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Whatever Happened to Danny Woodhead?

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  • Scott Sheaffer
    Anyone else remember the season Danny Woodhead had last year? 97 carries for 547 rushing yards and 34 catches for another 379 yards. That s 926 yards of
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 2, 2011
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      Anyone else remember the season Danny Woodhead had last year? 97 carries for 547 rushing yards and 34 catches for another 379 yards. That's 926 yards of offense. He also brought some intangibles to the table. Stat guys can scoff all they want, but Woodhead had a knack for making things happen, allowing the offense to stay on the field when they might be punting otherwise. He's a quick, elusive player who often shows surprising power for his size. Aaron Hernandez is known as a matchup nightmare, but Woodhead also created some matchup problems. Woodhead arrived in week two and quickly picked up the offense. Sometimes he'd get overpowered in pass blocking just like Kevin Faulk sometimes did, but he also made his share of good blocks also like Kevin Faulk.

      One difference between the 2010 Patriots' offense and the 2009 offense is that it was a lot less predictable. 2009 was pretty much Welker, Moss, and then not much else for defenses to worry about. In 2010, there was more for defenses to focus on. There were more receivers that could hurt a defense if they game planned to take one or two guys away. The running game was better. In short, the offense was more diversified. Part of this was the use of more two tight end formations with Hernandez and Gronkowski; part of it was less shotgun, and part of it was having a guy like Woodhead who was equally adept at both running and catching the ball.

      Does anyone remember that Woodhead started this season pretty much where he left off last year? Then came the fatal play when, with New England leading Buffalo 21-7, Woodhead reached back trying to catch a pass thrown behind him, was unable to pull it in, and instead batted the ball up which allowed it to be intercepted. Woodhead only got four more touches for the rest of the game, all during a third quarter scoring drive. Since then, he's slipped into near oblivion on offense. Yes, he was hurt and missed one game, but he's been back for a few weeks now and against Pittsburgh the Pats didn't go to Woodhead once on offense.

      This season, Woodhead has 30 carries for 122 yards and 8 catches for 63 yards. That's a combined 38 touches for 185 yards. Of those 38 touches, 30 came in the first three games (Buffalo was Game 3). Woodhead's only gotten 8 touches since. (By contrast, Faulk had 11 touches in the loss to Pittsburgh.) If you exclude the game Woodhead missed, that's still less than 3 touches a game. Two of those touches came on New England's game winning drive against Dallas when Woodhead provided 22 of the 80 yards the Pats needed to get into the end zone and take the lead. (That's 2 more yards than Faulk got on his 5 catches against Pittsburgh.)

      This team, this offense is better with Woodhead in the game plan. The guy is a playmaker. Start giving him the ball more.

      Scott Sheaffer
    • Randy Pierce
      I have no argument for this Scott. I had thought maybe it was injury related but I think it is more a lack of getting him involved again. It could be some game
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 2, 2011
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        I have no argument for this Scott. I had thought maybe it was injury related but I think it is more a lack of getting him involved again. It could be some game planning as his numbers are down in performance but I’d love to find out and worry that our younger, quicker version of Kevin Faulk may get inappropriately put in the reduced work load camp when we most need him ramping up that work load.

         

        Pats tried to run Benny early against Pittsburgh but always out of the three TE look that advertised it was coming. I think the 2 WR, 2 TE and 1 RB is our best run formation for non short yardage situations.

         

        Go Pats!

        Randy/Zip

        www.2020visionquest.org

         

      • Mark Morse
        I agree with you Scott.  I thought they re-discovered Woodhead in that final drive against Dallas.  Faulk came in (I believe because he is a veteran and
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 2, 2011
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          I agree with you Scott.  I thought they re-discovered Woodhead in that final drive against Dallas.  Faulk came in (I believe because he is a veteran and better at picking up the blitz) and did nothing.  Pittsburgh didn't blitz and Faulk looked bery slow (rusty).
           
          Mark Morse
          Razor's Edge Tailgate Patriots Fangroup
          http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RazorsEdgeTailgate/
          From: Scott Sheaffer <kmacalp@...>
          To: patriotzip@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 4:54 AM
          Subject: [patriotzip] Whatever Happened to Danny Woodhead?

           
          Anyone else remember the season Danny Woodhead had last year? 97 carries for 547 rushing yards and 34 catches for another 379 yards. That's 926 yards of offense. He also brought some intangibles to the table. Stat guys can scoff all they want, but Woodhead had a knack for making things happen, allowing the offense to stay on the field when they might be punting otherwise. He's a quick, elusive player who often shows surprising power for his size. Aaron Hernandez is known as a matchup nightmare, but Woodhead also created some matchup problems. Woodhead arrived in week two and quickly picked up the offense. Sometimes he'd get overpowered in pass blocking just like Kevin Faulk sometimes did, but he also made his share of good blocks also like Kevin Faulk.

          One difference between the 2010 Patriots' offense and the 2009 offense is that it was a lot less predictable. 2009 was pretty much Welker, Moss, and then not much else for defenses to worry about. In 2010, there was more for defenses to focus on. There were more receivers that could hurt a defense if they game planned to take one or two guys away. The running game was better. In short, the offense was more diversified. Part of this was the use of more two tight end formations with Hernandez and Gronkowski; part of it was less shotgun, and part of it was having a guy like Woodhead who was equally adept at both running and catching the ball.

          Does anyone remember that Woodhead started this season pretty much where he left off last year? Then came the fatal play when, with New England leading Buffalo 21-7, Woodhead reached back trying to catch a pass thrown behind him, was unable to pull it in, and instead batted the ball up which allowed it to be intercepted. Woodhead only got four more touches for the rest of the game, all during a third quarter scoring drive. Since then, he's slipped into near oblivion on offense. Yes, he was hurt and missed one game, but he's been back for a few weeks now and against Pittsburgh the Pats didn't go to Woodhead once on offense.

          This season, Woodhead has 30 carries for 122 yards and 8 catches for 63 yards. That's a combined 38 touches for 185 yards. Of those 38 touches, 30 came in the first three games (Buffalo was Game 3). Woodhead's only gotten 8 touches since. (By contrast, Faulk had 11 touches in the loss to Pittsburgh.) If you exclude the game Woodhead missed, that's still less than 3 touches a game. Two of those touches came on New England's game winning drive against Dallas when Woodhead provided 22 of the 80 yards the Pats needed to get into the end zone and take the lead. (That's 2 more yards than Faulk got on his 5 catches against Pittsburgh.)

          This team, this offense is better with Woodhead in the game plan. The guy is a playmaker. Start giving him the ball more.

          Scott Sheaffer


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