If you met Tennessee Titans rookie nose tackle Antwaun Woods on a downtown street you might never guess he is an NFL players. Listed at 6'1" and 318 he is not a physically imposing presence like others on the teams roster, but that's not stopping him on the field.
The former USC Trojan, who was compared to his current Titans teammate Jurrell Casey because of their similar size and having shared the same college campus is making the most of his opportunity with the Titans,
Already running ahead of his defensive line mate and rookie second round pick Austin Johnson on the depth chart, it is clear that Woods is making his statement for inclusion on the defensive front this season. The real question is, who will he force out when the final cuts are announced on September, 3rd as the team's must get down to the 53 man season roster.
A soft spoken young man, Woods is not concerned with any of that, he's just working on getting better and continuing with what has brought him to this point.
"I'm just keeping a positive mindset and coming out every day and every game and just competing and trying to put a great resume together," said Woods. "Hopefully it works out for me."
While Woods was cautious in his words when asked about running ahead of Johnson, the smile on his face showed that he is perhaps more excited than his words might indicate.
Woods spoke of Casey and the help the veteran has given him through this process of training camp.
"He's just playing the vet role, you know," said Woods. "He's the older guy and we come form the same background of USC, we're both shorter guys so being like an older brother on the team and he's shown me the ropes and given me advice. He's always someone I can talk to who shares with me and helps me with the role I'm playing."
Woods was quick to point out his strengths and weaknesses as a young player in the NFL.
"Just being a tough nose tackle in the middle is my strength. Holding the point in the middle of the defense and being accountable to the team," said Woods. "And like any nose tackle, or most of them I need work on my pass rush and just getting better at rushing. I can help the team in that area by pushing the pocket."
There is still work to do for Woods to hold on and make this roster, but as a California native, he will get the chance to take another big step when he sees his next game action in his home state when the Titans face the Raiders in Oakland on Saturday.
"I'm definitely going to have my family driving up (from Los Angeles) and I have some family that's already in Oakland so I'm looking forward to having a great game and seeing my family," Woods said.