team win.”
Woodson: “We’re not satisfied, but I am confident with where we’re at. We’re still working. We’re still in training camp. We know we have a long way to go, but when we watch the film … You know what they say, it’s never as bad as you think, never as good as you think it is. Yeah, we’ve had some drives early in games where people have scored, but it’s not like teams are just knocking us around. We’ve made a couple of mistakes that have allowed teams to score some points. We feel like when we get settled down and this thing finally gets to the regular season and it’s time to go, we’re going to be ready for any challenge.”
Q: You were talking earlier in camp about playing safety more like a corner and less like a corner. Was it more of a transition than you thought or are you playing it different?
Woodson: “I’m playing it different just because the position has been coached a great deal differently to me with guys that have come in, with ‘M-Rob’ [assistant defensive backs coach Marcus Roberston] coming in. He’s got me to see the game in a whole different perspective. It’s been great for me to see it from a guy that played his position at a high level. It’s helped my game out tremendously. When I make the statement of playing like a corner … Playing on the outside, when the quarterback looks your way and he loads up to throw the ball, you’re breaking. But when you’re playing in the deep middle and the quarterback loads up to throw, he may not throw. That’s not my play to make anyway. I’ve got to wait for him to either look down field, or if he does throw it, I break and I help out whoever is in coverage. I am seeing the game a lot differently.”
Woodson: “Not yet. I’ll have chances to talk to him, but it’s still early. As I said before, this is still training camp and he has a lot on his plate, not just from the standpoint of him being a high pick and everybody expecting that ‘wow’ factor out of him, but as far as the plays, knowing the positions and different things they have him doing, there is a lot expected of him in that sense too. You just allow him to grow as a player, as far as coming into camp and getting ready for his first pro season and let him go through a few of the growing pains. This guy is going to be OK, and I think the sky is the limit for him. We’ll have chances to talk throughout the season.”
Q: Can you talk about what a guy like
Woodson: “I love having that guy around. Not only can he play, but just in the locker room, he is a bright spot. He keeps everybody light. He is a funny dude if you’ve ever been around him. I’m sure you guys have talked to him. He is just a great guy to have around. Watching him on film, he is as quick as anybody coming off that ball. He is a tough player. I can’t wait to see his celebration after a sack once the season comes around.”
Q: Is he important to keep things light?
Woodson: “It is a game. We’ve been playing it all of our lives. It’s about going out and having fun, but the most important thing about having fun is you are usually having fun when you’re winning, so that’s going to be important for us down the stretch this season. We’re going to have to win games because that’s when you’re having fun.”
Q: Are you looking forward to going back to Green Bay and playing against some of your old teammates?
Woodson: “I don’t know if I am looking forward to playing against ‘A-Rod’ [Packers QB Aaron Rodgers], but it’ll be fun to go back in that stadium. It’s been awhile since I’ve been on the visitor side going back there. There are still a lot of great friends of mine back in that area. So, it’ll be great to go in and line up out there in front of the Green Bay fans.”
Q: Have you and
Woodson: “Not really. He just asked me today if it was my first time going back. It is my first time going back and playing. It’ll be fun. I still know a ton of guys over there. It’ll be great to go back and run out in Lambeau.”
Q: What kind of a test will it be to go up against Rodgers for your defense?
Woodson: “It’s the ultimate test. ‘A-Rod’ is the best quarterback in the league, in my eyes. Their offense has been explosive. I’ve seen it first hand for many years. It’ll be as tough as it gets, so it will be a great test for us going in there.”
Q: If the Raiders left Oakland, what impact would it have on the city?
Woodson: “I think it’d be devastating. It’s happened once before and a lot of people are still bitter about that, and I think this would be doubling down on that bitterness, if they were to leave again. I think it’d be tough for the city of Oakland.”
Q: What do you think of
Woodson: “I like him. He’s a tough kid. He’s a smart kid. He’s going through the same learning curve as Mack is going through, but he’s a guy that we look at on film and he always seems to be in the right positions. He still has a lot to learn about the game, but as far as where he’s at right now, in my eyes and I’m assuming the coaches’ as well, he’s come along really good.”