Many things have changed since defensive back Charles Woodson donned the silver and black. One of the most apparent seems to be a new attitude brought in by head coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders are coming off an extremely disappointing 4-12 finish last year, but Woodson sees the team heading into a more successful direction.
“Here, I really see a new attitude from where they’ve been previously,” Woodson said. “You’ve got a head coach who’s in his second year and he’s trying to establish that winning mindset around here.”
The Raiders have not made a playoff appearance since Woodson's last season with the team in 2002. Before last season, McKenzie was brought in to transform the Raiders into a contender. He hired Allen as the guy to get them there. They struggled in their first campaign, but this offseason McKenzie and Allen have purged the roster and brought in the type of players they believe will succeed. Woodson was one of those guys.
“Defensively, we have a bunch of new guys in who weren’t here last year and don’t know about the troubles last year,” Woodson said. “So, bringing a lot of new guys in and just trying to set the tone for the guys out there on the practice field as far as our work ethic and making sure that every play you’re out there busting your tail and playing like you’re going to win every game because nobody is going to give us a shot this year to do anything.”
It is apparent Allen is more comfortable in his second year as head coach. He went through several obstacles last year learning on the fly and has felt the sting of a disappointing first season. That should help him become a better coach and leader. He can have his impact, but the Raiders success will be determined on the field by the players. Woodson comes from the Green Bay Packers, an organization that has won a Super Bowl and made four consecutive trips to the postseason.
“For us, if we come out and practice in a way that’s going to help us go out there and win games it won’t really matter what anybody else says,” Woodson said. “It will be about what we do out here on the field. I see Coach Allen coming out here and emphasizing that every day it’s about this team and it’s going to be about how we work that’s going to determine how our season is going to be.”
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