by Tom LaMarre
Charles Woodson's job as a football analyst with ESPN ended this week on the same day Oakland Raiders defensive backs coach Derek Ansley took a job as co-defensive coordinator with the University of Tennessee.
The Internet exploded with claims that Woodson would return to the Raiders to take the open spot on head coach Jon Gruden’s staff.
Not so fast, Woodson said, who claimed after his breakup with ESPN that he had something else in the works.
“Pure coincidence,” Woodson wrote in a post on Twitter.
When Gruden returned for a second stint with the Raiders a year ago, Woodson said he felt like coming out of retirement.
Woodson, considered to be a shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,
was an All-American at Michigan and the Raiders made him the fourth pick of the 1998 NFL Draft.
In an 18-year career through 2015 with the Raiders and the Green Bay Packers as a cornerback and safety, he made the Pro Bowl nine times, was a three-time All-Pro, and played on the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV championship team.
Woodson, who was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame last year, was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998 with the Raiders and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year with the Packers in 2009, in addition to making the league’s All-Decade team for 2000 to 2009.
Woodson was with the Raiders during Gruden’s first head coaching stint with the team from 1998-2001
Of course, for Raiders fans who want to remain optimistic, Woodson didn’t exactly say he wasn’t joining Gruden’s staff.