Sorry Champ Bailey, Charles Woodson has come back home to play for the Oakland Raiders.
Raiders fans across the world will be rejoicing to the news of Woodson once again roaming the O.Co coliseum. Woodson represents the old guard of Raiders football — the “commitment to excellence” and “just win baby” era of the franchise.
When Woodson left back in 2005, the Raiders went through the depression era that every member of the fan base would like to forget. With Woodson back into the fray, Raiders fans can finally forget about the JaMarcus Russel, Lane Kiffin and Rolando McClain eras of the early 2000’s.
The addition of Woodson will once again lead to the resurrection of the Oakland Raiders like it did when he first joined the team.
When Woodson first joined the silver and black back in 1998, he joined a mediocre team that had not made the playoffs for several seasons. He had just become the first defensive player to ever win the Heisman trophy after having one of the greatest careers in the history of college football.
Within a few years of joining the Raiders, they were perennial Super Bowl contenders with a powerful offense and a solid defense. Woodson joined pro-bowl cornerback Eric Allen to create one of the toughest cornerback tandems in the NFL.
During his first tenure with the Raiders, Woodson was arguably the most popular player on the team, and his No. 24 jersey was one of the most popular in the country.
It has been eight years since Woodson donned the silver and black jersey, but you can argue that he has not lost a step. Once he left the Raiders, he seemed to have resurrected his career with the Green Bay Packers. In Green Bay, Woodson was finally able to become a playmaker on defense, which he was not able to do running the 1960’s man-to-man defense of Al Davis.
Not only did Woodson win defensive player of the year, but he also became a Super Bowl champion.
From day one of training camp, Woodson will be the face and the leader of the resurgent Raiders. Expect him to be the quarterback of the defense from his starting free safety spot. With the additions of D.J. Hayden, Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, the Raiders have totally revamped the worst secondary in the league.
With the departure of Michael Huff, Woodson will be free to wear his No. 24 jersey once again. Teaming Woodson with Tyvon Branch and the three new corner backs gives the Raiders a great secondary that will finally allow head coach Dennis Allen to run his style of aggressive defense.
Most pundits have labeled the new look Raiders as a collection of has-been’s and have-not’s. However, if you look closely at Reggie McKenzie’s offseason moves, you will find a completely re-hauled and far more talented team, especially on defense.
Get excited, Raider Nation. Go into your closets and storage boxes and pull out that dusty No. 24 jersey. Charles Woodson is back and will once again lead the Raiders to greatness.
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras