When asked Friday to reflect upon his unexpected journey through the Madden 12 cover bracket, Woodhead briefly obliged before transitioning to a more business-like answer.
"It was fun, but it's not something I'm concerned with," he said after the Patriots' third practice of camp. "I'm more concerned with just trying to play football and trying to do it well.
"It wasn't something I really thought about a lot. I guess it was cool but not something I'm really concerned with."
Woodhead knocked out a pair of receivers — Stevie Johnson from the Bills and Hakeem Nicks from the Giants — on his way to the quarterfinal round, where he was eliminated by Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers. Browns running back Peyton Hillis was the bracket champion and will be on the video game's cover this season.
But Woodhead wanted to leave that stuff in the past, as he continued his preparation for his fourth NFL season and his second with the Patriots. After getting signed off the street in Week 2 of last season, Woodhead was second on the team with 547 rushing yards and 926 yards from scrimmage. He also scored six touchdowns and set a franchise record with 5.6 yards per carry.
Again, though, it doesn't matter to him.
"I'm happy to be a Patriot," Woodhead said. "Last season is the farthest thing from my mind. I'm just focused on trying to get better today and my next meeting."
Woodhead has been one of just three running backs to report to camp, along with Thomas Clayton and rookie Stevan Ridley. It's believed that BenJarvus Green-Ellis has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender, and Shane Vereen hasn't signed his rookie contract yet, either. Sammy Morris can't report until next Thursday after signing a new contract, and Kevin Faulk's status is still unclear.
That leaves Woodhead as the longest-tenured running back with the team, and it might be a reason why he's taking his role so seriously.
"I'm in training camp mode," Woodhead said. "I'm just trying to do everything that I can do, try to focus on meetings, walkthroughs, practices, whatever it is. I'm just trying to get better at what I do."
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