Originally Posted by bloodsunday
The guy can play, I'm acknowledging that. He does have baggage though. Perhaps that baggage is part of the perception of what is often a disorganized Oakland locker room. Why is Oakland so desperate to get rid of a 4 time Pro Bowl CB if there are no issues there?
Same reason that the Washington Redskins were rumored to have passed on Kellen Winslow II last year: Kevin and Carl Poston. It isn't Woodson's play but his contract demands. I would also submit to you that franchising a player for two consecutive years isn't really something that would indicate to me that they were "desperate to get rid of him." Were the Seahawks desperate to get rid of Walter Jones? Were the Rams desperate to get rid of Orlando Pace? I'm just sayin'...
Nothing stands out to me as to when he was last "smoked", but I don't watch Oakland's games like Bronco detractors love to do. This is also a tricky subject because I am not knowledgeable about the kinds of schemes Oakland likes to run with Woodson. Denver like to put Bailey man-to-man and that is obviously a high risk/high reward scheme. I do know that Oakland was 22nd in the league in pass defense, 28th in passing TDs allowed, and 29th in pass plays of 20 or more yards (58).
First off, you know I'm not going to let your little personal swipe go unaddressed. I do not love to watch Bronco games because I'm a "Bronco detractor." I don't watch Bronco games because I'm trying to cherry pick one or two bad instances so that I can come back here and talk trash. I do watch Bronco games... when they're not on at the same time as the Raiders... because I enjoy AFC West football. Some people say, "I look at the matchups and see which other game I'm going to watch," but I'm not like that. If I'm watching a game other than the Raiders and I have the choice, I'm going to watch one of the AFC West teams. My personal “hierarchy of football watching” goes like this: Raiders, then AFC West, then AFC, then AFC/NFC match-ups, then NFC.
As for what kind of schemes the Raiders like to run, they have always, always, ALWAYS run schemes that relied heavily on man coverage. That isn't to say that they play man exclusively (because no team does), but the Raiders have ALWAYS played predominantly man coverage, for as far back as I can remember. The reason the Raiders have such a rich history of defensive backs is for precisely that reason: They play a lot of man, so they place a higher premium on defensive backs than a lot of other teams do. Believe me, when people talk about Skip Thomas or Willie Brown or Michael Haynes or Lester Hayes or Terry McDaniel or Charles Woodson, it isn’t because they were good zone defenders. I can promise you that.
Lastly, I am well aware of where the Raiders ranked statistically. Having watched all of those games, I am also well aware that pinning that on Woodson is ridiculous. Have you seen Philip Buchanon play? SoCalBronco is a Philip Buchanon defender... but even he'll admit that Buchanon hasn't played nearly to the level that one would expect of a starting cornerback. Additionally, the Raiders gambled that Ray Buchanan would be able to be the coverage free safety to take over for Rod Woodson... and that didn't work at all. Do you recall who was covering Rod Smith when he had an 80 yard touchdown against the Raiders? Yeah… consider that gamble lost. Further complicating the issue is the area of pass rush. I know that you Bronco fans know all about that, right? You guys have spent your whole off-season cursing over the lack of Bronco pass rush but guess what? You were better than Oakland in that area last year. What does that say about the kind of pressure we were getting and the amount of time our secondary needed to cover a guy? Tommy Kelly, an undrafted rookie free agent, led all Raider defensive linemen in sacks last year... and he only had 4. We finished at the bottom of the barrel in that regard. If you give a quarterback all day to pick you apart, that's precisely what he's going to do. My team last year was no exception, nor was the result in terms of end-of-year ranking.
That said, applying those team statistics to an argument about Woodson's personal level of play is disingenuous at best. Have good players - great players, even - ever played on bad teams? Of course they have.... and I'm not saying that the Raiders weren't a bad team last year. We were. That doesn't mean, however, that you can really lambaste Woodson for it. Let's put it into concrete examples, okay? The first time the Raiders and Chiefs played last year, the Raider coaching staff told Charles Woodson to cover Tony Gonzalez, as he is their most potent weapon in the passing game. Charles held Gonzalez to 3 catches for 32 yards. Meanwhile, in that same game Eddie Kennison had 8 catches, 149 yards, and a touchdown. Now, I ask you, can you pin that on Woodson? Furthermore, in the second meeting between the two teams, Woodson was out with an injury. The result? Gonzalez had 9 catches, 112 yards, and two touchdowns... IN THE FIRST HALF. Link
So... you take a great cornerback, put a bad corner opposite him, a bad free safety behind him, no pass rush in front of him, and what do you get?
Answer: "22nd in the league in pass defense, 28th in passing TDs allowed, and 29th in pass plays of 20 or more yards (58)."
But, again, do you pin that on Woodson? I don't think so. Let’s look at it another way:
Charles Woodson (2004)
13 games, 73 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 8 PD, 2 FF
Champ Bailey (2004)
16 games, 81 tackles, 0 sacks, 3 INT, 9 PD, 0 FF
You really mean to tell me that because Charles played on a bad team last year that these two aren't comparable?