Robert Woods watched his Rams teammates win a Super Bowl without him. Then the Rams signed his replacement and shipped him to Tennessee.
It would be understandable if the veteran wide receiver was a little bitter or slow to adjust to his new environment. Instead, Woods -- who was afforded the opportunity to help choose his new destination -- is feeling slightly impatient in his return from season-ending knee surgery.
"I actually feel like they're kind of holding me back a little bit," Woods said with a smile, via the team's official site. "I am trying to get back as well as I can, just doing everything (trainer) Todd Toriscelli has me doing, trying to stay focused and be patient with it. Right now I feel really, really good, getting going, being able to do some things.
"But really my main goal is to be ready, and be back in tip-top shape. I just want to be ready to go when it is time. It is a long season, and you have to be prepared to go every single game and be prepared to last and be explosive."
The man nicknamed "Bobby Trees" is about as consistent as they come, averaging 63 receptions per season and finishing with exactly 90 in both 2019 and 2020. He's gaining a steady 12.4 yards per reception over his nine professional seasons, and likely would have played an important role in Los Angeles' run to Super Bowl LVI had he been healthy enough to play.
The Titans hope Woods can play a similarly essential part in their offense, especially after the departures of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. Woods is certainly embracing the role of veteran leader, according to Titans general manager Jon Robinson, and could end up helping Tennessee's first-round selection, Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks, a whole lot in 2022.
"It's been fun to watch him work," Robinson said. "I looked out my window and they were doing some red zone stuff in Phase One and he's being the SAM linebacker, and he's showing the tight end, 'This is where the SAM is going to be in this coverage so you need to adjust your route and do this.'
"He's just a consummate pro, and he's everything we're about. He's helping our younger players and we're excited to see him on the field."
Tennessee has the pieces necessary to contend for the AFC South and perhaps beyond. Just last season, the Titans surprised the football world by earning the AFC's top seed before an even more shocking development -- the Bengals' sudden rise -- ended Tennessee's season after just one playoff game.
Woods has plenty of postseason experience and wisdom to share with his younger Titans teammates, but they're also largely familiar with the playoffs. That expectation to win is part of what convinced the 30-year-old to move to Nashville, where he sees the best situation for him at this point in his career.
"This is a great organization, that winning attitude," Woods said. "It's the mindset and attitude you want to be a part of, and you want to have that grit. … And, being a part of this community means a lot to me.
"I want to bring my attitude and my game to build on what they were already doing. … I wanted to be a part of that Tennessee Titans tradition."
Woods will hope to add a Super Bowl ring to that tradition -- only this time, he'll expect to be playing in the game.