Rod Woodson isn’t a fan of the Raiders’ new direction

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The “once a Raider, always a Raider” vibe doesn’t keep a former Raider from questioning the current Raiders.

Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson, who spent two years playing for the Raiders and four seasons on the coaching staff, isn’t a fan of the current direction of the team under old-new coach Jon Gruden.

Appearing in FS1’s Undisputed, Woodson questioned some of the personnel decisions made by the team in 2018.

“I don’t want to sound like a scorned lover because I was fired by the Raiders,” Woodson said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “I love Mark Davis, I love the Davis family. But you can’t tell me you got rid of Michael Crabtree, you put Jordy Nelson in there, and Jordy Nelson is better than Michael Crabtree. That’s a lie. And I love Derek Carr. Derek Carr is not Aaron Rodgers. That’s completely different. You can’t tell me you bring in Doug Martin and they’re a better football team.”

Woodson also questioned the decision to give Gruden an eight-figure annual salary.

“I understand Gruden, wonderful on his TV gig, did some wonderful things as a coach, but he only won 53 percent of his games,” Woodson said. “Ten years, $100 million. I hope Mark Davis has an out. My question would be, how many Super Bowls do you have to win for $100 million? You give that deal to Bill Belichick. But to a Jon Gruden? It’s hard for me to understand.”

Although Reggie McKenzie remains the G.M., Woodson sees Gruden’s fingerprints on the decision to dump Crabtree for Nelson.

“Crabtree was the glue to that offense,” Woodson said. “He gave them a backbone. He gave them toughness. Jordy Nelson is not going to give them that. Derek Carr is not going to give them that. Now Marshawn Lynch, he could give them that, if he’s there, if he’s playing, I don’t know what’s with that.”

Lynch, based on his revised contract, most likely will be there. The question is whether the success will be there, especially for the investment made in Gruden.

“He goes to the Super bowl and he wins with Tony Dungy’s team,” Woodson said. “My question is how many Super Bowls do you have to win if you’re Mark Davis to justify $100 million?”

Actually, none. Gruden needs merely to create a plausible sense every year that the Raiders could win the Super Bowl, since that’s what sell tickets and premium seats and suites and merchandise.

For 2018, it’s working. They simply need to win enough games that they’ll reasonably be expected to be competitive in 2019 and beyond. Given the kick in the ass that Gruden brought to the Tampa offense 16 years ago, chances are the Raiders will at least be better than they were a year ago — which should be enough to get people to think they’ll be even better in 2019 and good enough in 2020.

49 responses to “Rod Woodson isn’t a fan of the Raiders’ new direction

  1. Hey Rod, Jordy is better than Crabtree. And no where near as immature. Crabtree literally both Denver games they paid, was selfish and only sought to fight talib. Jordy wouldnt do that. Way too professional. And look at Jordys stats compared to Crabs,

  2. Sour grapes from a dreadfully awful coach! I want to hear what the haters say when Oakland starts proving them wrong. They will “forget” while jumping on the wagon just like 2016 when they anointed Carr the next Farve… The talking heads get more pathetic every year!

  3. are we talking about a coach that coached the raiders defensive backfield last year. what happened with that? All we know something was wrong last year and all we can do is speculate.

  4. Working in 2018? No one in the right mind thinks that team will be competing for a super bowl. They’ll be struggling to make the playoffs, if that.

  5. I like Rod,he’s allowed to his opinion..I just think that he should look in mirror first before he calls people out..He was DB coach twice with Oakland and was horrible both times..He never knew how to develop or coach players..Jordy is to me the same as Crab and he’s right on Carr not being then Rodgers..

  6. I agree, those teams he had for the raiders did not draft well, neither were those buc teams. I still want to be excited about gruden, but he left the raiders with an old terrible roster and this looks like it’s going in the same direction.

  7. I like jordy nelson but woodson is right. He had a great chemistry with rodgers and that back shoulder pass, but whenever Arod was out, davante looked like the more talented receiver. I think gruden has learned from previous mistakes, but he will need to show he can develop new talent more than stockpiling old talent

  8. I’ve always thought the argument that Gruden won with “Dungys team” was incredibly flawed and dumb. The Raiders, whom they beat to win that Super Bowl, were “Grudens team” by that exact same logic.

  9. Not that I’m sticking up for any Raiders here but I can’t stand when people make it seem like Jon Gruden’s Super Bowl win is basically nothing because it was Tony Dungy’s team.

