While others may see a glaring area of need, Logan Woodside sees the Tennessee Titans backup quarterback position as a golden opportunity for him to stick on an NFL roster.
Woodside has done plenty of bouncing around, spending last season on the Titans practice squad injured reserve list with an arm injury, and before that seeing time in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football in 2019 just after a brief previous stint on the Titans’ practice squad in 2018 and a training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals who spent a seventh-round pick on him.
Through all that, Woodside has yet to appear in an NFL regular-season game, still hoping to earn a spot on the Titans’ 53-man roster and be Tennessee’s primary backup to Ryan Tannehill. But persevering is something Woodside is used to, going all the way back to his high school days and then at the Universty of Toledo.
“I had to transfer high schools because I couldn’t be a quarterback. Then when I got to college, I got benched twice and was in a competition for two years and lost that battle and ended up redshirting in college and coming out of it and being pretty successful,” Woodside said. “This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this type of situation. I’ve just used those learning experiences to know that something has got to be better on the other side and that if you continue to work, good things will happen to you.”
Woodside’s big chance with the Titans this summer was supposed to be the preseason, but that has been scuttled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not to worry, said Woodside, who hopes that what he can show in practice will be enough to prevent Jon Robinson from ringing the phone of some veteran backup quarterback between now and Sept. 13.
“It was tough, but it was something that is out of my control. Now, I just have to treat practice like games,” Woodside said. “I think did I a good job of that last year and I’ll get opportunities whether that’s in the walk-throughs, in the meetings or on the practice. I just have to take advantage of it and use every day to get better and continue to work.”
Woodside had a solid preseason last year in Titans camp, and before that said that his experience in the AAF with the San Antonio Commanders helped prepare him for life as a professional quarterback.
“I took a lot out of that. It was really a great opportunity for me to go in and play against some really good competition. It was kind of like last year. I kind of compared it to the preseason games,” he said. “I had about eight games in the AAF and compared it to those preseason games. That’s about as real as it can get other than it being an official team. The speed of the game I got to pick up on, from college to the AAF to the preseason. I just kind of learned that way and it was very beneficial for me.”
Despite no off-season work in the NFL, Woodside likely scored some points with Robinson, Coach Mike Vrabel and Offensive Coordinator Arthur Smith when he stayed in Nashville this off-season and conducted informal workouts with teammates like Anthony Firkser, A.J. Brown and Adam Humphries among others.
“I think it was big for me. Me and my family stayed here in Nashville this whole off-season. I just took it upon myself to get some guys out there and get some work in, especially since we didn’t have that program. I think it can be very beneficial for us. I was excited to see that come to life and get going,” Woodside said.
Tannehill, who is firmly entrenched as the starter, likes what he is seeing from Woodside, who stayed attentive in meetings last year even after going on practice squad IR.
“He was here last year. He saw the way I prepared. We spend a lot of time together going through film study, going through how it works in practice, what we’re working through, what we’re working on, why we’re working on things. He’s very inquisitive,” Tannehill said. “Last year, he asked a lot of great questions and I feel like grew a lot, even though he wasn’t out there practicing with us since he was on IR. Really he wasn’t on the field, but I felt like he really got a lot out of last year and so far he’s carrying that into 2020.”