Former Steelers DB Rod Woodson Earns First Win as XFL Head Coach
Former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Rod Woodson has a lengthy list of accomplishments. He has six All-Pro honors, 11 Pro Bowl selections, a Super Bowl ring, and a defensive player of the year award to his name. However, there was something the Pro Football Hall of Famer had never done until Saturday night.
Woodson’s Vegas Vipers began their season with an 0-4 record before pulling out a 35-32 win at home against the Orlando Guardians. It was the highest offensive output of the season for the Vipers, who saw journeyman signal-caller Luis Perez go 20-for-28 with 269 yards and three scores.
Woodson and the Vipers still have their work cut out for them if they are to reach the XFL postseason, which takes the top two crews in each division. As of now, the 5-0 D.C. Defenders lead the North Division and the St. Louis Battlehawks follow at 3-2. Vegas squares off with the latter Saturday evening.
The Guardians remain as the only team in the league yet to win a game this go-round. Orlando has had trouble on offense, especially at the quarterback position.
Rod Woodson spent the bulk of his career in the Steelers’ secondary after being drafted 10th overall in the 1987 NFL Draft. After a decade in the Steel City, he departed to join the San Francisco 49ers. He later joined the Baltimore Ravens — with whom he won Super Bowl XXXV as part of a historically dominant defensive unit — and finished his playing career with the Oakland Raiders.
After calling it quits, he alternated as a television and radio analyst and an assistant coach with three NFL teams. With the Vipers, he has his first head coaching gig. Woodson’s Vegas offense fields fellow former Steeler Martavis Bryant — who’s had limited success and is currently injured — and Slippery Rock University graduate Cinque Sweeting.