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Oakland Raiders 2013 Training Camp Competition: Free Safety

July 6th, 2013 at 9:02 AM
By Nick Gill

The Raiders made their biggest splash of the offseason when they brought Charles Woodson back to the silver and black. It was an area of need after the team released former first rounder Michael Huff. Now the Raiders will move forward with Woodson as the starter and Usama Young backing up.

'Charles Woodson' photo (c) 2009, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Woodson is expected to be an integral part of the Oakland secondary in 2013. He still commands an amazing amount of respect after playing at such a high level for the last 15 years. He is listed on the roster as a free safety, but the reality is Woodson will move around the secondary including strong safety and nickel back. He has made 203 career starts, so his experience is off the charts. He can be an incredible influence of the rest of the defense with the knowledge and success he has gained. One question that remains for Woodson is health. Last season he missed the final nine games with a broken collarbone and has 15 years of NFL wear and tear on his body. Despite the concern, the Raiders are counting on Woodson to bring some playmaking ability to the defense, which has been his greatest attribute.

Just in case Woodson cannot shake the injuries, the Raiders brought in free safety Usama Young. Young has made 19 starts in the past two seasons for the Cleveland Browns. He also played three seasons for the New Orleans Saints where he was coached by Raiders head man Dennis Allen. Young is going to be on the field because Woodson won't play every defensive snap. Young gives the Raiders the opportunity to get creative with Woodson and strong safety Tyvon Branch.

Going into training camp, Woodson and Young are the Raiders' free safeties. There is not much other competition on the roster that has a chance to beat them out. The position is in pretty good hands in terms of experience. Woodson is an all-time great and Young is an NFL caliber starter. 

 

Tags: Charles Woodson, Dennis Allen, Football, Michael Huff, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Tyvon Branch, Usama, Young

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