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Woodhead vs Tomlinson

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by CheeseMonkeys, Dec 21, 2010.

?

Who is the more talented and valuable RB in 2010

  1. D. Woodhead

    90.3%
  2. L. Tomlinson

    9.7%
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  1. CheeseMonkeys

    CheeseMonkeys Rookie

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    Oh no! Not another Danny Woodhead thread. He really has become huge topic of discussion among Patriot Fans.

    I was comparing the two players myself and they both play similar roles for their team in that they are a threat out of the backfield, and have the lateral quickness to tear through a defense. Tomlinson is a starting RB and Woodhead is more of a 3rd down back, so Tomlinson has obviously gotten more carries so far this season. I don't think this means that LT is more durable. Woodhead is certainly capable of taking more carries but we do have a HOF QB throwing the ball, so it isn't necessary. One could argue that LT is much more powerful but Danny has shown good strength running through tackles. Woodhead also doesn't have a big mouth.

    Who do you think is the more talented and valuable player at this point? We can forget about everything the aging Tomlinson has done in his HOF career, and just focus on each player's skills and production in 2010. If you think that they aren't comparable because Woodhead hasn't gotten enough carries then who do you think is more valuable to their team?

    It will be interesting to see how many people think Woodhead is the better player in 2010 considering that one of the Jets biggest acquisitions this offseason was LaDainian Tomlinson and Woodhead was the guy who wasn't good enough.
  2. 420jim

    420jim Rookie

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    I chose Woodhead. I think I'm the only one who noticed this.

    The bigger the game the more Tomlinson doesn't show up. For years, as far back as I can remember him being the talk of the NFL, the bigger the game the more Tomlinson is absent.
  3. NovaScotiaPatsFan

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    Wait, valuable at what? Playing football or sulking on the bench?
  4. Leave No Doubt

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    Some of the Pats' best and most notable success stories have featured "guys that weren't good enough" ;)
  5. FibSeq13478

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    Interestingly, Football outsiders' statistic for comparing the two running backs says Woodhead has been way more valuable than Tomlinson
    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | RUNNING BACKS 2010

    Through week 14, Football outsiders' DYAR stats (an indication of total value of all snaps) for Woodhead is 140 as a rusher and 150 as pass catcher; for Tomlinson the corresponding numbers are 106 and -11.
  6. IcyPatriot

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    I voted Woodhead but if we had Tomlinson I bet he would have an important role here also ... maybe a great role.
  7. CheeseMonkeys

    CheeseMonkeys Rookie

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    Interesting how this turned out for both teams. A signing of a released player that couldn't make the roster more successful than a huge pickup of a future HOF RB. Seems like the majority agree that Woodhead is better in 2010 unless they are just biased towards LT.

    Perhaps it is the Patriots system under BB which results in the success of various no named players. Not referring to Woodhead necessarily, because he has a lot of talent, but it seems that many players are simply just more successful on this team than others. So maybe a player like LT could have had great success here, but I don't think many Pats fans were that high on getting a loud mouth like LT. I wasn't against it back in the off season.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
  8. WhiZa

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    Try posting this on the Jets forum. I'd love to see their reaction :)
  9. buile

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    Talented *and* valuable? Honestly? Talented -- at his peak: Tomlinson. Valuable: Woodhead.

    Tomlinson is beaten up, and on a downhill slide because of it. I hate his attitude, and wouldn't want him on the team. Woodhead has a great attitude, is smart, shows very good skills which promise to get better. Woodhead is more valuable to the Patriots.
  10. Kasmir

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    Woodhead achieved his value on far fewer touches. On a per play basis (DVOA), Woodead is 1st ranked at 40.2% rushing to 4.5% for LT's 16th ranking, and Woodhead is also 1st ranked at 61% receiving to LT's -16.5% 48th ranking. Numbers through only through the Chicago game so far.
  11. capetide

    capetide Rookie

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    Voted for Woodhead. Don't know if it's because LT is disappearing more and more as the season progresses or just because I can't stand Mr. Classy.
  12. eagle eye

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    Absolutely love Danny Woodhead but I'm not a big enough homer to vote for him in a poll like this. I'd much prefer to have the experience of Tomlinson heading into the playoffs which makes him far more valuable imo.
  13. ctpatsfan77

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    This experience?

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  14. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    For the role that we required it has to be Woodhead.
  15. Tippecanoe

    Tippecanoe Rookie

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    Mini digression, but anyone else notice who had the worst rushing DYAR on the 20-99 rushes list? :D
  16. patsfan-1982

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    i love Woodhead, and im happy he is on the team he is great replacement for Kevin Faulk, but it hard for me to say he has more talent then LT even at this point in he's career.



