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Jets Running Back Danny Woodhead: Better than Advertised


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Thomas Jones will be 31 in August, yet his spot as the New York Jets' starting running back is finely cemented.

Rookie Shonn Greene has somehow already earned the "closer" role, while the bit-size Leon Washington continues his change-of-pace role.

Great.

So, where does that leave Danny Woodhead?

Who?

This guy.

Still don't know who he is?

I'm not surprised.

Woodhead, a 5'7" running back out of D-II Chadron State, probably isn't a household name outside of Nebraska.

Turned down by several D-I schools due to his lack of height, Woodhead decided not to attempt to be a walk-on with a big school. Rather, he felt more like being wanted by a team instead of being just another player.

I agree with that sentiment, because Woodhead isn't just another player.

He's a physical specimen with outstanding speed and agility.

Since Woodhead wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine in 2008, due to his small school and lack of size, he was forced to pack in his workouts for scouts at his "pro day."

According to a report from NFLDraf****ch.net, Woodhead posted impressive times in almost every major category.

He displayed speed and agility, running times between 4.33 and 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, which would place second overall for all college running backs.

He also posted the best agility time (4.03 seconds), the second-best vertical jump (38.5 in), and the best 60-yard shuttle time (11.2) seconds.

Despite only being 5'7" and weighing in at 200 lbs., Woodhead had the best athletic times, overall, of all the running back prospects in the nation.

If those numbers don't sway you, perhaps a look at his college stats will.

Woodhead, the NCAA's former all-time leading rusher (record recently broken by Mount Union's Nate Kmic), put up his fourth straight 1,500-yard season in 2007, as well as his fourth straight season with at least 21 touchdowns.

He's also known for his ridiculous 2006 season, in which he compiled over 2,700 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in just 13 games.

Woodhead also displayed his receiving ability throughout his career, as he topped at least 30 receptions in his final three years and scored eight touchdowns on receptions for his career.

Let's be honest with ourselves.

If you put Woodhead's numbers up to any other back in that 2008 draft, without knowing his size, name, or school, he's your first pick, hands down.

Even if that isn't the case and you'd still prefer all the other bigger, more experienced backs who faced tough competition, his numbers and athleticism put him in the middle rounds at least, right?

Wrong.

Despite all the numbers, Woodhead found himself undrafted in 2008, soon afterward signing a free agent contract with the Jets.

But here we are, two years removed from his sensational finale at Chadron State, still hoping he gets an honest chance.

With the flush of smaller backs taking the league by storm, now is as good a time as ever for Woodhead to make his splash and earn a spot with a team.

If that team happens to be New York, then so be it.

However, considering the Jets have money invested in Jones, a third-rounder invested in Greene, and already have a 5'8'' running back in Washington, there may not be room for Woodhead.

But there should be.

Woodhead is just like Darren Sproles, Jerious Norwood, and Maurice Jones-Drew.

He's an ultra-athletic back that has been doubted his entire life, told "no" by anyone he meets, and has constantly overcome the odds.

The only difference is those running backs previously listed got their chance at a D-I school, and they didn't have to wait for their shot in the NFL.

Not like Woodhead has.

I know this article won't save Woodhead's career. It won't make him the New York Jets' starter, and it won't even guarantee him a spot on their roster.

But what I hope it does is make people aware of his talent and his humble personality. I hope New York fans and NFL fans alike can recognize his ability and cheer him on.

Because Danny Woodhead is an underdog, even though he shouldn't be.

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Thomas Jones will be 31 in August, yet his spot as the New York Jets' starting running back is finely cemented.

Rookie Shonn Greene has somehow already earned the "closer" role, while the bit-size Leon Washington continues his change-of-pace role.

Great.

So, where does that leave Danny Woodhead?

Who?

This guy.

Still don't know who he is?

I'm not surprised.

Woodhead, a 5'7" running back out of D-II Chadron State, probably isn't a household name outside of Nebraska.

Turned down by several D-I schools due to his lack of height, Woodhead decided not to attempt to be a walk-on with a big school. Rather, he felt more like being wanted by a team instead of being just another player.

I agree with that sentiment, because Woodhead isn't just another player.

He's a physical specimen with outstanding speed and agility.

Since Woodhead wasn't invited to the NFL scouting combine in 2008, due to his small school and lack of size, he was forced to pack in his workouts for scouts at his "pro day."

According to a report from NFLDraf****ch.net, Woodhead posted impressive times in almost every major category.

He displayed speed and agility, running times between 4.33 and 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, which would place second overall for all college running backs.

He also posted the best agility time (4.03 seconds), the second-best vertical jump (38.5 in), and the best 60-yard shuttle time (11.2) seconds.

Despite only being 5'7" and weighing in at 200 lbs., Woodhead had the best athletic times, overall, of all the running back prospects in the nation.

If those numbers don't sway you, perhaps a look at his college stats will.

