He was supposed to be the feel-good story; the white kid out of nowhere who wasn't invited to the NFL Combine, wasn't drafted, no one paid attention to—but through a recipe of pluck, can-do-it-iveness, determination and grit, made everyone in New York, punch their friend and say, "how bout that kid!"
But it's now to be. Danny Woodhead got cut.
He probably will get signed to the practice squad. Rex Ryan was one of the admirers of Woodhead's spirit and nascent talent, so the Jets will probably want to keep him around.
And yes, the talent is there. In a pre-season game last year against the Eagles, Woodhead ran for 158 yards and 2 TDs—the 158 yards being the second highest in a pre-season game since 1992.
In regular season games, Woodhead—involved only in sporadic play—gained 167 all-purpose yards as a receiver, rusher and kick returner. He gained 64 yards on 15 rushes and averaged 10.9 yards with 8 catches. Nice numbers for a bit player.
But there was always something in the kid—the way he ran so hard and with such determination, you could just see it—he played the game hard, every yard mattered. And fans loved him, from New York, to Chadron, Nebraska where he played his collegiate ball (no self-respecting Division school would have ever recruited him). Woodhead excelled in his division 2 school and become only the seond persona in all of collegiate history to score more than 100 TDs.
But in the NFL, he looked so small, just 5'9" (so said the media guide, but probably not) in a game of behemoths. But he squirmed, fought and hustled his way to earn a roster spot. In the few times he got onto the field, he never fumbled, never made mental screw-ups, was quick as a cockroach, and played like his life depended on it. In short, he was everything a Cinderella story was supposed to be.
But it wasn't, after all, to be. Danny Woodhead was cut yesterday.
At least not yet. If some Jets fans had their way, Woodhead would be given a real shot. Here's some replies to the news on www.thejetsblog.com:
Woodhead NEVER got a shot on the field!! He does his job on special teams…doesn’t fumble, and catches every ball that is tossed to him…why don’t them let him go…he doesn’t belong on a fumble ridden, dropped ball team! Good luck Danny!! You are a TRUE player!
It’s a SHAME Woodhead had the biggest heart and he did play like a JET every time. BAD MOVE
And here is the entry that most Jet Fans fear in their hearts:
I just hope he doesn’t go to a division rival and become the next Welker.
Knowing the Jets, that is exactly what will happen. Good luck, Danny.