High profile: Rod Woodson
By KEVIN KELLY, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 25, 2003
EYE CATCHING RESUME: A 16-year veteran and 10-time Pro Bowl free safety out of Purdue, Woodson was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1994 and to the All-NFL team of the 1990s. He leads active players and is third all time with 69 career interceptions.
TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD: This is Woodson's third Super Bowl appearance. He lost with Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XXX and won with the Ravens' superb defensive unit in Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium.
HE'S STILL GOT IT: Who says a 37-year-old can't outrun the kids? Woodson intercepted eight passes this season, the most by a Raider since Ronnie Lott picked the same number in 1991, and had 98 or more total return yards in two games this season. Against the Titans on Sept. 29, Woodson intercepted three passes, tying a career high set in 1997, and returned one 82 yards for a touchdown. His 100 return yards in that game made him the all-time leader in interception return yardage.
FEW SIGNS OF AGING: The Raiders gave Woodson the option of sitting out Wednesday practices, a consideration given to veterans, as the season progressed. But while the secondary was decimated by injuries to corners Charles Woodson and Tory James, Woodson was a constant. He started all 16 regular-season games, nine more than Charles Woodson. "If they want me back, they want me back," Woodson said. "And if they don't, I'm going to go home and not leave the house for about two or three weeks when the season is over. I'll just stay in my pajamas. If I get a phone call, then I get a phone call. If I don't, I've had a good life."
KEEPIN' ON: With an average of nine years over the other three starting defensive backs, Woodson's value isn't limited to interceptions, fumble recoveries and tackles. He is a voice of experience. "His ability to bring along our young defensive backs, our corners, our nickelbacks and his assistance with (Anthony) Dorsett has been a real tribute to his professionalism," coach Bill Callahan said.
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