Woodhead, the NCAA's former all-time leading rusher (record recently broken by Mount Union's Nate Kmic), put up his fourth straight 1,500-yard season in 2007, as well as his fourth straight season with at least 21 touchdowns.

He's also known for his ridiculous 2006 season, in which he compiled over 2,700 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns in just 13 games.

Woodhead also displayed his receiving ability throughout his career, as he topped at least 30 receptions in his final three years and scored eight touchdowns on receptions for his career.

Let's be honest with ourselves.

If you put Woodhead's numbers up to any other back in that 2008 draft, without knowing his size, name, or school, he's your first pick, hands down.

Even if that isn't the case and you'd still prefer all the other bigger, more experienced backs who faced tough competition, his numbers and athleticism put him in the middle rounds at least, right?

Wrong.

Despite all the numbers, Woodhead found himself undrafted in 2008, soon afterward signing a free agent contract with the Jets.

But here we are, two years removed from his sensational finale at Chadron State, still hoping he gets an honest chance.

With the flush of smaller backs taking the league by storm, now is as good a time as ever for Woodhead to make his splash and earn a spot with a team.

If that team happens to be New York, then so be it.

However, considering the Jets have money invested in Jones, a third-rounder invested in Greene, and already have a 5'8'' running back in Washington, there may not be room for Woodhead.

But there should be.

Woodhead is just like Darren Sproles, Jerious Norwood, and Maurice Jones-Drew.

He's an ultra-athletic back that has been doubted his entire life, told "no" by anyone he meets, and has constantly overcome the odds.

The only difference is those running backs previously listed got their chance at a D-I school, and they didn't have to wait for their shot in the NFL.

Not like Woodhead has.

I know this article won't save Woodhead's career. It won't make him the New York Jets' starter, and it won't even guarantee him a spot on their roster.

But what I hope it does is make people aware of his talent and his humble personality. I hope New York fans and NFL fans alike can recognize his ability and cheer him on.

Because Danny Woodhead is an underdog, even though he shouldn't be.

hey Max the censor is on the fritz again, wanna give it a kick or two

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Would there be any problems with carrying 5 backs? Jones, Washington, Greene, Richardson, Woodhead?

Greene and maybe one of our TE's could "back up" at FB.

if they can play a variety of roles, especially standout at special teams then it's likely, otherwise no

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Would there be any problems with carrying 5 backs? Jones, Washington, Greene, Richardson, Woodhead?

Greene and maybe one of our TE's could "back up" at FB.

They haven't carried a backup FB in years. They spent much of Mangini's time here with no FB at all. If they carry less TEs (use Turner and Kareem Brown as backups?) maybe there will be a spot for another back, but Green is already an extra back.

They'll be cutting from other key spots to carry more RBs. IIRC when the Giants pulled Ware from the practice squad they had only two backs on the roster and were using Sean Ryan as H-back. That's why they needed to rush and sign Alvin Banks - they had nobody to run for the scout team.

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This is a great problem to have, but I'm sorry...Woodhead is a smaller back and he's no Leon Washington so it looks like he has no home here with the Jets backfield because Thomas Jones will be our work horse, Leon will be our X-Factor and Shonn Greene will be that power back that we havn't had in quite some time.

And of course Shonn Greene is already considered our "Closer"...

Last year, as a 1st year starter, the man rushed for 1800+ yards with an average yards per carry of 6.0, 20 TD's on the year, was the MVP of his teams bowl game, earned the "Doak Walker" award which goes out to the best back of the nation, was the only back in the country to rush for over 100 yards with each and every game (2 games with 140+ yards, 2 games with 150+ yards and another 2 games with 200+ yards) And lets not forget...He's called "The War Machine" for a reason, this man runs hard and can be tough to bring down for just about any NFL LB not named Ray Lewis.

Richardson

Jones

Washington

Greene

If the Jets were to carry an extra back, it better be Jehuu Caulcrick and thats because he may not be a natural full back but Tony Richardson is getting up there in age, actually, Richardson has been up there in age. Richardson is 6'1, 238 and Caulcrick is listed as being 6'0, 250 pounds and something tells me that this man can make for a great lead blocker down the line and thats because he has great vision and is simply an animal out there. I would love to carry one less DB and go with an extra RB with this type of situation.

Just click this link...Watch the way Caulcrick rushed the rock for Michigan State...He's a freak of nature out there but still, Shonn Greene over Caulcrick any day of the week (As a natural HB)

Watch how he simply runs over and DESTROYS opposing defenders, this man can be special for us after Richardson leaves.

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This is a great problem to have, but I'm sorry...Woodhead is a smaller back and he's no Leon Washington so it looks like he has no home here with the Jets backfield because Thomas Jones will be our work horse, Leon will be our X-Factor and Shonn Greene will be that power back that we havn't had in quite some time.

