Woods, also known as “Bobby Trees,” was the beloved local star from both Serra High in nearby Gardena (which had a coach watch the Saturday, July 30 practice held at UC Irvine) and from USC. He was also part of the foundation McVay helped create which ultimately got other Rams, including a future third round selection named Cooper Kupp, to follow Woods’ lead.
Woods wasn’t just known for his crisp routes, but for handling the high concentration grabs. Outside of route patterns and catches, Woods was a valuable locker room presence who not only gave vocal motivation, but showed a technical aspect on the field that carried over to the younger Rams.
But now, Allen Robinson has entered the picture for this camp — with the intent of becoming a taller, more physical option.
Yet, are there any characteristics that make “A-Rob” comparable to the Rams’ former No. 2 wideout? More so, is “A-Rob” already filling the “void” left behind by Woods?
McVay Dives Into Question of if Both Are Similar
Robinson was clearly brought in to give the Rams a more physical upgrade for an offense looking to improve their production in the contested grabs category, plus become the second option to the league’s leader in all three major receiving categories last season Kupp.
But has “A-Rob” already filled the void that “Bobby Trees” bequeathed?
“Robert was such a stud,” McVay began in answering that question following that Saturday session. “He was such a foundational piece of what we were able to do from ’17 all the way through last year. Forever grateful for the time I’ve had with Robert and as a competitor, he’s as good as can get.”
But, “Allen is a great player. They’re very different, but they’re both great football players in their own right. I think Allen and Cooper both, positively, pour into one another.”
How Robinson Has Won Over the “Rams House”
All it took was two plays for Robinson to deliver the first uproarious cheers from the “Rams House” who filled UC Irvine’s Crawford Field on “back Together Saturday.”
First one: A diving scoop where “A-Rob” had to stretch himself toward the sideline. The second? A red zone touchdown with two DBs sandwiching Robinson. But plays like that speak to what the Rams are anticipating from the former Chicago Bear and Jacksonville Jaguar: The contested grabs. McVay, though, said Robinson is a polished route runner outside of making those high-concentration grabs.
“You know he can run a bunch of different type of routes down there,” McVay said. “You saw there was a great job from Matthew (Stafford) working through a progression. And a big, strong and physical guy working across the back of the end zone (is there). You talk about big catch radius where it doesn’t even feel like he has to leave the ground or be right around that goal post and the aggressive hands. All things you want to do as a receiver with his body control and ability to create separation and aggressively tackle the football, that’s Allen.”
If there is anything that Robinson has picked up, it’s the lead-by-example side of him…a similar trait that made Woods revered inside the “Rams House.” McVay has began to see how the younger wideouts are learning from Robinson’s work ethic.
“I think so. I think there comes a natural respect based on his production and experience in his league whether if he was going in his first year with the Rams or when you look at the experience he had with Jacksonville and Chicago. But Allen, in a lot of instances, I think our best leaders show better than anything they have to say,” McVay said.
Another words, as McVay put it, it’s “I see better than I hear. And I think the way he goes about his daily rhythm and process exhibits the leadership we’re looking for. I definitely see him really communicating with a lot of those younger guys, which is exactly what we want.”