Like most players around the league, Rams wide receiver Robert Woods was ready for a break after the 2017 season.
"I feel like you have to," Woods said recently. "It's a long season, you put in the work. We made it to the playoffs, had a tough loss at the end. I mean, you think about it for a while."
So the fifth-year pro took some much-needed time off, travelling to Miami with his fiancée and spending a few weeks away from the game.
"You've got to let it go and to refresh your mind, [so you] come back ready to work. Fresh mind, fresh legs, fresh year," he said.
But last week it was back to business. Woods got a head start to the team's offseason program — which commenced on Monday — by meeting up with fellow teammates like wide receiver Cooper Kupp, tight end Tyler Higbee, and quarterback Jared Goff. The group worked out together at a local high school.
By putting in work early on, the USC product is hopeful the unit can pick up right where they left off last season.
"Last week, seeing the guy all together, you're seeing everybody come together as a group," he said. "For me, it looked like we didn't miss a beat. I think it gives us an advantage just to come in already knowing some of the plays, so when we do get to OTAs it's not like Day 1 for us. We already have a rhythm down, so we're not starting back at ground zero."
But not all of those present at offseason workouts are as familiar with the Rams scheme. During free agency, the
club picked up wide receiver Brandin Cooks via trade, while bolstering the secondary with cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib.
The new duo in the secondary will provide a challenge for Woods and the rest of the team's receivers during practice, something the wideout said he's looking forward to.
"For us, we get to go against those guys every day," he said. "We're going to improve in our receiver room going against that kind of talent, going against guys who go after the ball and play throughout the whistle, play until the whistle is done."
And while the heightened competition in practice will admittedly benefit the team long term, Woods understands that the Rams will need to take a one-day-at-a-time approach to the offseason — with the ultimate goal of building on the foundation set in 2017 and gearing up for training camp.
"It's Day 1, there's a lot of work to be done before the season. We've got a lot of new faces in the room, on the team. But same mindset, same goal — put in the work," Woods said. "Right now, just get better each day, be ready physically and mentally, grasp the offense, grasp the defense."
"Our thing is just competing," he continued. "We love working. We love competing. Come August, you become a team then. Right now, we're challenging, pushing, getting guys to be better."
Check out photos from day two of offseason workouts for the Los Angeles Rams.