The Detroit Lions are losing their special teams captain as linebacker Josh Woods has agreed to a 1-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals.
Woods quietly had a dominating year on special teams for the Lions, registering 322 special teams snaps (3rd most on the team) and earning a PFF special teams grade of 90.9, which was the fourth highest grade in the NFL amongst players with at least 100 snaps and was eighth regardless of snap count.
Despite being just 26 years old, the safety turned linebacker was not only a solid week-to-week contributor, but he was also a vocal leader on special teams.
“He’s really kind of an emotional leader for us, so just in the huddle,” Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said. “Like there was a moment in that (Jaguars) game where I was about to jump in the huddle and start talking to the players or whatever, but I heard him talking to the guys, and he was saying all the things I was about to say. And that’s really how you want it as a coach, or that’s how I would prefer it, is you really want the leadership to come from within, and those guys to feel like it’s really theirs.”
The Lions currently have five linebackers under contract—typically they carry six into the season, with three being primarily special teams contributors—so it’s safe to assume the Lions will be looking to add more depth to the position.
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