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Robert Woods slated for slot role with Buffalo Bills

In 2013, the Buffalo Bills utilized Stevie Johnson mostly from the slot, where the shifty receiver could frustrate cornerbacks with his herky-jerky style.

The team felt comfortable shipping Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers during the NFL draft because they believe second-year wideout Robert Woods can step right into that role.

"We felt very comfortable with him being able to play the slot and be very successful there," coach Doug Marrone said of Woods, per The Buffalo News.

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Woods finished his rookie season with 40 catches for 587 yards and three touchdowns. He is coming off offseason ankle surgery and participated only lightly in last week's OTAs.

The 22-year-old receiver is expected to be the No. 2 receiver and play the slot in three-receiver sets, with rookie Sammy Watkins and newly acquired Mike Williams on the outside.

"That feels pretty good. I'm confident in my game, what I can do. It's a great thing that the organization thinks highly of me from that standpoint, but I'm just here to play my game," Woods said. "I'm not trying to fill Stevie's shoes, I'm just trying to do what I can do. Getting open, catching the rock, and just making some plays -- being a playmaker for this team."

Woods estimated he spent about 30 percent of his college career playing the slot, according to The Buffalo News. Woods is a much more fluid route-runner than Johnson and believes playing in the slot can increase his production in the Bills' offense.

"I feel good about it. I mean, it's just another way to, I would say, get myself the ball. Playing inside, you're closer to the quarterback, an easier target," he said. "There's a lot more traffic, bigger guys, and it's easier to get double-teamed, but there are a lot more plays for the inside receiver."

The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down the news and examines developments from the first week of OTAs.

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