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Raiders hire Rod Woodson as defensive backs coach

Shannon Sharpe, Rod Woodson

Rod Woodson, right, reaches over to Shannon Sharpe, left, as Sharpe pauses and takes a breath while being interviewed following the announcement of Sharpe to the 2011 NFL football 2011 Hall of Fame class Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


One of the best defensive backs in NFL history is about to start coaching the defensive backs of the Oakland Raiders.

Hall of Famer Rod Woodson has been hired as Oakland’s defensive backs coach, the Raiders announced today.

For new Raiders head coach Hue Jackson, that’s a huge name to add to the coaching staff. There are few men more respected around the NFL than Woodson, an 11-time Pro Bowler who played 10 years for the Steelers, one for the 49ers and four for the Ravens before finishing his career with the Raiders in 2002 and 2003.

But it also seems like a little bit of a head-scratcher, as Woodson has always seemed completely content as a father, husband, youth sports coach and NFL Network analyst. The rigors of NFL coaching will presumably change Woodson’s life significantly.

Woodson already lives in the Bay Area, however, which makes it easier for him to take the job without too big of a disruption to his family life. And Woodson isn’t known for doing something if he’s not committed to doing it right. So the Raiders appear to have pulled off a major coup for their coaching staff.