Back in his hometown of Los Angeles, Robert Woods is wasting no time settling in and stirring things up.
Woods signed a big-time five-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams in free agency following a promising four-year stint in Buffalo. The former USC Trojan filled the void left by the departing Kenny Britt and Brian Quick, joining a receiving corps paced by Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper and rookie Cooper Kupp.
But with Austin notably absent from workouts this week while recovering from wrist surgery, Woods had a chance to run with the ones, an opportunity on which he hopes to capitalize.
“I always come in attacking the season trying to be the No. 1 receiver,” Woods told reporters, per The Los Angeles Times.
Woods might be paid like Los Angeles’ top receiver, but Austin, since being drafted by the team in 2013, has been expected to be that guy. Austin even recently earned a new contract of his own, signing a four-year, $42 million extension in 2016.
However, under the new Sean McVay regime, roles could change. With Jeff Fisher on the sidelines, the 5-foot-8 Austin was often used more as a gadget guy than a go-to, 10-catch-a-game top target. In fact, the former top-10 selection has yet to record a season with over 510 receiving yards. Woods, on the other hand, has outpaced Austin’s receiving production by 809 yards over the same four-year span.
Might Woods make the leap over Austin in the depth chart? (For what it’s worth, Jared Goff gave a glowing review Monday of his newest addition, saying, “He’s been great. He’s been more than I could have really expected, honestly.”)
With the season a distant three months and change away, anything, including a Hollywood Wally Pipping, is possible.