And of course Shonn Greene is already considered our "Closer"...

Last year, as a 1st year starter, the man rushed for 1800+ yards with an average yards per carry of 6.0, 20 TD's on the year, was the MVP of his teams bowl game, earned the "Doak Walker" award which goes out to the best back of the nation, was the only back in the country to rush for over 100 yards with each and every game (2 games with 140+ yards, 2 games with 150+ yards and another 2 games with 200+ yards) And lets not forget...He's called "The War Machine" for a reason, this man runs hard and can be tough to bring down for just about any NFL LB not named Ray Lewis.

Richardson

Jones

Washington

Greene

If the Jets were to carry an extra back, it better be Jehuu Caulcrick and thats because he may not be a natural full back but Tony Richardson is getting up there in age, actually, Richardson has been up there in age. Richardson is 6'1, 238 and Caulcrick is listed as being 6'0, 250 pounds and something tells me that this man can make for a great lead blocker down the line and thats because he has great vision and is simply an animal out there. I would love to carry one less DB and go with an extra RB with this type of situation.

Just click this link...Watch the way Caulcrick rushed the rock for Michigan State...He's a freak of nature out there but still, Shonn Greene over Caulcrick any day of the week (As a natural HB)

Watch how he simply runs over and DESTROYS opposing defenders, this man can be special for us after Richardson leaves.

IMO Shonn Greene means that Caulcrick isn't necessary. You don't carry a future fullback on the active roster and his rushing ability equates with a worse verson of Greene. I think that he and Woodhead will be lucky to find a spot on our practice squad, but it's good to have guys with some upside around in case of injury.

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IMO Shonn Greene means that Caulcrick isn't necessary. You don't carry a future fullback on the active roster and his rushing ability equates with a worse verson of Greene. I think that he and Woodhead will be lucky to find a spot on our practice squad, but it's good to have guys with some upside around in case of injury.

Well, it's not about keeping a future fullback on the roster, it's about the fact that Tony Richardson is now 37 years old and if Richardson were to go down...By using Greene as our starting FB, that would be horrid, we would still have no power back that could line up as a HB (Because we would have no FB to lead block) So in other words, if anything happens to Richardson...That means it kills us in two ways because we lose our run blocking FB and also lose our power HB.

When really, carrying Caulcrick without carrying an extra DB, who will never see the field in the first place...Would be a good idea just because Richardson is up there in age.

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Only chance he has is if he blows up during preseason and makes ST. If there is an injury to Washington he'll get playing time but other then that ST is his only shot.

It'll be interesting to see how they handle the return game. They have been saying they want to cut down Leon's ST workload. I think somebody else will be handling punts. Probably Leonhard, but I've even heard them mention Lito and Woodhead. I can't imagine a guy as tiny as Woodhead making a splash on ST unless it's as a return man.

Well, it's not about keeping a future fullback on the roster, it's about the fact that Tony Richardson is now 37 years old and if Richardson were to go down...By using Greene as our starting FB, that would be horrid, we would still have no power back that could line up as a HB (Because we would have no FB to lead block) So in other words, if anything happens to Richardson...That means it kills us in two ways because we lose our run blocking FB and also lose our power HB.

When really, carrying Caulcrick without carrying an extra DB, who will never see the field in the first place...Would be a good idea just because Richardson is up there in age.

If they carry Greene they are already carrying one more back than they did last year and two more than they have for much of B. Schottenheimer's time here. Other than his weight, there has been no indication that Caulcrick can block. He'd have to make a hell of an improvement over last preseason.

Schottenheimer has not shown much love for FBs in his time here, but with Rex Ryan screaming all-weather maybe that will change. Every DB on the team saw time last year and they will already be one short. OTOH, they will be carrying an extra body four weeks until Pace comes back.

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It'll be interesting to see how they handle the return game. They have been saying they want to cut down Leon's ST workload. I think somebody else will be handling punts. Probably Leonhard, but I've even heard them mention Lito and Woodhead. I can't imagine a guy as tiny as Woodhead making a splash on ST unless it's as a return man.

If they carry Greene they are already carrying one more back than they did last year and two more than they have for much of B. Schottenheimer's time here. Other than his weight, there has been no indication that Caulcrick can block. He'd have to make a hell of an improvement over last preseason.

Schottenheimer has not shown much love for FBs in his time here, but with Rex Ryan screaming all-weather maybe that will change. Every DB on the team saw time last year and they will already be one short. OTOH, they will be carrying an extra body four weeks until Pace comes back.

Steve Tasker might be the best ST player ever and he was only 5'9'' 180lbs.

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Steve Tasker might be the best ST player ever and he was only 5'9'' 180lbs.

That's true. I just don't picture compact little RBs as being good cover guys/tacklers. I could be wrong, but it's usually rangier guys, DBs and the occasional WR (Wallace Wright) that excel in that role. Woodhead is certainly quick enough

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