    A) Dungy didn’t do squat with his “team.” Made it to one NFC Title Game and were pummeled in their other games. That’s why he wasn’t there in 2002.
    B) If we are making the argument of which team belongs to who, then Gruden’s team (the Raiders) were in that Super Bowl. Seems to me like Gruden was winning either way that year.

    Now, back to my normally-scheduled Raider hating.

  10. As a Chiefs fan I know the Raiders very well, and although I do not think they will be a contender this year, next year could be scary. As for the Jordy Nelson or Michael Crabtree, Jordy is far and above better than Michael Crabtree, in skill set and football intelligence, rout running and teaching the young guys. Its not even close.

  11. Nelson is better than Crabtree. And nobody is saying Carr is Aaron Rodgers.

    Methinks Rod doth protest too much.

  12. Wait for it, Raiders are going to demand a “re-flip” to decide the ninth pick, claiming Woodson (who tossed the coin), rigged it!

  13. Think if I were a football coach and wanted to continue coaching I wouldn’t be publicly telling my former team what is right and wrong. That’s just arrogant and will put some teams off in terms of hiring him to coach.

  14. Mark Davis does have an out. He’s wisely moving the team to Las Vegas. Taxes, crime, etc. is way less there. Davis wants out of crazy Cali at the right time. While I don’t like ‘relocation’ (executive speak for bailout) I give Davis great credit and timing on this one.

  15. It seems like Gruden and payton manning are the only reason why Dungy is even in the HOF. I guess gruden won with ” dungys ” team because Dungy couldnt do it, and Manning won Dungy a SB after Dungy failed to get him any kind of defense for how many years?

  16. Gruden is barely over .500 as a coach, and while “Dungy may have done nothing with that TB team” (which I disagree with with), the fact is Gruden took over a team that was stacked, went to the SB once, and had a winning record under him once – where once again they lost in the WC round. However Woodson did as a coach, I agree with his opinion. Gruden is not $100 million coach.

  17. It’s ok Rod, we all get salty sometimes. We’ll see how Jordy does without ARod throwing it to him, and Carr is a huge step down from him. Top 20 QB sure, but not top 10.

  18. Decades of playing & coaching and all the insight he has to offer is what you’d read in any average comments section of any sports web site. With just as much bitterness. That’s pretty sad.

  19. It seems like Gruden and payton manning are the only reason why Dungy is even in the HOF.
    =====

    He spent 25 years as one of the top assistants in the League.. and was a victim of racism, to be frank about it.

    I don’t think his record stacks up in comparison to others of his era; Jimmy Johnson, Mike Shanahan, Mike Holmgren… but he didn’t get a fair shake.

  20. The Raiders didn’t change their plays, that’s why Tampa beat them in the SB.
    Gruden knew what was coming, makes it a lot easier to win when you know the plays.

  21. It’s dumb for a coach, of all people, to say players can’t change, adapt, improve, respond to… you know, coaching. But it’s nice to hear something other than the rah-rah stuff about the Raiders.

  22. Bottom line- who is ever happy about being fired- the fact is the Raiders secondary sucked under Rod Woodson…the only time it was good is when the other Woodson was being the field general ….as for the current direction….time will tell. all it comes down to in the off season is the “ifs” , lets wait to see what “is”.

    Go Raiders!!!!

  23. This Seahawk Fan is also a Gruden fan and optimistic that the Raiders will improve in all facets of their game, under his direction, to compete for a playoff spot in the AFC.

    Every team making moves or failing to do so in the off season have some folks worried while others are thrilled. Until the season is well underweigh I won’t know which front office did well. I will say that the frenzy of this off season makes the assessment even harder.

  24. Chief fan: They will challenge this yr in a weak AFC west..You need to worry about your new QB..I dont see the chiefs in the race at all..Andy is s loser in playoffs and hes a consistent HC that will never be or win a SB,period!

  25. It doesn’t matter what Woodson thinks, all that matters is what Sherman has to say about it. After all he has an opinion about everything else.

  26. Cannot adequately express how much I love Rod Woodson nor what I’d give to see Rod in his prime back in a Steelers uniform. Extraordinary player, great guy. He may be right in his assessment–only time will tell. But if he’s still hoping to coach in the NFL, it was better left unsaid. He can’t help but sound like a scorned lover attacking the hand that once fed him. And Rod, Gruden was not wonderful on his TV gig. No.

  27. Rod you were the man! Not going to bash that, but you are a Steeler. Gruden is turning a defensive roster around that needed it. The start of the season last year people were overhyping Our Silver and Black. Maybe if your thinking Super Bowl or bust next year then you don’t like the moves. But Gruden is being Gruden and he will get back to the old Smash Mouth tuff Raiders!!

