Charles Woodson was one of the best cornerbacks in the league for so long, shifting inside to safety as he aged seemed like a smooth transition.
But Woodson admitted it was largely winging it when he first moved.
“When I moved to safety a couple of years ago, I was really playing the position as an athlete,” Woodson told FOX Sports’ Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I was just going back there and doing it because I can play football and for the most part put myself in the right position. But what [Raiders assistant] Marcus [Robertson] is doing is molding me into a safety and allowing me to see the game from the middle of the field and understanding angles from that position.
“I’m loving it because I’m growing. If you’re not growing in this game, you’re not getting better. I plan on getting better.”
Woodson has been playing safety the last three years, but he said he feels like this is his first season where he feels like a safety.
Robertson said he was a “little apprehensive” about coaching a player of Woodson’s magnitude at first, but likes that the 37-year-old is so fully invested in the transition.
“The one thing about him is the guy wants to learn,” said Robertson, the former Titans safety. “He’s eating it up and working on it. And he’s been extremely coachable.
“It’s a beautiful thing. He’s going to have a big year.”
Having veteran players with something to prove is a common thread among the Raiders this year, but Woodson’s example is something their young players should clearly benefit from.