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Rams receiver Robert Woods says team has solid foundation for future

Rams receiver Robert Woods says team has solid foundation for future
Rams receiver Robert Woods makes a catch in front of Atlanta cornerback Desmond Trufant during the NFC wild card game on Jan. 6. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Robert Woods stood in the locker room at the Rams' training facility in Thousand Oaks on Sunday, watching a viral video of Washington State coach Mike Leach rambling about wedding planning.

Woods chuckled and shook his head as his eyes grew wider.

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Wedding planning will consume much of Woods' time since the season ended in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC wild-card playoff game on Saturday night.

"I'll have to forward this video to my fianceé," Woods said, smiling.

For what Woods is about to partake in, it can't possibly be more difficult than what he just accomplished.

Wood joined the Rams after they stumbled to a 4-12 finish in 2016, signing a five-year, $34-million free-agent contract.

In a remarkable turnaround, the team ended this season 11-6 under first-year coach Sean McVay, winning their first NFC West title since 2003 and making their first playoff appearance since 2004.

"It's a good start, a great start," Woods said. "But just keep building."

McVay signed Woods because he needed a dependable, sure-handed receiver and a veteran presence in the locker room.

Woods delivered.

The fifth-year pro elevated to a top target and provided leadership for younger teammates.

Woods caught 56 passes for 781 yards and five touchdowns, including a 94-yard touchdown reception in a victory over the Houston Texans and a 52-yard score in a win over the New York Giants.

"I'm always trying to be a No. 1 and make plays for the team and the quarterback," said Woods, who was sidelined three weeks because of a shoulder injury. "I really don't have any labels. It's just how I work and I work hard to be No. 1 every time."

As the team goes into the offseason, Woods expressed confidence that a foundation was in place for future success.

"Went to the playoffs. Got knocked out first round," Woods said. "But everybody has this feeling we want to work and get better.

"And it's just a start."

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The Los Angeles Times' Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry break down the Rams' season-ending loss to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC wild-card playoff game at the Coliseum.

Follow Lindsey Thiry on Facebook and Twitter @LindseyThiry

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