Robert Woods embracing competition in Titans’ WR group

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Despite many of the veterans on the roster absent from voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Tennessee Titans wide receiver Robert Woods felt that it was important to connect with his teammates while also getting up to speed.

“Just getting acclimated. If I’m going to be here, I might as well be out here. It’s my first year with the team, being able to pick up this offense as fast as I can so that when I’m ready to go I can go,” Woods said after Wednesday’s open session.

The 30-year-old continues to work his way back from ACL surgery, and he’s looked impressive in practice thus far.

Of course, when Tennessee acquired Woods from the Los Angeles Rams, he was expected to be the No. 2 receiver, replacing veteran wide receiver Julio Jones. Instead, Woods is looking at filling the No. 1 receiver void after A.J. Brown was dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2022 NFL draft.

Woods was asked if his role with the team has changed since Brown was traded.

“I’m trying to be the most dominant receiver. Obviously, I’m always competing, as every player should. We have to compete and be at a high level. A.J. (Brown), he got traded, now my competition is Treylon (Burks) and all these other receivers,” Woods said of the situation. “We need to compete — I know I’m a veteran and he’s a rookie — but I need him to compete with me so I can better myself. That’s how you really become good is the competition all around and that’s how you keep guys playing at an elite level.”

Prior to his injury-shortened year, Woods put up 1,000-yard campaigns in 2018 and 2019 before falling just short of the mark in 2020.

He’s entering a similar situation to when he first arrived in Los Angeles, when. Woods was acquired by the Rams to reshape the wide receiver corps. The same year, Los Angeles drafted a promising young receiver in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft in Cooper Kupp.

The duo developed into one of the better wide receiver pairs in the National Football League as a result of both Woods and Kupp pushing each other to play at a higher level.

Woods will look to develop the same connection with Titans first-round pick Treylon Burks. The Arkansas wideout has gotten off to a rough start in Nashville laboring through parts of rookie mini-camp and OTAs.

That said, he’s continued to look better each and every time he’s stepped on the field.

Despite the team limiting what he can do in OTAs, Woods has taken Burks under his wing while offering advice on how he can prepare for his rookie campaign.

“It’s the NFL, it’s the highest level of football,” Woods said. “It’s not going to be easy for any rookie to just pick up, especially this offense that we run. It’s a lot of learning, a lot of studying; that’s what I tell him, ‘Make sure to stay in your playbook. Play fast. You’re going to make mistakes, as long as you make them full speed, we just need you going.’ … Great player, great athlete, we’re going need a lot from [Treylon Burks] this season.”

The veteran wideout understands that while Burks is a rookie, his development and success on the field is critical to the Titans’ success in 2022 as well.

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