Raiders Woodson ready for next challenge

Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson is telling anyone who will listen that he has higher priorities after his recently ended 33 day holdout.

The Oakland Raiders host the Buffalo Bills Sunday in a game in which both teams look to even their record at 1-1 but only one will. Woodson will face another individual challenge in going against Buffalo wide receiver Eric Moulds.

Many players in Woodson's situation might browbeat people by saying, "It's not about the money." Woodson, however, said he wanted "every penny" last December. At least, he didn't deny it even though he has since relented a little on that stance.

Woodson signed a one-year tender for $8.782 million Aug. 31 after missing 33 days of training camp. Initially, first-year Raiders coach Norv Turner said Woodson wouldn't start the season opener at Pittsburgh but he played every snap in a 24-21 loss to the Steelers. Woodson, however, added that his priorities are not on getting his desired long-term, multi-million dollar contract. The Raiders placed the franchise tag on Woodson.

"I'm just worried about winning at this point," Woodson said. "That part of it is done with. I'm just here to play football and help the team win."

"I just close the door to thinking about it. It's just football now. If something happens, it happens, but it is not something I'm thinking about."

The Raiders perhaps wondered out loud whether or not Woodson could flawlessly fit into first-year defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's new scheme. He didn't seem to have any problems Sunday in Pittsburgh and even played a little bit at safety as well. Some people think that's where Woodson, a seventh-year veteran may play at some point.

What was perhaps even more impressive than holding Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress to one catch for 13 yards was that he did get penalized as much talk has been about how referees were going to clamp down on defensive backs in terms of downfield contact. There figures to be a little bit of that when Woodson goes against Moulds, one of the more physical receivers in the NFL.

"For the most part, I appreciate the referees," Woodson said. "Their calls weren't overbearing and they weren't being nitpicky about certain things. This isn't two-hand-touch football, this is football. So I appreciate the refs for allowing us to play out there."


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