charles-woodson-3q-story

Back in Silver and Black

Charles Woodson on returning to Oakland, and still getting that thrill from the roar of the crowd

PETER KING: You played your first eight seasons in Oakland. When you left for Green Bay in 2006, did you ever think you’d be back?

CHARLES WOODSON: Never. But when I was flying in for my [May free-agent] visit, the plane comes off the water into the Oakland airport, and then I get to the practice facility, and I see all the people—man, it’s like I never left. Like a reunion.
No Al [Davis]. No [ex-CEO] Amy Trask. No [clubhouse man] Run Run Jones. [Davis and Jones died. Trask resigned last spring.] But so many others I recognized—and Willie Brown. I have Willie Brown back. All you need is Willie. There’s the tradition of the Raiders right there.

KING: Will it be strange to take that drive up to Napa again, back to the Napa Marriott for another Raiders training camp?

WOODSON: I can’t wait to get to Napa. I’m excited just thinking about it right now. Honest. How many guys would ever say—especially at my age—they’re excited about going to training camp? But I can’t wait. Can’t wait to play football again.

KING: Speaking of your age, you’re 36. There wasn’t much interest out there for you in free agency. Did you think about doing what Brian Urlacher did—retire even though you felt you could play?

WOODSON: Well, you’re forced to think about it. But I didn’t want to retire yet. All I can say is, football is what I am. Football is who I am. If I didn’t feel I could do it, if I wasn’t 100 percent sure I could do it, believe me, I wouldn’t do it. There are so many reasons why I still love it. Love of the game for one; there’s nothing like it. The competition, the locker room, trying to achieve something together. I will never forget winning that Super Bowl with Green Bay despite all the injuries we had, and the guys on that defense saying to me, “Wood, we’re gonna get this for you.” That stuff, you never forget. And the game itself … running out of the tunnel 16 Sundays in the fall, hearing people chant your name at home and boo you on the road. The national anthem. People don’t talk about that much, but it means a lot to me. It’s emotional to work as hard as you do, and then the anthem plays, and you’re standing out there with your team, and you just can’t wait to play. You don’t want to give that up.

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14 comments
GWillz
GWillz

Peter, 


Really REALLY looking fwd to the site. Sincerely wish you all the very best. But 3 questions? That's an interview?

cdawg
cdawg

Woodson is one of the few players that fans of rival teams can root for. Real stand up guy. He will become a mentor for other DBs for generations.

ggtank1
ggtank1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

This man is such a class act. He has quietly donated millions of dollars to the Michigan Children's Hospital. Every year since he left college he makes his way back to Michigan to help raise more. We will miss him in Geen Bay.

ChrisHarris1
ChrisHarris1

Wouldn't the title of this article be better if it were "Back in Black and Silver"?

luvfoozball
luvfoozball

Why the heck did the Raiders ever let him go?

GrantRogers
GrantRogers like.author.displayName 1 Like

Great player - even better man.  You are already missed in Green Bay. 

JohnMatuszak
JohnMatuszak like.author.displayName 1 Like

Raiders need him to mentor all the young DB's they have, especially Hayden

Ciscos
Ciscos like.author.displayName 1 Like

@JohnMatuszak ~ Yup.  He's developed into such a professional player that I'm grateful he has.  BTW, I love the fact you're using Tuz's picture. 

ThompsonVeras
ThompsonVeras

Good piece,but you could ask to CWood more question about this current Raiders, what he feels about it, what´s the big difference without Al Davis and his opinion about the possibility of the Raiders moving back to LA.

RichardJames
RichardJames

Hi Peter. I am a long-time English fan via SI/espn,rich eisen podcast etc. I am looking forward to your output from this site. I would like to apologise but I have just entered a very empassmioned response to the gay in the nfl article. Although I understand that the extremely christian parts of your country are intolerant of homosexuality, and as I understand it( although I am open to correction) the black community also are, I would hope that that veteran

WickDoug
WickDoug like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Where's MMQB Tuesday Edition?

WickDoug
WickDoug

Why isn't there a print icon?

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