In the NFL, size and speed are attributes heavily sought out by teams, but they don’t always come paired together. That’s the case with Chargers running back Danny Woodhead.
Standing just 5’8” and weighing in right at 200 pounds, Woodhead is one of the smaller running backs in the NFL, but don’t let that size fool you. Woodhead, like other notable small backs (Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice come to mind), he has found a way to turn a perceived weakness into an asset on the field.
“To me, I think at times I use it to my advantage,” Woodhead told U-T San Diego. “You can hide behind those big guys up front. I don’t always think about it while I’m doing it, but when the play’s over, I realize, they couldn’t see me. If I’m 5-11, 6-0, they’re probably going to see me.
“People always say, “Man, he’s so small.’ I go “Yeah?” I just don’t know where that hurts me. I’m not a small running back. Height-wise, I’m not a tall running back. Ray Rice is not tall. Darren Sproles really isn’t the tallest guy.”
The Chargers have sorely missed their former all-purpose star, Darren Sproles, since Sproles head to New Orleans. With him, a whole facet of the Chargers’ offensive attack left, and that’s a part of the game San Diego may be getting back with the addition of Woodhead.
“He's the kind of back we haven't had here in quite a while,” safety Eric Weddle said of Woodhead. “Guys like that, who create mismatches, will really kill you. You don’t really have a game plan for guys like that.”
In his career, Woodhead has accounted for nearly as many receiving yards as he has rushing yards, making him a true dual-threat running back. If the Chargers are able to use him as effectively as the Patriots did in New England, Woodhead will be a big, and difficult to contain, facet of the Chargers’ offensive attack.