Rod Woodson was an Hall of Fame cornerback and safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders and now he is a coaching intern for the Denver Broncos.
Most of the time, coaching interns in the NFL go unnoticed. They are to be seen and not heard, they are there to learn and act as a glorified gopher for the real coaches. However when a former player with Woodson’s resume shows up, it’s going to turn some heads.
The most intriguing aspect of Woodson’s presence is the impact he could have on the young players in the secondary for the Broncos. Woodson is best known now for his stellar play at the safety position but when he started in the NFL, he was one of the best cornerbacks in football. The Broncos just spent a first round pick on the highly touted cornerback Bradley Roby. It’s hard to imagine a better role model for Roby, as he begins his career, than Woodson.
The Broncos are counting on Roby from day one to either start or at the very least to be their nickel corner. Either way, Roby is being counted on heavily to contribute to a revamped defense. Woodson can speed up the learning curve for the rookie; he can give Roby pointers that might otherwise take a year of playing to learn.
Roby should be following Woodson wherever he goes, soak in everything he says and ask as many questions as humanly possible. This is a unique opportunity for a rookie and Roby needs to take full advantage of it. In addition to the physical techniques, Woodson can help Roby with the mental side of the game. For example when it’s third and three and you are in man to man, this is what you should expect. That’s a simple example but it gives you an idea of the type of knowledge that Woodson could pass on to Roby.
It may not seem like it but safety Rahim Moore is still a young player who is still learning the ins and outs of the professional game. He has shown flashes at times and has made some key mistakes that all Broncos’ fans remember. This much is true, though, Moore has unlimited potential and the talent to be a top safety in the NFL. The case can be made that he was on his way to taking the next step in 2013 before a freak injury ended his season.
Now Moore is back healthy and looking to continue that development, and Woodson can help. After making the successful transition from cornerback, Woodson quickly became one of the best safeties in the history of the NFL. Moore has all the physical tools but sometimes gets himself out of position, and does not always understand the angles. Angles are exactly what they sounds like, taking the right angle so a receiver does not get behind you.
Everyone remembers what happened to the Broncos in the playoff loss to the Ravens; Moore simply took a terrible angle and was beaten over the top for the tying touchdown with 30 seconds remaining. Woodson can help Moore with those types of situations.
Woodson knows what a safety should do when it’s an all out blitz; he knows when to gamble and when to be deeper than the deepest receiver. Like Roby, Moore should be in Woodson’s back pocket wanting to soak up every piece of knowledge from the former all-pro.
I’m not sure how Woodson ended up with the Broncos but knowing how driven this organization is to win, it would not surprise me if he was brought in for a reason. That reason is to take two young and talented players, and help turn them into all-pros.
Both Roby and Moore have a unique opportunity with Woodson roaming the fields at Dove Valley, don’t waste it.