  28. 100 million for a coach is a dumb direction –
    but so is 83 million guaranteed money for a QB who gave the similar production as one making 1/4 of that –
    Dumb NFL decisions all around — would not be surprised to see the NFL phase out

  29. “Why didn’t Dungy win with Dungy’s team?”

    Seems some of you don’t remember the raging dumpster fire the Bucs were before Dungy and Rich McKay got there. Not that different than the Browns are now.

  30. As a Raiders fan, I gotta agree with Woodson. Gruden has ALWAYS been overrated, and Jordy Nelson may have been a better player than Crabtree five seasons ago but not now. The numbers don’t lie.

  31. Not a Raider fan, but judge a Coach not by free agency, but the draft. That’s where rubber meets the road and you find out what type of personality the Coach will want for the team. Gruden inherited some solid pieces, so ramp up time shouldn’t be long. Should be rolling by Vegas, since Davis put the $100 Million on Black.

  32. “I understand Gruden, wonderful on his TV gig, did some wonderful things as a coach, but he only won 53 percent of his games,” Woodson said. “Ten years, $100 million. I hope Mark Davis has an out. My question would be, how many Super Bowls do you have to win for $100 million? You give that deal to Bill Belichick. But to a Jon Gruden? It’s hard for me to understand.”

    ============

    Aside from always liking Rod Woodson as a HOF player and as a TV analysis, Woodson is absolutely right in his assessment and that has been my feeling from the moment that Del Rio was dumped in order to hire Gruden.

    I’ll take it further by saying that this was a P.T. Barnum publicity stunt by Son-of-Al (much like bringing in Lynch a year ago). And Son-of-Al doesn’t have the intelligence to realize that publicity stunts alone will not fly in Vegas where the locals will only come out to see the Raiders if there’s a winning product on the field.

  33. Woodson, and many of Gruden’s detractors, are simply looking at the $100M Gruden will rake in, and are so green with envy it is causing something akin to Trump Derangement Syndrome. Right or wrong about what Gruden might do as the head coach of the Raiders, my hat is off to Mr. Gruden for pulling off that contract. For the entertainment value, I’m personally very pleased with the Raiders’ choice. You can shut up now, Woodson. You can continue to dream that perhaps one day you will be a head coach in the NFL.

  34. So far the biggest improvement the Raiders have made was firing Woodson. Their Defensive Backfield took a big step forward. Great player, bad coach.
    Concerning what Gruden will or wont do…let’s just watch it play out. It will definitely be entertaining.

  35. I’m so sick and tired of everybody taking Gruden’s throwing it back to 1998 comments to Heart. He made one statement about technology media just takes it and runs with it. Nobody cares about Woodson and what he thinks he got fired he obviously wasn’t a great coach performing the secondary under his tutelage

  36. Someone tell Woodson the rumors about Crabtree being cut started before Gruden was even hired.

  37. cubb1 says:

    March 21, 2018 at 10:52 pm

    As a Raiders fan, I gotta agree with Woodson. Gruden has ALWAYS been overrated, and Jordy Nelson may have been a better player than Crabtree five seasons ago but not now. The numbers don’t lie.
    ——————
    The numbers don’t lie huh? Maybe you should check the numbers..

    Nelson 2016-2017 20 TDs in 23 games with Rodgers..

  38. motleytrap says:

    March 21, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    “Why didn’t Dungy win with Dungy’s team?”

    Seems some of you don’t remember the raging dumpster fire the Bucs were before Dungy and Rich McKay got there. Not that different than the Browns are now.
    ————————
    Sam Wyche (1995) drafted Sapp and Derrick Brooks…

  39. Rod Wooson is a joke. Goes on national television and makes himself look like a jealous ex girlfriend.

    You don’t get fired and then go on TV and through the players and coaches and organization under the bus.

    I’ve lost all respect for that schmuck.

  40. Crabtree through the coaches under the bus in his end of the season presser for not giving him more targets.

    Rod Woodson gets fired and throws everybody under the bus.

    Those two should start their own tv show. Call it “under the bus” with Crab and Wood.

  41. Comes across like a scorned lover to me. Nobody thinks Carr is as good as Aaron Rodgers but because he not its somehow makes Nelson a downgrade over Crabtree.

    And did he really go with the old “Gruden won with Dungys team” argument? LOL really? If thats part of your reasoning against Gruden then you have an ax to grind for whatever reason.

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