FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ― The Saints’ coaches yelled for the “regular” defense to rush onto the field and Al Woods missed the message.
That sent defensive coordinator Gregg Williams into a screaming bout and yes, Woods got the hint.
He ran onto the field as quickly as the words came spewing out of Williams’ mouth.
It’s just another in the long line of lessons Woods is learning as a rookie with the Saints.
“I think things are going good,” Woods said. “I’m just a guy with an opportunity now just trying to get better and trying to help this football team. I’m trying to help this team anyway possible. That’s it. Right now, that’s all it is. “
Woods, a 6-foot-4, 307-pound defensive tackle out of LSU, was drafted to give the Saints depth on the interior of the front seven.
More than any other players, it’s the rookies who get the most out of weeks like the one the Saints are in the middle of, practicing against another team before a preseason game.
“I think we need this type of work as a rookie,” Woods said. “Any player that wants to get better, you see a different type of group and see what they’re capable of, what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at. You work off of that and learn and become better.”
While he hasn’t had any standout moments yet, he also hasn’t had any moments of pure misery.
In other words, so far so good for a rookie looking to make his mark and the roster. He said his head isn’t spinning from trying to learn Williams’ defense.
“No, we’ve narrowed it down to where it’s good,” Woods said. “I’ve learned it and I’m getting good at it now and just playing ball and doing what I’m supposed to do.”
Woods is listed as the third-team nose tackle right now behind Remi Ayodele and DeMario Pressley. But for now, the rookie isn’t worried about the depth chart for the time being.
“I’m just going when I’m called,” Woods said. “I’m enjoying it and taking it one day at a time and not taking a day for granted. Every day is a blessing. They could cut me at any time.”