Raiders teammates say Green Bay has changed Charles Woodson

Getty Images

Charles Woodson always had Hall of Fame talent, which is why the Raiders took him with the fourth overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft. But some of his Raiders teammates say that he wouldn’t have become the future Hall of Fame player he is if he had stayed in Oakland.

Two of the veteran leaders on Woodson’s teams in Oakland, Rich Gannon and Tim Brown, say that Green Bay has made Woodson appreciate the importance of a great work ethic, and that work ethic has made him a great player.

Green Bay was a career-saver for Charles,” Gannon told the San Jose Mercury News. “He was an elite talent in Oakland, but he was never held accountable. He practiced the way he wanted to and played the way he wanted to. There wasn’t the discipline and structure that he needed.”

Brown, who played with Woodson for six years in Oakland, said that when he ran into Woodson after Woodson had spent his first year in Green Bay, he was surprised to see that Woodson was noticeably physically stronger than he had ever been in his time with the Raiders.

“He said he was lifting weights,” Brown said. “In seven years I never saw him lift a weight in Oakland. He’d ride the bike and that was about it.”

Although Woodson made an immediate impact in Oakland — he was chosen to the Pro Bowl in each of his four seasons — his play began to slip as he struggled through injuries, and he never made any secret of the fact that he disliked some of the Raiders’ management and coaches.

There’s something missing in our team right now,” Woodson said of the Raiders in 2003. “It’s just not a good atmosphere, just being in the locker room. The attitude is not that great right now.”

A decade later, Woodson has won a defensive player of the year award and a Super Bowl ring with the Packers, and those tough times in Oakland feel like they’re in the distant past. Leaving for Green Bay was good for Woodson, and good for Green Bay.

44 responses to “Raiders teammates say Green Bay has changed Charles Woodson

  1. just another example on why Reggie Mac needs time. I really hope things change in Oakland. I need it to if I ever want to remember what the playoffs feel like

  2. He’s a HOF player in my in opinion – just his leadership leading up to the Super Bowl 2 years ago. As a Packers fan since I started watching football in ’88 I’ve gotten to see tons of great players I put him at the same level as Favre, White, Sharpe, Butler.

  3. That’s pretty much a disgrace that he never lifted a weight in seven years. pretty much just showed up and cashed a pay check. I don’t have many raiders jersey’s, T. Bown, Howie Long, Bo Jackson and Woodson, guess which one I am never wearing again. I was actually happy for him when he won a championship, now not so much.

  4. ukraiders says:
    Jan 12, 2013 7:55 AM
    just another example on why Reggie Mac needs time. I really hope things change in Oakland. I need it to if I ever want to remember what the playoffs feel like
    —————————————

    If there is a football god, let him lift the curse of that Bucaneers Super Bowl. Grant Reggie Mac the ending of a lost decade and the dawn of a new beginning.

    The karma must reach equilibrium and the punishment for past sins MUST END.

  5. Yeah I’m really happy for Woodson, jealous as BLEEP but glad to see 10 years later he’s won a SB and still playing at a unbelievable level! Never seen a CB tackle like a LB plus cover, Oakland will always luv ya!

  6. I remember when McCarthy came in and said he was going to hire and draft “Packer people.” At the time I thought that sounded weird. But he’s done it. This is a team or character guys for the most part and it all starts with MM, the most under recognizrf head coach in the NFL.

  7. One of the best all-around DBs to play the game.

    And anyone who says Revis deserved Defensive Player of the Year over C-Wood didn’t watch enough football in 2009 season.

  8. The fact that he never lifted weights in Oakland is more of a knock on the Raider organization than it is on Woodson himself. If I had his natural talent and was earning his paycheck, I wouldn’t want to lift weights either. But I would hope that I had a coach and a training staff that held me accountable and forced me to do those things that make me a better player. It’s pretty obvious he didn’t have that accountability in Oakland.

  9. Coming to the most storied franchise I the NFL will change a guy. Can you imagine if he gone to a lesser team, like Chicago, Detroit, or–Hod forbid–Minnesota?

    Dear lord. He’d have jumped to the top of the “talented but never going to win a Super Bowl in his career” list.

  10. He had never had an injury before and came to Green Bay only because it was the only team that offered him a free agent contract. You could see the old attitude early – he never participated in OTAs the first two years, but gradually bought in and became a team leader during Super Bowl win. Turned out great for both parties.

