Willie Brown has continued to be a big part of the Oakland Raiders' organization since his retirement as a player in 1978 and the decade he spent as a coach through 1988. In recent years, he's represented the franchise at the NFL draft, and just last month he was the man who announced the Raiders' first pick of the 2012 draft.
Did you know that the Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback is also the Raiders' all-time interception leader? Brown leads the pack with a total of 39 interceptions over his 11 seasons with the Raiders and 54 during his 15-year NFL career.
One of the most memorable interceptions for Brown and the Raiders came during Super Bowl XI when he picked off a pass thrown by the Minnesota Vikings' Fran Tarkenton and ran 75 yards for a touchdown. I can watch that play over and over again and never get tired of it. Of course, the Raiders won their first Super Bowl title, partially in thanks to the extraordinary Hall of Famer that year.
Woodson is currently a cornerback with the Green Bay Packers, but he made his NFL debut with the Raiders in 1998 as a first-round draft pick. Wearing jersey No. 24, as did Brown, he was credited with five interceptions and was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press his first season.
In college, playing for the Michigan Wolverines, Woodson made one of the most amazing interceptions you'll ever see in football when he leaped into the air like a superhero to pull down the ball and help his team to a 20-13 defeat over Ohio State.
It was Woodson who gave fans one of the few good moments during the Raiders' last Super Bowl trip against the Tampa Bay Bucs as well, when his interception gave Oakland the ball at the Bucs' 36.
Another Woodson on the impressive list is Rod Woodson. The two are not related but they seem to have a lot in common. The 47-year-old former defensive back is ranked third on the all-time NFL interceptions' list with 81.
Woodson spent just two seasons playing for the Raiders, in 2002 and 2003, with the majority of his 17-year NFL career as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fortunately, he's on the side of the Silver and Black today as the team's cornerbacks coach. Hired in early 2011, Woodson was one of the most respected players in the game, and many throughout the Raider Nation are thankful that he is one of the few coaches who remain despite all of the changes in 2012.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kcdermodywriter.
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