Chuck Bresnahan was at Charles Woodson's first game at O.co Coliseum, and 18 years later, he surely wasn't going to miss his last.
Woodson announced his retirement at the end of 2015, Monday, December 21 at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility, meaning that Thursday night's game against the Chargers would be his last home game, and Bresnahan, who coached Woodson for five seasons, knew that it was a game he had to be at.
"When I saw his announcement about deciding to retire, and that this would be his last home game, in the back of my mind, I thought, 'God, I'd love to be out there for it.,'" said Bresnahan. "The more I talked about it with my wife, it was just that important for me [to go]."
And the former-Raiders assistant coach, who is now based in Cincinnati, definitely made the effort, flying out the day before the game, and then taking a red-eye back home to ensure he was home for Christmas morning.
"I wouldn't miss this for the world," Bresnahan said. "He's a great player, first-ballot Hall of Famer without any question, but this guy's a special kid. He's grown, matured over his career, and I just couldn't be more proud of him, and to see what he's done for this team, coming back here and trying to get this organization back to greatness, and everything he's done as a leader, by example, by play, everything."
A detailed look into the final home game of Charles Woodson's exceptional career.
Bresnahan, who now serves as an assistant coach for the University of Central Florida Knights, began his career with the Raiders in 1998, Woodson's rookie season, and 18 years later, he's still impressed by what the future Hall of Famer has accomplished in his career.
"This guy, there was never a doubt who we were picking," Bresnahan said when describing a young Woodson. "It was my first year here under Mr. Davis and Jon Gruden, and from minute one, this was it. Getting to really watch him and think about the things that we would be able to do with him, was incredible. I was the secondary coach my first two years here, so I got hands-on experience with him, in the meeting room, on the practice field in our drills and he was just special, really, really special."
Woodson has accomplished nearly everything imaginable in his illustrious football career, from winning the Heisman Trophy to being named the AP Defensive Player of the year, but his former defensive backs coach thinks that the legacy he leaves behind will be larger than just his on-field accolades.
"I think that's going to be his legacy, his work ethic, the things he's done now to show these young kids how to work and how to respect the game," Bresnahan explained. "He grew to appreciate that. Since he's been back the last three years, I think he's been a real integral part of changing this again, and they're on the cusp of greatness again."
Added Bresnahan, "I'm just excited as hell for him, and like I said, I wouldn't have missed this for the world. He's that special to me, as somebody that's influenced my career."