Rams’ Robert Woods isn’t thrown off by changes in offense – Press Enterprise

Rams’ Robert Woods isn’t thrown off by changes in offense – Press Enterprise

So far this season, the Rams have been running more and passing less, relying more on their bargain backfield than their $100 million wide-receiver corps.

For any other receiver, that could mean frustration is in the air instead of footballs.

But not Robert Woods, who takes pride in being able to do more than catch the ball.

“Whatever it takes to win,” Woods said Wednesday as the Rams (4-2) began to get ready to host the Chicago Bears (5-1) on Monday night at SoFi Stadium. “I obviously want the ball in my hands, to find ways to make plays, to get it done in the air.

“That’s just how it’s been working out so far,” Wood said of the fact the Rams have been passing on fewer than half of their snaps for the first time in coach Sean McVay’s four years in L.A. “I’m just trying to keep it going, and hope the ball finds me the rest of the season.”

Woods has been the target of Jared Goff’s passes 6.8 times a game, the fewest in a season since he signed with the Rams as a free agent in 2017.

But the Gardena Serra High and USC alum has been able to contribute in other ways, as a ball carrier on the Rams’ jet sweeps and as the rare wide receiver who loves to block.

With 10 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown, he’s running the ball at a career-high rate and leads the league’s wide receivers in rushing yards through Week 6.

“We (receivers) want to be involved in the pass game,” Wood said. “But (I’m) not thinking of it. It’s still early on in the season. There’s a lot of games to be played, a lot of passes to be caught.”

Woods (27 catches, 329 yards, 3 touchdowns) is second among Rams receivers to Cooper Kupp (31, 374, 2). Taking high-percentage short passes from Goff, Woods and Kupp are in the top five in yards-after-catch among wide receivers. Woods also had the Rams’ most explosive play of the season on Goff’s deep pass for a 56-yard touchdown at Washington.

Kupp and Goff missed connections on a deep pass on third down that could have turned Sunday’s 24-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a game in which the Rams fell behind and had to throw more.

Woods’ prescription when the offense struggles: Keep throwing.

“Keep aggressive, keep putting it in the air, keep trying to make those plays that we do,” he advised. “Stay with our bread and butter.”

It makes sense to lean on one of the NFL’s top receiving duos, since the Rams invested in both in September, signing contract extensions for $65 million over four years (Woods) and $47.25 over three (Kupp).

But so far the bread and butter has been balance, handing off to Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers (combined contract value: $13.7 million), using the run to set up the pass.

Woods says when a receiver sees the offense struggle as it did against the 49ers, “you want the ball in your hands, you want to make plays.”

His opportunities should increase. But maybe not immediately. The Bears have one of the NFL’s toughest pass defenses.

Notes

The Rams said Wednesday that A’Shawn Robinson has been cleared to practice with the team. The ex-Lions defensive tackle, signed as a free agent in April, has been on the non-football injury list since a medical condition was found in a pre-training camp exam. Under NFL roster rules, Robinson can be activated anytime in the next 21 days. If he isn’t activated, he must go on season-ending injured reserve. …

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