When the Tennessee Titans signed former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Al Woods to a 2 year $5 million dollar contract I thought at the time it was a good signing. I am finally getting a chance to take an indepth look at him and the more I look the more excited I get.
Woods is a versatile lineman who can play all three positions on a 3-4 defensive line. He has also played both inside spots in a 4-3 defense. With no true nose tackle on the roster, Woods will likely be the favorite to play nose tackle absent another candidate emerging.
At 6′ 4″ 304 pounds, Woods brings size in addition to versatility to the Titans defensive line. a 4th round pick out of LSU in the 2010 draft by the New Orleans Saints, he spent his first season with Tampa Bay, his second with the Seattle Seahawks and the past 2 years with the Steelers. the He is known for being a run stopped but he has been used equally effected in pass rush. In fact, the research indicates he has split names almost evenly between run defense and pass rushing.
Woods stats aren’t all that impressive but you have to consider them in context. He only played around 20% of the defensive snaps most of his career. The only exception was in 2012 when he only played 5% of the defensive snaps. His limited playing time makes it hard to get a trend, but it’s good news for the Titans that his best year was in 2013 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played all 16 games and his most defensive snaps ever at 223.
In his career, Woods has played 39 games (411 defensive snaps) with 38 tackles (22 solo), 1 quarterback hit, 2 quarterback hurries, 2 batted passes and 20 defensive stops. In 2013 alone, he had 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 quarterback hit, 1 quarterback hurry, 2 batted passes and 10 defensive stops. He has 3 missed tackles in his career.
It was reported the Steelers wanted Woods to return but I was told playing time was an issue and he felt he would get a better shot with the Titans. They surely need the versatility and he fits a very real need at nose tackle. This was a very good signing for the Titans and hopefully the upswing in his production continues.