    Danny Woodhead, is haveing a career year with all most 800 total yerds and 5 TD's LaDainian Tomlinson, worst year was last year with 884 total yerds and 12 TD's he is a HOF player. Woodhead, is a good 3rd down RB and a nice story but IMO you can't compare them
  17. BradyFTW!

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    To be fair, it isn't exactly a fair comparison. Woodhead is pretty specifically used only in situations where his efficiency will be maximized. LT is the lead running back on a team that runs to set up the pass. On the basis of that alone, FO's stats are misleading in a direct comparison, and Tomlinson gets a pretty massive edge in my comparison. In fact, that alone is pretty much why I chose Tomlinson. Take the same exact RB and he'll be far more valuable to the Jets than to the Pats. The Pats have proven that they can win with pretty much anyone running the ball.

    I like Woodhead a lot, but even as a dual threat third down specialist, LT is probably better, speaking strictly in terms of talent. He's also a crybaby egomaniac who would never fit in with the Pats' team culture, though. He's perfect for the Jets, though, and even then the real question is why they kept Clowney and McKnight over Woodhead. Clowney over Woodhead was just an incredibly shortsighted move: massive overreaction to the 10-9 week 1 loss and not having Santonio Holmes available until week 5.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  18. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Through 14 games Woodhead' has had only 80 carries and 39 catches in 48 targets. His production per touch is the best of any running back in the NFL this year. Tomlinson is past his prime and is having a much better year than last year, but nothing extraordinary.

    LT's last good year was 2007, when he rushed 315-1474 with 15 TDs, and caught 60-475 for 3 TDs. If you project Woodhead's performance this year with the same number of touches, he'd be 315-1671 with 15 TDs, and 68-610 and 2 TD's receiving. Only LT's career year of 2006 was better than that. So Danny's is putting up elite numbers with the chances he's had.

    So, yeah, I think it would be a big downgrade to have traded Danny for this year's LT.

    And why should we consider Woodhead's first year playing to be his career year? Can't we give Woodhead a pass for his rookie year, given that he went on injured reserve in training camp? He spent his second year on the bench (after rushing for 158 yards in the final preseason game) -- just like Brady spent his first year on the bench, too.

    And Woodhead is *not* just a 3rd down back. He's playing more and more on first down now, and his best runs have *not* been primarily 3rd down draws. He's a classic old-style scatback with surprising strength for his size. Run him from scrimmage 20 times a game behind a good zone blocking scheme and he'll easily average over 100 yards per game. He holds the NCAA all-division record for 200+ and 300+ yard games. He looks pretty durable.

    Forget his credentials and apparent limitations. Danny has brought his game to the NFL, and it works here pretty much like it's worked everywhere. Maybe he'll fall to earth, but the evidence on the field is backed by the stats: Danny Woodhead is "breaking out" before our very eyes.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  19. BradyFTW!

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    And there's the flaw in the logic that you're using, IMO. You can't assume that Woodhead's performance would stay at its current level over a larger number of touches. He's already touching the ball only in situations that are optimized for his success. That's not a knock on him: it's a compliment to Bill Belichick, who understands how to use his players efficiently. Woodhead almost never runs the ball against a defense that is intent on stopping the run. He takes the field almost entirely in pass-first formations, and exploits the fact that the defense is first and foremost preoccupied with stopping Brady. He's a good player, but if you asked him to carry the ball 315 teams, he wouldn't get anything even close to 1400 yards, and that's assuming that he could carry the ball 315 times (he couldn't).

    The Jets' don't currently have an equivalent for how we use Woodhead, because they don't have nearly as much use as we do for a back like that. BJGE is a far better comparison to how the Jets use LT, and even that isn't really fair. You just can't overestimate how beneficial it is to a RB to play in an offense where Brady, Welker, and our TEs are all on the field. Brady makes every down a potential passing down, and the same can't really be said for Sanchez. Half the time that LT runs, everyone in the building knows he's about to run.

