Round Table: Woodhead in 2011

Do you believe that Danny Woodhead is going to be as successful next year or will have defenses figured him out?

Jason: I can’t see Woodhead having the same level of success this year, but that has nothing to do with defenses figuring him out. I don’t think the Pats drafted two running backs in the first three rounds to watch them ride the pine. Woodhead should still handle the load on third downs due to his blocking and receiving skills, but Ridley and Vereen will be competing with BJGE for touches on first and second down. Due to that competition for carries, I think his 2010 season (130 touches, 900+ yards and 6 TDs) is a whole lot closer to his ceiling than his floor.

Trevor: Woodhead had a career year this past season, and it will be tough to replicate especially considering the addition of running backs Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley through the draft. I see Woodhead having slightly less touches than last season due to a more crowded backfield, but I see his production dropping considerably. Woodhead’s 5.6 yards per carry (YPC) and 11.1 yards per reception (YPR) were well above the league average, and regression to the mean should be expected, with 4.5 YPC and 8.0 YPR more realistic numbers. A slight statistical drop-off seems to be in the future for Danny Woodhead, but his status as a New England fan favorite should remain the same.

Stephen: The Danny Woodhead storyline was compelling in 2010. In typical Patriot fashion, the team got contributions from another undersized castoff. However with the additions of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, I think Woodhead will have less opportunities and defenses will be better geared to stop him. Another factor to consider is his size which could lead to injury.

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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