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Posted: Saturday, 11 May 2013 5:00PM

WR Woods settling in with Bills



Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550)  -- When the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft concluded, the Buffalo Bills looked at their board and saw a pair of wide receivers still out there that they were targeting for the next round of picks.

With one already off the board by the time it was the Bills' selection, the decision was easy for the team. Seeing all the potential that he had leading up to this past college football season, Buffalo made USC's Robert Woods their second pick in the draft at 41st overall.

There are rather lofty expectations for Woods, who at one time in the pre-draft process was thought to be a first-round pick. The Bills have said publicly how NFL ready Woods is, which leads some to believe he factors firmly in to the conversation to be the starter opposite Stevie Johnson.

That decision is still way down the line, but Woods is getting his feet wet with professional football for the first time this weekend at Bills rookie mini-camp.

"Right now it's just trying to catch the pace and the rhythm and keep it going," Woods said with his workman-like approach to the initial sessions. "Right now we're just setting the fundamentals of the game. It's going to get different when the whole team comes back."

The team's draft, especially at wide receiver, has been noted for it's added speed to attempt to push the tempo. Having 4.4 speed himself, Woods knows that's the name of the game in Buffalo.

"That's what we're trying to do in this offense is play fast," he remarked. "That forces the defense to play fast. Trying to have a fast-paced offense, just keep things moving, staying low. The defense haste react to that, respond to that so we set the tone."

The speed is evident anywhere you look on the field at the rookie mini-camp. Whether it be at wide receiver, safety, linebacker, cornerback and even quarterback, the Bills seem to have an agenda they're attempting to push on their opponents in 2013 and beyond.

Woods benefits a tad by getting a three-day jump on working with first-round pick and quarterback EJ Manuel, and the wideout says the two have been working quite well together.

"Chemistry, I think we started off pretty good," he said. "He's already a good friend, but out here we're just working now, getting it done on the field. I think we had a good start."

Woods had a pretty impressive quarterback to work with throughout his time at USC. Matt Barkley was one of the most high-profile passers in all of college football and became a fourth-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles.

With Manuel, though, the ball jumps off his hand just a bit quicker than it did with Barkley. Woods has taken notice of Manuel's overall abilities.

"EJ is a great quarterback. Strong arm, great posture in the huddle and on the field," he said. "He's definitely leading this offense so far. It's only the rookies out here, but it's a great start by so far what he's doing."

Woods stood out in his first day of work with his overall polish and route-running. He and the Bills' rookies have one more day of mini-camp on Sunday before being joined by the rest of the team. Monday marks the start of the team's first organized team activity session, which is voluntary for all players. The only player that did not attend the pre-draft voluntary veteran mini-camp was franchised safety Jairus Byrd. 

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP
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Locations : Buffalo
People : Matt BarkleyRobert WoodsStevie Johnson
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