  11. Funny thing is, Woodson was the back-up to the back-up plan… In 2006 the Packers lost out on their first two targets and ‘settled’ for Woody…some things just work out for the best…unless you’re the Browns…

  12. He was getting paid franchise money in Oakland and played 8 games a year due to injury. Wouldn’t a real leader lift weights, be a vocal inspiration and be a team leader? Would he say “it starts with me” ?

    Or would he just cash it in?

    You decide.

  13. Still….he stripped Brady in the Snow Bowl but Tagliabue didnt want Oakland in the Super Bowl so he had the refs create the tuck rule on the spot…

  14. For Raider fans, you have Reggie McKenzie how worked under TT in GB for many years so hopefully he brings the Raiders back to where they need to be.

  15. Moral of the story. One team has stability from owner/president/GM to trainer and the other team doesn’t.

  16. slickster35 says: Jan 12, 2013 10:00 AM

    No one goes to oakland and gets better. NFL trash heap.
    ————-
    How did you like watching that trash heap sweep your dumpster fire of a team this season? It’s laughable seeing a Chiefs fan talk any trash about any team.

  17. I was very fortunate to have a sidelins pass to the last game of the regular season against the Vikings. about 1 1/2 hours before the game Charles Woodson was out on the field by himself running sprints and doing drills, when he finished he walked toward the tunnel were I was standing, I introduced myself and told him I drove 600 miles to see the game and wished he were active, he shook my hand and stood and spoke with me for about 10 minutes, he was very gracious and humble.

    GO PACK!!!!!!

  18. I’m so tired of Rich Gannon bashing the Raiders at every chance. If it wasn’t for the Raiders Rich Gannon would have never been a starting QB in the NFL. He would have been a career backup/journeyman QB.

    Charles Woodson was a big time player with the Raiders. Only difference is that Dom Capers knows how to utilize his Safety Instincts. We just kept him on an island for some reason. With the exception of the Wolverine position that the Raiders used every know and then.

    The only time Rich Gannon participated in big time football it was with the Raider Organization so disrespecting the Raiders is disrespecting himself.Without the Raiders nobody would even care about what Rich Gannon has to say.

  19. Woodson has done well at Greenbay, but doesn’t it seem like he is always blitzing and I usually never see him in coverage. Not sure if it’s because he can’t cover any more.

  20. I recall Woodson having a rocking beginning in Green Bay. McCarthy laid down the law and Woodson eventually got on board. As for how a future #4 HOF QB handled McCarthy’s laying down the law (as it should be), that’s another story.

  21. Green Bay represent all that is good and right about the NFL. It is very unique, wonderful, and special.

    Anyone who has been in the league for awhile learns it, then appreciates it, wishes it could be duplicated elsewhere, gets jealous of it, then comes to appreciate it all the more!!

    It is fantastic being an owner and stockholder of a nonprofit corporation dedicated to football for football’s sake (and of course more World Championships than any other team).

  22. I had a plenty of doubts when Thompson signed him; there were a lot of reports that he was already pretty much done. Couldn’t have been a better move. And his philanthropic work has been inspiring to watch.

  23. typical raider hating article again by pft…not a surprise…what even funnier is that you only select to post raider hating comments as well.

  24. raiderapologist says:
    Jan 12, 2013 11:31 AM
    slickster35 says: Jan 12, 2013 10:00 AM

    No one goes to oakland and gets better. NFL trash heap.
    ————-
    How did you like watching that trash heap sweep your dumpster fire of a team this season? It’s laughable seeing a Chiefs fan talk any trash about any team.

    —————————-

    My team went out and did something about it.

    No decent head coach will touch your garbage franchise, while you continue your decade long “rebuild”.

    We’ll be looking down at you clowns again soon enough. Guaranteed.

  25. Whatever!

    He’s not a Raider.

    He will probably go to HOF as a Packer.

    Thanks for your time.

    We need to move forward.

    Glad he got eliminated.

    He trashed the Raider Organization.

    Hopefully he did not Trash the fans.

    (He got my money, signings, Jersey, etc.)

    Was paid like a Quarterback and took the Money and Ran.

    Hope the RAIDERS can return to the Elite Teams in football.

    Got Texans, Falcons, or Seahawks.

    Hope Brady, Lewis, and 49ers get Eliminated NEXT!!!! (Tuck Rule/2000 AFC title loss to Ravens)

Leave a Reply