It’s flashbacks of 2017 for one prominent past cornerstone on the Los Angeles Rams.
Robert Woods is now entering his second season in the AFC South, but this time with the Houston Texans. The wide receiver, once on a $65 million deal in L.A. and was beloved inside the Rams’ locker room for his leadership and selfless play, is also heading to a place with a brand new coaching staff spearheaded by DeMeco Ryans and high draft pick at quarterback in C.J. Stroud.
However, in a conversation he had with Houston media following the Texans’ Friday, May 26 OTAs session, Woods likes what he’s ran into in “H-Town” — which reminds him of his early time with the Rams the moment they hired Sean McVay and introduced a new regime.
“I think [it’s] a lot of hungry players, hungry coaches,” Woods said of the Texans. “I feel like this is a similar situation to when I came to L.A. with a young McVay. Some say it was a rebuild. I feel like it was just a team buying into your coach, believing in the coach, believing in the system, and I think Coach Ryans has that here. Got a lot of young players buying into this defense, into this culture, and we can change this environment.”
Woods Spoke Highly of the Texans Before
It’s not the first time “Bobby Trees” has spoken highly of the Texans, despite the franchise’s current string of struggles.
Woods was on the opposite sideline when the Rams trounced the Texans 38-22 on Halloween 2021, also in Woods’ final season with the Rams before being traded to the Tennessee Titans. Woods, though, saw a Houston team that was competitive for four quarters.
“Those guys over there had every reason to call it a day after we went up big on them, but they didn’t,” said Woods after the victory at NRG Stadium. “They kept competing, and when you see that as a player, you know what they are going through. You know that they are fighting for pride and dignity. If they keep that attitude during the rough times, they will be OK in the future.”
Turns out nearly two years after that meeting, Woods is officially a part of the future plans for the Texans new remodel.
Woods, 31, will be one of the elder wideouts in the room. He’s the only receiver who has spent more than a decade in the league on the Texans’ 2023 roster. But he’s joining a team that’s added Dalton Schultz via the Dallas Cowboys and drafted two receivers in Xavier Hutchinson (Iowa State) and local get Nathaniel “Tank” Dell (Houston). Of course, the Texans under Ryans’ direction were credited for having one of the more aggressive drafts on night one: drafting Stroud from Ohio State then trading to get the No. 3 slot to take Will Anderson Jr. out of Alabama.
Rams WR Earns ‘Underappreciated’ Label
A former teammate of Woods has been given this label by nfl.com: “Underappreciated.”
Written by analytics expert Cynthia Frelund on Thursday, Tutu Atwell was called the Rams’ most underappreciated player.
“In the Rams’ final eight games of 2022, Atwell played almost 63 percent of snaps, increasing his win share despite a slew of injuries across the offense, including at quarterback. According to Next Gen Stats, he posted the team’s four fastest speeds of the season as an offensive ball-carrier — and had the only four to top 20.5 mph,” Frelund wrote.
Atwell managed to get inserted more into the offense after losing his rookie season with a shoulder injury, then getting lost in the mix as Allen Robinson was inserted and Brandon Powell had more snaps. But, Atwell went on to finish the year catching a pass in the last eight games. He’s now one of the veterans in the WR room as the Rams have gone with a younger group of WRs outside of Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson.