Here is a Q & A with coach Rod Woodson. That link comes compliments of BlackHeartSilverEyes, thanks goes to the Redskin country Raider lover! It is an excellent interview conducted from Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times. There are a number of quotes from Rod in this that I would like to comment on. It is hard to choose which ones because they are all excellent quotes, so you should make sure to check out the article link above. If there is one main thing that I bring out of this interview it's that Rod does not mince words, and I appreciate that greatly!
Q: Which coaches influenced you during your 17-year playing career
A: “Gosh, all of them. Chuck Noll, Rod Rust, Tony Dungy, Dick Labeau, Dom Capers, Bill Cowher, Steve Mariucci, Johnnie Fox, he was a rookie coach when he was in Pittsburgh. All those guys who I coached under, I learned a little bit of something from them all.”
The thing I want to note about this is that DAMN that is one good list of people to have learned from. I love that both Rod and Hue give credit to the coaches that they were around. I think its great that they know that they learned from each coach and now they want to use that knowledge in their own way. The best coaches are humble enough to remember the people that got them where they are. Nobody can deny that those coaches are great to have learned from. Jump over....
Q: What can you tell people about rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke?
A: “Well, DVD is his nickname. He’s going to be good. It’s the little things that he has to work on. He has to learn how to finish. He’s still learning the little things about playing corner in this league, playing the different coverages, when to do certain things, when not to do certain things. But if he keeps progressing in the positive manner like he has in the first week or so, he’ll be a decent player.”
I think this is a pretty honest answer. He didn't say much about him negatively but he also did not come out and say he is a bonafide star in the making. Rod is calling it like he sees it. He sees DVD as somebody who has a lot to improve on but also somebody with a positive attitude and natural athletic ability that will get better as long as he listens. I also love embracing nicknames. I don't know if it was needed to point out that his nickname is DVD since it is pretty obvious though. That is the natural choice for a nickname for Demarcus. It took us all of about 2 seconds to christen him that here on S & B Pride!
Q: Do your Hall of Fame credentials help you coach so many young players?
A: “It’s a start. But if I tell them to go the wrong way, it’s not going to last too long. I’m just trying to point them in the right direction. Each player is different. Every player learns differently. Some guys are audio learners, some guys are visual, some guys need to do the reps. The things that I did in my career, I can’t ask the same guy to do the same thing. It really depends upon their abilities. Each player plays within that ability. If they can do that and I can help them cultivate their tool belt, so to speak, in their craft, then I’m doing my job as a coach.”
I like that this shows he is not living off of his merits alone. He is showing that he understands that people learn differently and you have to adjust to the individual at times. He also is showing that he is serious about telling the players the right things to do, and not just going through the motions. The last thing I want to note specifically about this quote is that he knows that he wont be able to teach everything that he did as a player. He knows he was born with some very special abilities that can't be taught and he is not going to waste time teaching things that can't be learned. I imagine that is something that is not always ingrained in former great athletes turned coaches.
Q: Do those guys (C.J., Routt, DVD) need to play better to compensate for the loss of Asomugha?
A: “Even with Nnamdi, if Nnamdi was here, I would tell him Nnamdi the same thing. He didn’t have a lot of picks. He was a shut-down corner but pulling the trigger gives you the opportunity to make picks. They have to start pulling that trigger. There’s certain things throughout the practice, there’s certain plays, you only get two or three plays as a defensive back to make plays. Once they start learning how to pull that trigger, and I’m talking about the safeties, the DBs, the linebackers, the defensive linemen, everybody, we’ll be an explosive defense.”
This is my favorite quote in the whole interview and where I will end this post. This is what I want to hear from our coaches. I want us to be aggressive and I want to see our defense make plays. There were plenty of plays left on the field last year, and that is unacceptable! We need to pull that trigger more often, there is no excuse for a player of Nnamdi's quality to not have had an INT or a forced fumble. I blame that on a lack of coaching on defense. You need to make sure your players know that they are out there to make plays. Rod Woodson is doing just that and I love it! Make sure you check out the article, it will not be a waste of your time!