Well Raider Nation we did it we got our guy! It's been quite a while since I have written an artical so I thought I would spend some time analysing what this signing really means for the Raiders moving forward into 2013.
From a scheme point of view Woodson can play multiple positions at a very high level, he can play deep safety and strong, either side of corner or the slot, and also has been used in a hybrid linebacker to blitz and cover tightends (like a much better Mike Mitchell). This versitility gives Coach Allen and Tarver a complete wild card on this defence who opposing QB's and offensive co-ordinators have to account for on every play. The fact that he can basically do anything from anywhere means there will always be an element of doubt as to whether he is coming or going no matter where he lines up on the field. Having Woodson on the field will allow DA and Tarver to be much more aggressive on defence especially when you consider the depth we now have in DB's we can move C-Wood to corner or the slot and bring in Young and also now we have enough quality DB's to cover spread offences and 5 wideout sets that are so popular in todays game.
2. Leadership and character
Woodson immediately becomes a leader on this team, he and Andre Carter are by far the most experienced players on this very young roster and have a very talented group of young players under them that will benefit enormously from playing with them. The player I can see benefitting the most from playing with C-Wood aside from the obvious DJ Hayden is Tyvonn Branch. Tyvonn has been one of our better players for a few years now but still needs to take that next step, playing and spending every day with someone who has played that position at a Hall of Fame level should definitely help push him to pro bowl level and beyond.
Leadership on the field in the heat of battle is also a major plus which was lacked hugely at times last season, the Ravens game for example the secondary was a shambles and Flacco was picking us apart with nobody to step up on the field to be a calm presence and pull everyone in to line, no way that happens with C-Wood out there.
3. Hall of fame talent
One thing that is unquestionable is that Charles Woodson can flat out play! One year removed from leading the league in interceptions despite being up there in years Woodson still has the ability to be a major difference maker in 2013 for the Raiders.
Make no mistake, having a player of Woodson's stature make a concious decision to sign here in Oakland as a free agent is a statement. Many of us have pointed out with many of these free agents thet have signed such as Roach, Porter and Jenkins that Reggie and Dennis must have a great vision for this team, even at this point in his career he is a superstar in the NFL and for him to decide to finish his career here with other options on the table such as playing with Peyton Manning proves once and for all that Reggie and Dennis have us on the upward and players believe in what they are doing here.
The new era in Oakland is well and truely under way and we are on the verge of great things and signing Woodson is just the latest and greatest evidence of that, and after the showing by the Raider Nation yesterday (for a team 4-12 last year) you can't tell me that players around the league wouldn't see that and dream about how great it would be to bring winning back to the Raiders.