Titans WR Robert Woods Already Has Several Reasons to Smile

Robert-Woods

NASHVILLE – Robert Woods was born and raised in Los Angeles, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of one of the country's biggest cities.

After playing in college at USC, he spent four seasons in Buffalo, only to return to his hometown to join the Rams.

Now, at his third NFL stop, Woods finds himself in Nashville, with the Titans.

And so far, things have been better than he expected in more ways than one.

"Nashville is way better than I expected," Woods said with a smile. "I thought I was really going to a country town that was not going to have anything. But it really has a lot to offer, whether it's food, entertainment, obviously a lot of music. I know I am from L.A., but I love experiencing different cultures, having a different experience than fast-pace living, L.A. lifestyle.

"So, I have been loving Nashville, getting acclimated with it, the guys. Everybody has been welcoming, not just the team but really around in public."

Woods has also been a pleasant surprise on the field in OTAs, taking part in on-field workouts – albeit limited and with a brace – roughly six months after tearing his left ACL.

In some periods, Woods slides a yellow pullover jersey over his No.2 Titans jersey, signifying he's not all the way back.

But Woods said it's all part of a process, and he's keeping the big picture in mind.

"Obviously, we want to do everything that is correct to make sure no injuries come back," Woods said. "But now it is more: Let's get back to the elite level of playing.

"Really, I am just trying to get back to playing at a high level. Being able to be out here and do what I am doing is really impressing me, being able to run on the side and seeing certain speeds that I am hitting, being able to trust my knee with some cuts. … I think I am really good, on pace. Being able to do some training on my own (is good), and really just being confident with where I'm at and being prepared and being ready. Obviously, we don't know how long it is going to take and what could come up, but I'll say right now we're all on pace and doing good to be ready. I am just trying to be my best me and be ready when I can and whenever they need me on the field, being able to be at my best when I'm out there."

A two-time captain with the Rams who totaled 367 receptions for 4,626 yards and 23 touchdowns in 68 games in five seasons in Los Angeles, Woods is also learning a new quarterback, and teammates.

He said his chemistry with Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is building.

"Ryan is a really good leader, being able to talk not only out here on the football field, but talk in the meetings rooms, in between plays," Woods said. "I think that is one of the biggest things you expect from a quarterback and a leader – (Ryan) is always leading … and he is throwing in his two cents on what he expects from his receivers and what he sees and how he wants to throw the ball. So being able to pick his brain and have that conversation in between plays, in between reps, in between meetings, I think that is really good because the more you know about him, the more you know what he is thinking, and you are able to play fast and have that anticipation on the field."

Acquired in a trade with the Rams earlier this offseason, Woods is expected to play a big role for the Titans in 2022.

In his NFL career, Woods has played in 125 career games, with 115 starts, in nine NFL seasons with the Rams (2017-2021) and Bills (2013-2016). He's recorded 570 catches for 7,077 yards and 35 touchdowns in his playing career and he also has 74 career rushing attempts for 507 yards and five touchdowns.

As Woods builds confidence with his health and the team in the offseason work, he knows things will only improve.

"It feels good to be out there with the guys, learning this offense and building chemistry with Ryan, our other receivers, and really just everybody in the huddle," Woods said. "Just to be back playing football again, I guess easing back into it. It feels good to be on the grass and to be out there with the guys."

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