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BA’s Banter: Rod Woodson ready to get it started

Is Nnamdi Asomugha impressed with the hiring of Rod Woodson to be the coach of just the position that he plays specifically?

Do a bear $#!% in the woods?

Just try to imagine future Hall of Famer, Nnamdi Asomugha, being coached up by current Hall of Famer Rod Woodson.

You think Nnamdi is the best corner in the league right now? Then imagine after he is coached by Woodson for two seasons. This is a combination of a franchise player in his prime with a coach who is still in very good shape and can push him to be even better. If Asomugha is not at the facility training with Woodson he may be making a mistake, even if he is not going to be a Raider next year. Woodson said in a recent interview that he is already in California and is working from
8 am until nighttime.

He also said that he wants Nnamdi to come back and work with him. That is because he knows just how good Nnamdi Asomugha can be. The opportunity to work with Asomugha was probably an enticing proposition for Rod Woodson when he was deciding whether or not to take the job. I’d imagine there are some things that Woodson thinks Nnamdi would benefit from hearing and learning from the NFL’s all-time leader in interceptions returned for touchdowns.

However, the Oakland Raiders are not just all about Nnamdi Asomugha and his lockdown side of the field. On the opposite of Nnamdi over the past two years have been two players who have gotten a crash course in playing opposite one of the league’s shutdown corners.

Combined over the past two years, Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt have had 158 tackles, seven interceptions (seven more than Nnamdi), two touchdowns, one sack, and one forced fumble. I don’t care what league you play in, those are good stats from cornerbacks who split playing time over those two seasons.

I’ll tell you something else too — they are both 6’1″ and hover right around 200 pounds. They play very physical man-to-man styles. Chris Johnson has made some big time hits over the last couple of years including this one some of you may remember from opening night 2009:


Stanford Routt had the best season by a cornerback in opponent’s completions against him with his low 39% mark for the season. Both Johnson and Routt are risk takers and they will combine for somewhere in the neighborhood of $14 million this year. Rod Woodson has to have a small grin about these two guys as well. Woodson says he wants to get the Raiders’ secondary keeping the play in front of them and looking into the backfield more like this:


The Raiders had the number two rated pass defense in yards surrendered last year, but they gave up 29 touchdown passes and only had 12 interceptions. A truly great group in the secondary would have those numbers flip flopped. I’m sure Rod Woodson would like to get them to the even up mark at least.

I also won’t count out Walter McFadden or Jeremy Ware from making this team and making an impact next year. You can’t judge a cornerback based on one or two games. The fact is neither guy is ready to be THE guy, but both have some good physical skills, speed, and hands. I think we are going to learn all about these two players in the upcoming year.

Things are going to get interesting when Nnamdi Asomugha hits the open market. Time will tell if more teams than I think will open up the wallet for the eight-year veteran. One thing is for sure though: Rod Woodson is looking forward to the task ahead of him with these guys on the roster.

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