Contrary to popular belief in the Bay Area, not everyone has shown unmitigated excitement for the Oakland Raiders’ hiring of Jon Gruden. Former Raiders defensive back and coach Rod Woodson has certainly not been one of Gruden’s biggest advocates this offseason.
In March, Woodson criticized the size and length of Jon Gruden’s contract, his coaching abilities, and some of the offseason moves Gruden made including getting rid of Michael Crabtree and signing Jordy Nelson and Doug Martin. and saying Derek Carr is no Aaron Rodgers. A refresher on his remarks can be found here.
Recently, however, Woodson’s stance on the team has taken a surprising turn. In a recent video from NFL Total Access, Woodson spoke confidently of Oakland.
Former @Raiders, @RodWoodson26, @MJD and @89JonesNTAF, weigh in on how the team looks under new head coach Jon Gruden:— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) June 14, 2018
"All the pieces are there. They're gonna play a lot better than they did last year." ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/m2wIL75Lcr
Notably, Woodson mentions that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Raiders sneak into the playoffs.
But the Hall of Fame defensive back’s backpedal didn’t stop there.
“They are going to be more like they were two years ago scoring almost 26 points per game,” Woodson said on NFL Total Access Thursday. “If the defense progresses, they can surprise a lot of people in the West.”
Then Woodson was asked if Oakland has the pieces to progress and he said he thinks they do and that “all the pieces are there.”
While it wasn’t in the video above, Woodson also recently spoke very highly of Gareon Conley. So he isn’t just complimenting the Raiders once, it seems to be a new trend.
Either the Raiders got a lot better in the past three months with a few OTA sessions or Woodson has finally overcome the saltiness he possessed after being fired by the organization.