Q: What are you looking forward to?
Woodson: “I’m ready. I’m glad to be back in Napa, it’s always good to be back up here. I’m ready to get started. There are some big feelings around here right now so I’m excited to get to work.”
Q: How do the feelings compare to last year?
Woodson: “My feet are set in. I feel like my feet were set in last year, just because there was a lot of constant around here from when I was here the first time. I still knew a lot of people, but now we have new players coming in after I’ve been here for a year; new players that are proven, so that gives it a little bit of added energy around here. We’re looking to capitalize on that.”
Q: Is the first big test, over the first practice or two, to see if you can carry over where you left off during the offseason program?
Woodson: “Every time we come out and go on the field, we’re trying to build. Our OTAs [Organized Team Activities] and practices were great. The anticipation is great, but now it’s time to really get into the nitty gritty of it, to get into camp. We have all these new moving parts that are here, and each day that we go out there on the field, we’re going to try to get better and make this season one to remember.”
Q: Does this team have all the pieces now, or do you think you’re going to have to add a couple of players between now and the regular season?
Woodson: “I think if there’s an opportunity where you can add a guy to help you, then of course I think every player on this team would be all for that. But as I look at the team, I look at the way it was built this offseason, trying to solidify the interior of the team, the offensive line, the defensive line, I think we did a great job in that. I think bringing in the veteran quarterback presence, that was huge. Running back I think is going to be a strong suit for us, with [Darren] McFadden and [Maurice] Jones-Drew. Receiver-wise, we have guys out here that are capable of doing great things and we have guys that can rush on the defensive side. As I look at it, there’s no reason why we can’t win a lot of games. Like I said, I’m looking forward to it, and looking forward to building with the guys and getting better, and making our run.”
Q: What’s it like when you think back to the first time you were in 1998, and how have things changed?
Woodson: “Two-a-days. That’s the biggest change. That’s probably the most welcome change. As far as coming up here to Napa, ever since the first time I was able to come here, I’ve always anticipated coming back, and been very happy about coming back up here. It’s a great place. I enjoy being up here. It’s a great place to come up here and get our work done. It’s a good couple of weeks.”
Q: What have you seen from Maurice [Jones-Drew] in the short time you’ve been together, what has his approach been this year?
Woodson: “I think his approach is that he’s coming in here to make a difference. He’s another proven guy that we’ve added. Just watching him in OTAs, he’s moving well. I didn’t notice that he was limited in any way. Maybe he was, I’m not sure of that, but it looks like he was doing all the things you would ask him to do in that time of the year. I know what this guy is as a runner. I’ve played against him. I know how hard it is to bring him down. I know how hard of a runner he is. I know he’s motivated by a lot of negative things that were said about him, as are a lot of guys on the team, and I look forward to him coming in and being a force for this team.”
Q: How much of a setback could this [his injury] be for
Woodson: “It’s a big setback. As I’ve stated many times, the way you get better in this game is being out there on the field. There’s only so much being in a film room and looking at film or studying plays. There’s only so far that that’s going to take you. You need to be out on the field, and along with that, other guys are going to be getting reps, so if you’re not out there on the field proving what you can do, how do you ever get back into the lineup? That’ll be the test for him, and hopefully this time it’s nothing that will hold him out the whole camp, and he doesn’t have to worry about being on PUP [physically unable to perform], because he’s a guy we feel can help us out. It has the potential to be a setback, but hopefully it’s not. “
Q: You’ve had some issues with a foot in the past, how do you tell him to balance the whole thing of being healthy as opposed to coming back too early?
Woodson: “I don’t actually know what his injury is. I had a toe, so I don’t know if it’s his foot, ankle or what it is. I know there’s different ways you deal with those situations. I know with turf toe, it was really time, and during the season you don’t really have time, you just have to deal with it. I’m not really sure what his is, so it’s something he’ll have to figure out with the doctors and trainers, and try to get himself back as soon as possible. “