When Danny Woodhead was signed by the Patriots the day before the Jets game, all anyone could think of was that Bill Belichick was getting one up on Rex Ryan, who signed former Patriot QB Kevin O’Connell and made him an honorary captain before they played the Pats last season. However, it appears that Belichick has more planned for the diminutive running back/wide receiver. Woodhead stuck through last week, thanks in part to Kevin Faulk’s season-ending ACL injury. On Saturday, I posted a short spotlight on Woodhead, including a highlight video from his preseason work with the Jets. Then on Sunday against the Bills, he made his own highlights. Woodhead ran for 42 yards on only 3 carries and a touchdown, which was the Patriots’ first rushing touchdown of the season. Now, everyone in New England has got “Woodhead Fever.”
The Boston Herald did a pretty good piece on Woodhead, talking about his sports background and his collegiate career at Division 2 Chadron State in Nebraska. Apparently, Woodhead is one of those athletes who excels at any sport he tries. βWith Danny, any ball he touches turns to gold,” said Mark Woodhead, Danny’s father. “Football, basketball, soccer, golf, thatβs just him.β Woodhead certainly was gold in the three plays he had in th eBills game. What we saw was a fast, shifty player who can hide behind blockers before breaking away. Part of his appeal is his size. He is listed at 5’9″, which most feel is a bit of a stretch. Judging from my experience when I worked at Gillette Stadium and was in close proximity to the players, the listed heights are in many cases a stretch. I remember Tyrone Poole and Kevin Faulk in particular appearing to be about the same size as me, or maybe a hair taller, and I’m only 5’8″. (Sidenote: Willie McGinest looked all of his 6-5 and Vince Wilfork is a WIIIIIIIDE dude!) I can’t imagine how tall Woodhead truly is.
The hope in New England is that Woodhead can bring an explosive element to the offense’s backfield and help fill the void created by Kevin Faulk’s absence. Everyone loves the underdog, and that’s Danny Woodhead personified. Every time he touches the ball, the fans will get excited, and if last Sunday was any indication, he will gives fans reason to.