ALAMEDA — All eyes are on cornerback Charles Woodson these days, just as they were during his first stint with the Raiders. And Woodson is well aware of the intense scrutiny
Way back in 1998, people wanted to know what all the fuss was about with a player that won the Heisman Trophy and arrived as the No. 4 pick in the NFL draft. Nowadays, they are curious to see whether Woodson has anything left to offer.
"Everybody wants to see how I'm going to come out here and work and practice," Woodson said, "and the last few weeks I've showed them what kind of player I am and why I have been around this long."
He isn't one to stand back and watch or take off practices because of his veteran status, in much the way defensive tackle Richard Seymour did in recent seasons.
No, Woodson has been at every practice since he signed with the Raiders in May after a seven-year run with the Green Bay Packers. And he is on the field as often as possible, learning a new defense and building chemistry with players he barely knows, if at all.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was with the Packers when they signed Woodson after his eight-year run with the Raiders. He put on the full-court press for Woodson once it became apparent that the market had softened.
"Wood's been great," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "He's done everything that we've asked him to do. He's really exactly what we felt we were going to be able to get in a player like that; a Hall of Fame-caliber player that's made a lot of plays on the football over his career. We're going to continue to ask him to do those things."
Woodson admitted that he reached the point this offseason, soon after his release by the Packers, that he might have played his last down as an NFL player.
Before the Raiders called, Woodson met with the 49ers and Denver Broncos. He jumped at the opportunity to finish his career where it started.