NASHVILLE – Like so many other players across the NFL, quarterback Logan Woodside is doing everything he can to stay prepared during an offseason derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
When he's not taking part in the virtual offseason program with his Titans teammates, he's throwing with some of them, and running on football fields, paved parking lots and streets.
Since he's currently prohibited from working out at the team's facility, Woodside also went out and purchased some new weight equipment.
"I told my fiancée it feels like I am back in high school, going down in my parents' garage to work with weights," Woodside said with a smile. "You have to find a way to get it done."
These are different times in the NFL, for sure.
And these are different times for Woodside, who has a chance to earn the No.2 quarterback spot behind starter Ryan Tannehill, for the 2020 season.
The former Toledo star, who has paid his dues on NFL practice squads and also in the Alliance of American Football League, is aiming to further impress his bosses during an offseason when the team said aloha to Marcus Mariota, and aloha to Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald, a seventh-round pick in the NFL Draft.
For now, it looks like Woodside and McDonald will compete for the back-up spot, although there remains at least the possibility the team could still add a veteran at some point.
Woodside, of course, wants to keep that from happening.
"It is definitely a big opportunity, and I am very grateful that the Titans have invested some time in me," Woodside said. "The best thing I can do is control what I can control and that is my attitude – study the game, and put in the preparation. With all those things, you have to try and find a way to be successful."
A 6-foot-1 inch, 213-pounder who was originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round (249th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft, Woodside has impressed Coach Mike Vrabel and General Manager Jon Robinson by what he's done in Nashville so far.
In four preseason contests in 2019, Woodside completed 46-of-76 passes for 539 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating was an impressive 99.6.
Woodside started last year's preseason finale against the Bears and played the entire game. He finished the night completing 17-of-29 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, good for a passer rating of 104.4.
An elbow injury put him in Injured Reserve for the season, however. But it didn't keep Woodside from learning and developing.
"I think it was probably the biggest year of my career," said Woodside, who spent the first three weeks of the 2018 season with the Titans on the practice squad, and then re-signed with the club during the 2019 offseason following a stint with the Alliance of American Football League's San Antonio Commanders.
"I am going into Year 3, but last year I kind of treated it like the redshirt year I had in college where I still got to go through all the game plans. I saw what it took, saw what Ryan and Marcus did on a daily basis and really tried to emulate that, whether that was what time to go to the hot tub, sauna, what time you go to work out, meetings, stuff like that. And just being around those guys and seeing what coach Vrabes and Art are looking for out of a quarterback in this offense, it was very helpful for me."
This offseason, Vrabel and Robinson have each publicly praised Woodside on numerous occasions.
"Confidence is built through routine performances over an extended period of time," Vrabel said when asked about the team's confidence in Woodside. "The body of work that we have for Logan is through the preseason and through practices. But his grasp … (I) watched him prepare while he was on injured reserve last year, watched him prepare mentally and was very impressed with that, which is something that for a young player you have concern about sometimes. Can he stay engaged?
"But this is a player that was rehabbing while he was on injured reserve, stayed locked in, stayed focused in the meetings and was ready on the gameplan. (Quarterbacks coach) Pat (O'Hara) would meet with him at the end of the week like he was going to play a football game, which I thought was great. They have a really good relationship. (Offensive coordinator) Arthur (Smith) would obviously spend a lot more time with Ryan and Marcus, but from a mental standpoint we would try to prepare Logan like he was going to go play a football game, even though he was rehabbing. So now, we'll see what he looks like physically when we can get him back out there throwing and then we'll make decisions. Whoever ends up being on the roster we have full confidence in that they can go out there and do their job."
Woodside, who established program records at Toledo in passing yards (10,514), touchdowns (93), passing efficiency (162.87) and 300-yard games (17) during a four-year career, doesn't intend to let up.
During an interview this week, he said he welcomed McDonald to the team, and he intends to help him like Tannehill and Mariota helped him.
"I am excited for him and for all the rookies to get here and get to work," Woodside said of McDonald, who finished his career at Hawaii fourth on the school's passing yards (8,032) and passing touchdowns (70) lists. "I've seen good tape on him and I'm excited to get to work with him."
Woodside, however, is most focused on doing what he needs to do.
He wants to win the job behind Tannehill, which would put him one play away from playing.
"I've tried to just put my best foot forward and really just try and learn, and let my work ethic do the talking," he said. "I try to go in there every day prepared and do what coaches ask me to do.
"Right now, I am just trying to do everything like we are in spring workouts, at the facility. And once we do go back, hopefully it is a smooth transition back in there."