Robert Woods is experiencing a little déjà vu.
The last time the Los Angeles Rams made it to the Super Bowl after the 2018 season, they were the favorites to reach the NFL championship game.
That season running back Todd Gurley served as the engine of L.A.’s offense.
This offseason after making a blockbuster trade for franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Rams are oddsmakers’ favorites to represent NFC in the big game, which is why L.A.’s 29-year-old receiver is talking Super Bowl again.
“Last time were picked to go to the Super Bowl, we went. So, I think that’s a good thing,” Woods said. “Right now, obviously it’s just talk, goals and potential. But you see all the weapons that we have on offense. On defense, a lot of the guys are coming back, and guys are even stepping in to make plays this year.
“We’re a loaded team. We have all the parts. We have all the pieces to get to where we need to go. Now, it’s all on the players and the coaches. Get our wins, finish games and protect the ball -- all these things. We have the players, now we just have to put it together correctly.”
One of those new players is fellow Los Angeles native receiver DeSean Jackson. Woods said he grew up watching Jackson play at Long Beach-Poly high school because his cousin Alex Watson played on the same team.
Now, he’ll be sharing the huddle with Jackson.
“Getting into the league and having that L.A. connection, we’ve always spoke, always just called up and asked how the family is doing,” Woods said about Jackson. “And now actually being on the same team, I think it’s super cool with someone who you watched growing up in his football career as well, and now he’s on my same team in L.A.”
With the NFL expanding the options for numbers that receivers can wear, Woods went back to No. 2, something he’s worn since youth football.
“It was a huge opportunity to switch over to a number I’ve worn since the beginning of football for me in Carson Colts days,” Woods said. “It’s a number I’ve worn at every level. And having a chance to wear it at this level is super special, here in L.A. in my hometown.”
Woods said the past week at organized team activities has been an opportunity to get some work in with Stafford, whose addition is one of the main reasons NFL prognosticators are picking the Rams to reach the Super Bowl for the upcoming season hosted in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium.
“His throwing is on point,” Woods said about working with Stafford. “He’s able to deliver the ball very well. And I think from now leading up to the season, we’ll be throwing with and connecting with him leading up to Game 1.
“He’s veteran quarterback and really honing-in on picking up the offense very fast because we all have plans. We need him to learn it and be ready to go right away.”
Woods went on to say that Stafford has done a good job of listening to him and other receivers, trying to figure out where they like the ball on specific routes to help build chemistry and rhythm within the offense.
With so many weapons on offense, Stafford will have a bevy of options on where to go with the football.
Over the last three seasons, Woods has averaged 89 receptions for 1,096 receiving yards and six total touchdowns a year. So, the USC product isn’t concerned about ball distribution; he knows he’ll get his touches.
“I know there’s a lot of guys where the ball needs to go, and they may want their touches,” Woods said. “But my job is to be an open target, so I take care of what I can and try to be an open target for Matthew.
“I take pride in that, every single route being an open option for the quarterback. And we’ll go from there.”