Patriots running back Danny Woodhead had a 15-yard rushing touchdown and an 18-yard receiving touchdown Sunday against the Bills, and that has Tom Brady thankful to have Woodhead as a teammate. And thankful for the division rival that made Woodhead available.
Brady said on WEEI that he recognized Woodhead’s talent as soon as Woodhead arrived in New England, and he’s surprised that the Jets, Woodhead’s previous team, let him go.
“I remember his first game,” Brady said. “We kind of joked on the sideline, [former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien] and I, we kind of said, ‘The legend is born.’ We saw him that week in practice, what he was capable of doing, and said, ‘Why did the Jets release that guy?‘ They had him playing receiver and he was a running back in college.”
In fairness to the Jets, the entire NFL overlooked Woodhead, which is why he went undrafted after twice winning the Harlon Hill Trophy as the best player in Division II college football. By signing Woodhead as an undrafted free agent, the Jets were showing that they had at least some faith in his ability to play in the NFL.
But the Jets never fully realized what Woodhead could do, which is why they released him after he had played in 11 games, ran the ball 15 times and caught eight passes. With the Patriots, Woodhead has a bigger role in the offense and is second on the team this year with 49 carries and fourth on the team with 23 catches. Brady is glad to have him.
“He’s just come in and done such a great job,” Brady said. “He’s the ultimate team player and teammate — dependable, consistent, you always know the level of play you’re getting from Danny. He had a huge game yesterday for us. We really needed it, because as an offense, I’d say everyone really didn’t have their best day but Danny. He really saved the day for us.”
The Jets, who were held to seven points, 11 first downs and 185 total yards while suffering their third consecutive loss on Sunday, could use a guy like that.