Derek Carr was 23 and Charles Woodson was 37 when they became Raiders’ teammates in 2014.
It was a dream come true for Carr, who entered the NFL as a second-round draft pick. He grew up idolizing Woodson — who spent 11 of his 18 NFL seasons with the Raiders, including the final three. Over the years since, Carr has often mentioned the impact the star defensive back had on him.
On Wednesday, Carr was naturally effusive in his praise for Woodson sharing what meant to him to see his former teammates get ready to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 8.
“I’ll always be thankful to him because (and he gets mad when I say this!) when I was six years old, I was pretending to be him,” Carr said. “The fact that he’s in my life right now is pretty cool.”
It has warmed Carr’s heart that his relationship with Woodson has continued even after he retired after he 2015 season. Carr said he still receives calls and texts from Woodson as he tries to influence his former team as he did as its leader.
“He’ll (call) and say, ‘hey, do this.’ And he’ll still tell me when I’m doing a great job. The demand he’s put on my life as a quarterback and a leader of this organization, I think that he knew on his way out that Khalil [Mack] and I were coming up as the leaders of the organization,” Carr said.
“Just what he’s always asked of us and demanded of us, he still does. I saw him at the Tahoe golf tournament. I hear the, ‘Hey, hey’ Hall of Fame voice. I turn around and sure enough it was him. I went over, gave him a hug and we talked for 10 minutes. He’s still, ‘Tell Bryan Edwards this. Tell [Henry] Ruggs [III] this. You, do this.’ I can’t limit his leadership, again, to just the confined time. He’s still a leader and a big brother to me.”