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Rod Woodson was born March 10, 1965 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Woodson played 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a cornerback & free safety. He was also helped contribute to the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XXXV championship season. Woodson also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, and wore number 26 throughout his career. He is likely to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Woodson currently works for the NFL Network on NFL Total Access with Rich Eisen.
In 1987, Rod Woodson was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 10th overall draft pick. He returned punts and played defensive cornerback for Pittsburgh through the 1996 season. A highlight came in 1995 when Woodson became the first player to return from reconstructive knee surgery in the same season. That year he tore his ACL against the Detroit Lions in the first game and returned to play in the Super Bowl XXX between the Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys just 19 weeks later. In that game, he broke up a pass intended for Michael Irvin, hopped up and pointed at his reconstructed knee. As of 2008, Woodson is the only player in NFL history to suffer an ACL injury and return to action in the same season.
Woodson's career took a somewhat nomadic turn after free agency from Pittsburgh, after the Rooney family elected not to renew his contract over a pay dispute as well as the salary cap. Although he remained to raise his family in Pittsburgh he hopped between three additional franchises, becoming one of the few modern cornerbacks to successfully make a transition to the safety position, following in the footsteps of Ronnie Lott. Woodson signed with the San Francisco 49ers for the 1997 season, the Baltimore Ravens for the years 1998 to 2001 (where he won Super Bowl XXXV), and the Oakland Raiders for 2002 and 2003 (where he appeared in his third Super Bowl). In the Raiders 2002 Super Bowl season, 37-year old Woodson led the NFL in interceptions (8) for the first time in his career. He was also a 9 time All-Pro selection.
Woodson was released by the Oakland Raiders on July 27, 2004 after failing his team physical. His replacement at free safety for the Raiders was Stuart Schweigert, who coincidentally, broke Woodson's career interception record at Purdue.
Woodson will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in 2009. Woodson is regarded by many as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. It is unlikely that the Steelers will remove Woodson's number 26 from circulation, however, since the number is currently being worn by longtime cornerback Deshea Townsend, who as of the 2008 season has now played longer with the Steelers than Woodson did. Mel Blount's number 47 has also conspicuously remained in circulation since his retirement after the 1983 season.
Since 1994, Rod Woodson has operated an annual youth football camp, the Woodson/Fabini Football Camp, on the grounds of his former high school. He is also a partner in Woodson Motorsports, a BMW motorcycle dealership and repair shop in Fort Wayne.
Currently Woodson splits his time between NFL Network studios in Los Angeles and his home in Pleasanton, California. He was also part of the studio team for BBC Sport's NFL coverage in 2007, including Super Bowl XLII.