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Monday, February 14, 2011
Raiders add Hall of Famer to coaching staff

By Bill Williamson

If being a good NFL player translates to becoming a good NFL coach, Hue Jackson's first Oakland Raiders staff could be a strong one.

The Raiders have just hired Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson to coach their cornerbacks. Woodson, who finished his playing career with Oakland, becomes the latest ex-Raiders player on Jackson's staff. Jackson recently promoted former linebacker Greg Biekert from defensive assistant to linebackers coach. Last month, former Raiders offensive line great Steve Wisniewski, an eight-time Pro Bowl choice, became assistant offensive line coach.

Woodson, Wisniewski and Biekert enjoyed decorated NFL careers. All were known for their toughness and intelligence as players. They have the makings of becoming top coaches.

Great players do not always make great coaches, but it's clear the direction Jackson and Raiders owner Al Davis want to go in putting together a staff. They want this young Oakland team to benefit from being around as many great talents as possible. It's tough to argue with the formula.

I find it interesting that Woodson took this position. He had a very nice life as an NFL Network commentator. As an analyst, Woodson was known for his honesty and truthful evaluations. It's not a stretch to think he could become a fine coach.

Spending up to 100 hours a week coaching will be much more challenging than sitting in a studio. But it's clear Woodson feels his competitiveness will be much better utilized on the football field rather than in the television studio, which should only benefit the Raiders.