NFL legend out as XFL head coach after disappointing season


Rod Woodson, Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer, is out as the Vegas Vipers head coach after one season that saw the team go 2-8.

The XFL released a statement Sunday to announce that Woodson and the Vipers agreed to mutually part ways, less than a month after the Arlington Renegades won the championship game over the DC Defenders.

Rod Woodson talks with XFL linebacker CJ Avery

Head coach Rod Woodson and linebacker C.J. Avery #28 of the Las Vegas Vipers slap hands before their game against the Orlando Guardians at Cashman Field on March 18, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Louis Grasse/Getty Images)

“We want to thank Rod for his hard work and commitment to the Vipers and the League last season,” XFL President Russ Brandon said in a statement.

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“During Rod’s time with the team, the players had an incredible opportunity to learn and benefit from his experience. He left an indelible mark on all the coaches, staff, and players. We wish Rod and his family all the best in their future pursuits.”

Woodson, 58, spent the majority of his 17 years in the NFL playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers. During that time, he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year and earned six of his nine Pro Bowl nods there.

Rod Woodson breaks up a pass

Rod Woodson of the Pittsburgh Steelers breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Marvin Harrison of the Indianapolis Colts during a playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium on December 29, 1996, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers defeated the Colts, 42-14. (George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

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He went on to win the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens in the 2000-2001 season.

“After speaking with my family and members of the football operations team, we decided it was in our mutual interest for me to step away from the team,” Woodson said in a statement. “I would like to thank everyone at the League and wish them continued success as they enter season two.”

Rod Woodson looks on before an xfl game

Head coach Rod Woodson of the Vegas Vipers looks on before the XFL game against the DC Defenders at Audi Field on March 12, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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The Vipers went 0-4 to start the season before picking up their only two wins in Weeks 5 and 7. They finished last in their division and had a record only better than the Orlando Guardians, who finished 1-9.



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