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How Does Charles Woodson Fit with the 2013 Oakland Raiders?

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 30:  Strong safety Charles Woodson #21 of the Green Bay Packers  looks on against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on September 30, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Chris TrapassoAnalyst IMay 22, 2013

Now that Charles Woodson is back with the Oakland Raiders, it's time to identify how he fits with the Silver and Black.

The future Hall of Fame defender signed a one-year deal with the team that drafted him in 1998 and for which he played until the 2005 season. 

Dennis Allen's club needs solid reinforcements on the defensive side of the ball, and that's precisely what they got when they acquired Woodson. 

He can be a multipurpose secondary member for Oakland in 2013.

 

As a Safety

Woodson played strong safety for the Packers in 2012 and didn't disappoint. Although injuries made him available for only seven games, he had 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception and five defended passes. 

Tyvon Branch is entrenched as the team's strong safety, and Usama Young is underrated in center field, but it may take Young and Branch to establish a rapport on the back end, so Woodson can integrate himself into the jelling process from the beginning.

Woodson is a complete safety—deft in run support and in coverage—so even if Branch is the primary in-the-box safety, the former Green Bay Packer can be used in a more free-ranging position that closely resembles a traditional free safety spot. 

Also, with the increased passing-game prevalence in the NFL today, having three sound safeties is certainly not a bad thing. 

 

Nickel Corner

During his time with the Packers, Woodson occasionally manned the slot or nickel corner position, and he could do the same for the Raiders.

Offenses are implementing more spread sets than ever before, and although Woodson isn't as quick and sudden as he used to be, he has a firm understanding of how receivers try to get open and can beat them to the spot, especially within the first few yards beyond the line of scrimmage. 

First-round pick D.J. Hayden will likely start as the left cornerback, but Woodson could spell the often-victimized right cornerback Mike Jenkins on occasion. 

Remember, from 2009 to 2011, Woodson had 18 interceptions as a cornerback. 

 

Conclusion

Woodson's not the fastest or most fleet-footed defensive back anymore, but he's a savvy veteran who can be a movable piece in the Raiders defense that's in dire need of versatility and playmakers in the secondary. 

Also, Woodson will likely serve as a mentor to Hayden, which will be important for a youngster with an abundance of natural talent.

For a team that allowed the most points per drive (per Football Outsiders) and picked off only 11 passes in 2012, the knowledgeable Charles Woodson will be welcomed in Oakland. 

 

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