NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Veteran wide Robert Woods and sophomore cornerback Caleb Farley are the Tennessee Titans’ version of iron sharpens iron.
Each suffered a torn left ACL last year. Farley’s injury happened on October 18 and Woods’ injury happened on November 13, so their recovery times are similar.
Woods and Farley began their offseason recovery process together shortly after the Titans sent a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for Woods in March. Their mutual presence on the way back to the field was a mutually beneficial experience.
“We’re both hungry,” Farley said. “We have to push each other in the offseason, working with each other. It’s pretty cool to have someone to walk through fire with.”
Woods added: “Our injury timeline was around the same time when I came in and rehabilitated, so we were still doing the same exercises and then even challenging each other in the weight room.”
Their collaboration did not stop there. Woods had his eye on a ramp that connects the first and second levels of the Saint Thomas Sports Park parking lot, where the team passes through training camp.
Todd Toriscelli, director of sports medicine for the Titans, gave the go-ahead for Woods to run the hill, providing another opportunity to compete with Farley. They ran the hill once a week, pushing each other and sharing feedback on what helped or hurt their knees in the process.
At 30, Woods is relishing the opportunity to compete with a younger teammate like 23-year-old Farley. Farley’s presence helps him stay young.
“Caleb is a resource for me,” Woods said. “He’s young, talented, strong, fast, quick. He’s someone I can work with and feed off of him. Being able to run hills, having someone next to me, being able to compete .”
Farley pointed to veteran advice when asked how Woods helped him.
“Just to have this guy there to help me out this offseason; talking about football has been a huge thing for me,” Farley said. “It’s definitely a luxury. Robert Woods is a great teammate. It’s been a blessing for me to be around a guy like him to watch and learn from.”
Most of the advice Farley referenced has come since the two returned to the field for OTAs and minicamp. Farley and Woods were then limited participants and trained with knee braces, but now they face off in training camp without them.
They don’t yet participate in one-on-one periods that pit receivers running full-speed runs against defensive backs, but they’re still finding ways to improve by getting their own one-on-one work. .
Woods works on his outings off the line of scrimmage and up the road as Farley tries to match his moves.
“There are certain things that we keep them away from,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “They were able, when we’re doing these drills, to go out there and find ways to work for a few minutes with each other, which is kind of nice. They’re both going through the same process, and they’re positions mirrored.”
Woods is known for his sharp road racing, so it’s a great learning experience for Farley. The 6-foot-3 Farley features a combination of height and speed that rivals any cornerback Woods will face this season.
They’ve been up against a few times in team and 7-on-7 periods so far. Farley showed sticky coverage on some routes, forcing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to choose other options.
However, Woods used his seasoned veteran ways to get the best of Farley when he delivered a deep pass from Tannehill during a recent drive, despite Farley being able to play on the ball.
The Titans are counting on Woods to make those kinds of plays on Sundays as he helps guide a young group of receivers in their quest to develop a powerful passing offense without AJ Brown, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in April. . They will also rely on Farley to play a starting role at cornerback and help their pass defense.