Los Angeles native Robert Woods grateful for opportunity to remain home 

Between youth football with the Carson Colts, high school football at Serra High School, college football at USC, and his NFL tenure with the Rams, wide receiver Robert Woods is an Angelino through and through.

Following the signing of his contract extension on Saturday, he'll get a chance to continue writing that fourth chapter.

"Thank you to everyone in the Rams organization, especially (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke," Woods said after the Rams' victory over the Eagles on Sunday. "Happy to be here producing, and keep doing it for an extra four years."

Since returning to Los Angeles in 2017, when he originally signed with the Rams as a free agent, Woods has established himself as a complete wide receiver in their offense.

He throws blocks to open up big plays in the run game and the passing game, too. He's highly effective with the ball in his hands, both on end-arounds (7.4 yards per carry, including a five-yard touchdown on a reverse against the Eagles) and after the catch (90 of his 105 receiving yards against the Cowboys in Week 1).

Quarterback Jared Goff was entering his second season with the Rams and first as the full-time starter when Woods first joined the organization. Discussing their connection in early August, Goff told reporters the best way to describe Woods is that he's "a friendly target."

"It's easy to throw to him," Goff said on Aug. 3. "And a lot of guys, it's not a knock on some guys, but some guys are not easy to throw to. They're either too fast or too small, or whatever. Robert's just got that good feel about him. You'll watch him this year and the way he's able to speed up and slow down to adjust to the football, it's a quarterback's dream. He's been incredible for me, and I can expect that to continue."

Other teammates have noticed his selfless demeanor.

Asked by a reporter what makes Woods a "good, if not great receiver" prior to Woods officially signing his contract, cornerback Jalen Ramsey simply said: "I mean, we can go and just turn on the film from Week 1 and look at his production Week 1." Ramsey also said he hoped the deal would get done.

"He's been doing that all throughout camp," Ramsey said. "He's been pushing us as much as we've been pushing him to be great. He's a key part of that offense and a key part of this team, even as a leader."

That leadership is exemplified by being named a Rams team captain for the first time this year, and in other ways.

For example, in training camp last month, wide receiver Cooper Kupp said he's learned more from Woods than any other receiver. One of the biggest reasons why is Woods' willingness to share as the two built trust.

"We'll ask questions and there's never feelings like we need to know more than the other guy," Kupp said on Aug. 7. "We always want to learn."

Naturally, Kupp was among those to congratulate Woods on social media.

In the community, Woods has partnered with Rock the Vote ahead of this year's election to empower the youth and make their voice heard.

Like everything else, how he carries out those plans will be impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but he remains committed to the cause. Right now, Woods is thinking about how he can help people vote in a safe way.

"I've got to talk with the team, see whether we do something with some mail-in ballots, make sure people are getting their votes in, mailing them in or hand-delivering them. But making sure everybody's votes are getting in. I saw some stuff (about) people's signatures being voided, but just making sure everybody gets their voice in, (and that) their voice counts."

Knowing Woods' production, as well as his leadership on and off the field, Rams head coach Sean McVay made it known last week he wanted Woods to be part of the team's long-term plans.

"We want to get him extended too," McVay said. "He's a huge part of what we're doing. So, that's something that, I think, is definitely important."

Woods, in turn, is eager to reciprocate the organization's faith in him.

"Thank you to the entire Rams organization for believing in me and giving me this incredible opportunity. I won't let you down," Woods said in a statement published to his personal Twitter account. "Rams fans, I'm going to do everything I can to help bring a championship to Los Angeles. Let's go!"

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