Safeties Charles Woodson and Tyvon Branch are arguably two of the most skilled players on the entire Oakland Raiders Roster. Both seasoned vets offer a tenacity and versatility that could be utilized by most teams in the NFL.
This past off season the Raiders said farewell to veteran Michael Huff who had been the leader of the DBs since being drafted number 7th overall. The change comes a year after veteran Tyvon Branch was signed to a multi year deal after a season where he was a pro bowl alternate.
Charles Woodson’s credentials speak for himself, as he was once the pro bowl corner and franchise cornerstone of the Raiders. Just before he spent the last 7 seasons in Green Bay were he was able to be an all pro and defensive player of the year winner.
Both safeties are capable tacklers, cover men, and leaders, but my question is which player will have the bigger impact this season?
While Branch is younger, and has more experience with this Raider’s roster and staff, I will make the argument for the savvy vet, Charles woodson.
I have heard many say c-wood has shown he has lost a step or two of explosiveness, I disagree. Father time might have slowed Woodson down,but for every bit of athleticism lost, Woodson has gained two steps of maturity and intelligence.
As for the field, Branch’s nose for the ball and sure tackling make him a likely cantidate for the SS position. Woodson does possess a similar skill set, but his experience in coverage and range give him a leg up on Branch in terms of Coverage. He also has 55 interceptions showing proving the DB’s superior ball skills and game intelligence. Not to mention, we have all seen branch get lost in coverage, or burned by a tightend/slot receiver countless times.
You factor in Woodson’s Heisman trophy, defensive player of the year award, and all pro awards, one will see Woodson posses the merit and swagger this Raider team has been missing since he left the first time.
The fact of the matter is Woodson, was around the last time the Raiders were even relevant. He knows what it means to be an actual Raider, and what it means to win games. Woodson’s swagger is just as important as what 24 brings on the football every game.