By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It a new year for the Los Angeles Rams and veteran wide receiver Robert Woods. He and the Rams are trying to bounce back from a 9-7 season that wasn’t good enough to make the playoffs. The 2018 squad was second in the NFL when they averaged 32 points a game good enough to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. The former Serra High and USC All-American led the team in receptions with 86 for 1,219 yards and six touchdowns.
In 2019 he had 90 catches for 1,134 yards and two TD’s. One thing about Woods is his growth and consistency. Since being drafted in 2013 second round by the Buffalo Bills you can see the stats rise annually. He averaged 52 catches a year with a high of 65 in 2014. His first three seasons with the Rams he had 5,686 and a career high 90 catches in 2019 that included career highs of 13 catches and 173 receiving yards against the Arizona Cardinals.
The departure of Todd Gurley has placed the offensive load on he and Cooper Kupp. The two have quickly become one of the top tandems in the league. In 2017 Kupp caught 62 passes for 869 yards and 5 scores in an injury shortened 2018 eight game season he had 40 catches for six TD’s and in 2019 he and Woods were one-two on the team in receptions 94 and yards 1,161 giving the Rams two 1,000 yards receivers.
“Since he’s come back from his injury he’s come back very determined and very strong, stronger than before,” said Woods.” Not only do we want to do what we did last year but be even more dominant in the passing game and running game.”
In this COVID-19 era with gyms and several facilities shutdown the two struggled to find places to workout at times and other times they were evicted and didn’t try using “The RAM Card.” They we part of a group of athletes all around the state trying to get prepped for the season.
“I really tried to bounce around from high school to high school-track to track get some work in before we got kicked off the field. Really just trying to get workouts in trying to utilize the community and find some hills and work on the drive phase to try and break tackles.”
There have been some equipment changes that have occurred. Some players will be wearing shields which stop the passing of droplets but will assist in air flow. “I have seen some of the helmets in there with full face shields. We’ll see how it goes, obviously you’re out there running putting in the work and you want to be able to breathe.”
Another thing that different will be the lack of fans. Being local his parents Robert II and mother Carolyn love watching him play live. This year at least now with no fans allowed who knows how that will effect him and other players.