New York Jets’ Danny Woodhead Proves He’s Got Game
He’s small, came out of Chadron State (where?) as an undrafted rookie, and hung around on New York’s roster last year after sustaining a knee injury.
Just another tiny guy coming out of nowhere, undoubtedly destined to fade out of the league before he ever actually gets in, right?
You’d have to agree with all of Woodhead’s doubters about a few things. He’s only 5’8 and listed as around or under 200 pounds.
He’s never faced elite competition. And while his college numbers are earth-shattering, they don’t mean quite as much a they did a few years ago, now that he’s trying to prove he belongs with the big(ger) boys.
But all of that is moot now. Especially after Thursday night’s performance.
True, it’s only pre-season, and it was mostly against the second and third team defense, but if we’re being fair, it was still impressive.
Woodhead started off the night with a rush for -5 yards, added a few carries to get back over 0 yards, and then proceeded to blow everyone away.
With a 55-yard burst around the right tackle, Woodhead ran for a touchdown and made his name known, no longer just to the Jets’ community, but possibly to the entire NFL.
But he didn’t stop there.
He added another 44-yard run that set-up another touchdown, caught a 10-yard pass, and plunged into the end-zone for a three-yard score, furthering the belief that this little guy has enough speed, agility, and versatility to be effective in this league.
Enough about his school and competition.
Cincinnati Bengals’ Bernard Scott was a D-II back last year, yet he was a 6th round draft pick, and has somehow already locked up the back-up spot behind Cedric Benson.
Enough with his size.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren Sproles, Leon Washington (a Jets player, mind you), and Jerious Norwood are all almost the exact same size and weight.
They all have the same attributes. The difference? They all have certainty as members of an NFL roster, and even more, they all have huge roles in their respective offenses.
Don’t talk about speed.
A 55-yard touchdown isn’t easy to be had in this league. Neither is another 40+ yard run in the same game.
Woodhead’s 4.3 40 time adds to his excellent speed and athleticism, eliminating the final road-block in his quest for an NFL team to take notice.
Even his teammates know how talented he is. Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and even head coach Rex Ryan have all backed him, applauded his athleticism and work ethic, and voiced their hopes that he’d make the team.
Cotchery even went as far as to say that, while everyone else was excited to see Michael Vick play extensively, he and his teammates couldn’t wait for the “Woodhead show”.
What a show it was.
But will it be the last time we see Woodhead run rampade in a Jets uniform? Or even the NFL?
Unfortunately, that’s a very real possibility.
But Woodhead remains humble, gives all the credit to his line and the rest of his offense, and just hopes that all of his efforts gain him a shot for a season to stick around and continue to prove he’s “got it”.
But if you’ve been watching him with an un-biased approach, you already know the answer to that question.
With Thomas Jones over 30, Leon Washington having contractual issues, and Shonn Greene not yet proving himself, it wouldn’t be a poor choice to keep an electric and hard-working player at the position.
The question is, which makes more sense?
Giving a dedicated, talented player a chance, or showing him the door?