Patriots fans will be making plenty of noise on Monday night, but there will likely be some extra cheers at Gillette when running back Danny Woodhead steps onto the field.
Ever since Woodhead was dropped from the Jets in mid-September, the energetic running back has been an important cog in the Patriots offense, and his former coach Rex Ryan has definitely taken notice. During his news conference on Thursday, Ryan didn't shy away from the fact that he may have made a mistake in cutting Woodhead, according to WEEI.com.
"As we all know he's a tough kid, covers kicks and all that stuff," Ryan said. "Do I regret cutting him? Absolutely, right now I do."
Ryan also commended Woodhead's rapid success in the Patriots' program due to the surprise opening in the offense. The season-ending injury to veteran running back Kevin Faulk thrust the Woodhead into an elevated role, a transition that the young running back clearly handled very well.
"I think when Kevin Faulk got hurt and he was put in that role, it's not surprising," Ryan said of Woodhead's impressive numbers through nine games with the Pats. "He's a talented kid, does a great job in those situations, he's a good receiver out of the backfield and running into seven-man spacing and all that kind of stuff"
Woodhead has totaled 344 rushing yards since joining the Patriots in late September, in addition to 230 yards receiving. The second-year player already has four touchdowns on the year.