Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters today that former Jets running back Danny Woodhead was "right at the top of our short list" coming into the regular season.
And no, that's not a dig at Woodhead's height, even though the running back is only 5-foot-8 and one of the shortest backs in the league.
"I’d say that of course we were aware of him from his time out of college and when he initially was with the Jets," said Belichick, who signed Woodhead before the Patriots faced the Jets in Week 2, a game that New York won, 28-14. "We certainly got a good look at him in preseason when we were starting to break down the Jets games and then at the beginning of the season when he wasn’t on their 53-man roster. He was right at the top of our short list."
Once the Patriots traded former first-round running back Laurence Maroney to the Broncos, Woodhead got the call. And after Kevin Faulk suffered a season-ending knee injury, Woodhead became more of a focal point in the offense.
Woodhead has 64 carries for 344 yards and three rushing touchdowns, as well as 24 catches for 230 yards and one receiving TD.
"After we traded Laurence [Maroney] then we had an opportunity or a spot and a little bit of a need at that position, so we signed him prior to Kevin [Faulk’s] injury, which really made it a need," Belichick said. "Danny has done a really good job of learning the offense and the kicking game. He has contributed for us in those phases of the game and he’s been an important member of our team all year. He's made plays in the running game, the passing game and on special teams, so he’s done a real solid job."