The Oakland Raiders are one of the National Football League’s most historic franchises. A rich history combined with three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII) has the Raiders at the forefront of the NFL. Aside from legendary owner Al Davis, many Hall-of-Famers have graced the black and silver.
Head coach Jack Del Rio has the team of to the best start in over a decade, as the 5-2 record has them tied atop the AFC West with the Denver Broncos. In his second season as Raiders head coach, Del Rio has had the pleasure of coaching many Pro Bowl talents.
One of those special talents was safety Charles Woodson. Woodson was drafted fourth overall by the Raiders in the 1998 draft, as his talents exuded a franchise appeal.
The Ohio native was always deemed a fan favorite, after spending a total of 11 seasons with the Raiders. After departing for the Green Bay Packers, Woodson returned to Oakland to finish out his career over his final three seasons.
On Monday, the NFL released an announcement regarding the 2017 Pro Bowl head coaches. The 2017 Pro Bowl has reconstructed their format, back to the AFC and NFC formats. Each team will be represented by one offensive and one defensive coach, with the selections yet to be made.
According to Raiders.com, Woodson has been elected as the defensive captain for the NFC:
Pro Football Hall of Fame running back JEROME BETTIS, All-Pro tight end TONY GONZALEZ, two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl XXXV MVP RAY LEWIS, and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year and All-Pro defensive back CHARLES WOODSON will serve as 2017 Pro Bowl Legends Captains, it was announced today during ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast.
The game is slated for Jan. 29, 2017 on ESPN. Fans can vote at www.NFL.com/probowlvote, with the rosters being announced on December 20.
Woodson was a part of five Raiders selections to the 2016 Pro Bowl, accompanied by Derek Carr, Latavius Murray, Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.
The current ESPN analyst is a nine-time Pro Bowler and was the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year.
Woodson was honored to be a part of the Pro Bowl, especially after playing in it his final season in the NFL:
“Playing in the Pro Bowl last year and now coming back as a captain is really special. I’m excited to return and take part in the week-long celebration of football’s best,” said Woodson. “I learned a lot from the veterans I played alongside during my career, and now I have the opportunity during Pro Bowl Week to give back and impact current players and young athletes.”
Woodson is sixth all time in career interceptions (65) and is tied for the all-time lead in defensive touchdowns.