Adrian Peterson hopes to continue to be an impactful player into his late 30s, so naturally he is pleased to see that Raiders safety Charles Woodson, formerly of the Packers, is tied for the NFL lead with five interceptions.
“I guess people were wrong when they put the age factor on him,” he said.
Woodson had already spent nine years in the NFL when the Vikings drafted Peterson seventh overall in 2007. He is 39 now and in his 18th season.
But he is third on the Raiders in tackles and has broken up eight passes. He is rated as the 15th-best safety in the NFL right now by Pro Football Focus.
“I take my hat off to him,” Peterson, now a 30-year-old running back, said this morning. “He’s a player that I’ve always looked up to and admired.”
Woodson is now in the third year of his second stint with the Raiders, who drafted him with the fourth overall pick in 1998. He spent seven seasons with the Packers, from 2006 to 2012, and four of his eight Pro Bowl honors came when he was with the Packers, who moved him to safety in 2012.
“He was always a good tackler. He wasn’t a guy [in my opinion] that is going to lay the wood on you. But he doesn’t shy away. He’s a good tackler,” Peterson said. “And obviously, he plays his position well. He’s been doing it for, what, 18, 19 years now? He’s perfected his craft.”
The Raiders rank at the bottom of the NFL in pass defense. But Woodson has been one bright spot in Oakland’s secondary. Peterson has noticed, and Woodson’s play fortifies his own belief that he can play well until he is 39.
“It’s guys like him I look at and [say], even though it’s different positions, you can do this game,” he said. “It’s all about taking care of your body and playing at a high level and, most importantly, believing that you can do it.”