The future Pro Football Hall of Fame Cheap nfl Jerseys defensive back keeps close tabs on his former team as an ESPN analyst since his 2016 retirement. While thrilled that Oakland reached the playoffs for the first time since 2002, Woodson told co-host Kirk Morrison and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he doesn’t believe his former unit carried its weight along the way.
In particular, Woodson was disappointed in Sean Smith’s struggles after the Raiders signed the ex-Kansas City cornerback to a four-year, $40 million free-agent contract. Smith’s debut not only got off to a bad start when he was benched in a season-opening win against New Orleans, but he also played through the second half of the season with a shoulder injury that required surgery following Oakland’s first-round loss to Houston.
“That didn’t go as well as anybody would Cheap jersey wholesale have hoped,” said Woodson, who is serving as an honorary captain at the Pro Bowl. “When it comes to situational football, when you bring in a guy like that, you’ve got to be able to get off the field (defensively).
“If you’re brought in to be a lock-down corner, you’ve got to be a lock-down corner. You’ve got to hold guys to short gains, tackle them when they catch the ball, don’t let guys get through the teeth of the defense.”
Woodson doesn’t blame Smith solely for Oakland fielding the NFL’s 24th-ranked pass defense. The Raiders finished with a league-low 25 sacks despite the presence of star pass-rusher Khalil Mack, who accounted for 11 on his own.
“There were way too many big plays Oakland Raiders Jerseys defensively,” Woodson said. “That goes hand-in-hand with the rush and the back end as well. Those guys have to eliminate big plays for them to be a dominant team.”
Woodson believes the Raiders aren’t far from getting there thanks to an offense that was “lights out.” The production of that unit dimmed when quarterback Derek Carr suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 16 against Indianapolis.
“Derek has got to be in that lineup obviously because they were not the same team when he left,” Woodson said. “Keep your guys healthy, eliminate those big plays and then your big-time free agents that come in have to do what they’re expected to do.”