    Guys like Woodhead require vision, adaptability, and creativity on the part of the coaching staff to effectively utilize. It's no surprise that the Jets couldn't get anything out of him, while the Pats have made him an integral part of the best offense in the NFL. OTOH, LT could step into pretty much any offense and produce. The one major negative on him at this point in his career is that he has a ton of mileage on him, so he wears down over the course of the year if you don't limit his carries (as we're seeing now. Shonn Greene's disappearance is doubly killing the Jets by breaking LT down). The same can be said for Woodhead, though, for different reasons. There isn't a team in the league that would even try to run Woodhead as many times as LT has this season.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  20. patsfan-1982

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    like i said i love Woodhead, but i put him in the same league with Kevin Faulk, one of the best RB's in patriots history who when he got over a 150 att in the running game never averaged more then 3.6 per att

    Woodhead, is only haveing the season that he is haveing because Brady, is haveing a MVP season spreding the ball around and a lot of the time Woodhead is the open man comeing out of the back field IMO if he is playing any other roll then the one he is playing right now with the pats he dose not put up the numbers he is puting up
  21. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But the FO analysis does take situation into consideration.
    It accounts for Tomlinson running on 1st and 10 vs Woodhead running on 3rd and 6.
  22. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    It's certainly fair to say that the linear extrapolation I did is entirely speculative. But it cuts both ways: you can't know that Woodhead *wouldn't* continue to perform at a high level given more opportunities. No back in the league has done better per play. You can advance the theory that the 100 touches Woodhead has gotten this year is the result of some magical optimization calculation that Belichick did, and that Rex Ryan is just a knuckle head. Or you can say that Danny has finally been giving a chance, has performed at an elite level, and deserves more chances. Occam's Razor suggests the latter alternative. Give him the ball in more situations until his performance falls off.

    I confess that I'm partial to stories like Danny's. I suspect there are many systematic injustices in the way football players are evaluated. Tom Brady almost didn't get a chance. Matt Cassell's career was almost destroyed by accidental idiocy. Michael Vick may be the best player in football, and six months ago no one seems to have suspected it. Bledsoe, Leinart, and Kolb were the winners by conventional wisdom, but wise it was not.

    Danny has had to fight prejudice throughout his career, and when finally given a chance he has always excelled. Now he has shown that given a 100 touches with the Big Boys, guess what? -- not only can he play, he's as good as anyone. Saying that he can't do more risks continuing the same wrongheadedness that kept him out of Division 1, and left him on the bench with the Jets. As with any player new to the league, we don't yet know how good he can be. So far, so great. Give him the ball.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  23. WelshPat

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    It comes to a point though were prejudice isn't the reason. Darren Sproles is black, yet the Chargers traded up to pick Ryan Matthews. At the end of the day these players are undersized, and its logical to think that their smaller bodies can't take the beating of being an every down back.
  24. Kasmir

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    I wasn't suggesting it was primarily racial prejudice actually, more a matter of his overall unusual phenotype. *Everyone* looks at Woodhead the first time and thinks that he looks like a kid, not a professional football player and superb athlete, let alone a possibly elite one. And there's credentialist prejudice against Division 2 players operating as well.

    Danny has 10 pounds on Sproles, and is faster as well. As Tedy Bruschi pointed out, one of the unusual aspects of Woodhead is is lower body strength. For a little guy, he gets lots of yards after contact. You might also have chosen Warrick Dunn as a more favorable comparison to Danny. Dunn got lots of touches -- he averaged 223 carries over 12 years -- and Danny has 10 lbs on him as well. For that matter Danny is supposedly almost exactly the same size as Barry Sanders (5-8 200), although I think Woodhead is actually shorter and hence more compact.

    I certainly doubt Woodhead could handle 300+ carry seasons which feature backs almost routinely do. But 200 carries? Quite possibly...
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  25. signbabybrady

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    I think the results of this poll cleary show a favrotism for Woodhead and a hatred for Tomlinson.

    I think it is an interesting question and the fact that it can even be debated is amazing.

    I think clearly it is not fair to Woodhead to compare him to a HOF career so you threw out the past...but what to do about the future clearly Woodhead has many more years left in the tank than LT.

    If you just take this single season and ignore past and future than I think the slight edge goes to LT for performing a larger role that takes more of a toll but Woodhead has clearly done the most with his opportunities and again the fact that he can even be put in the same conversation with LT is pretty amazing. And the fact that his smaller role can almost be held up equally against a larger role shouldnt be ignored easy.

    To me his performance in a small role like 3rd back/scat back is kind of like Vinatieri to kickers no one cares about them until one of them kicks 45 yarders in blizzards and walk of SB wins. While the 3rd down role is not ignored like kickers it also generally isnt compared to other starting backs but on this team the role is that important and Woody has taken the bull by the horns and done it as good as anyone including Faulk (still needs to prove as clutch on the big stage as Faulk).
  26. Kasmir

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    Woodhead was in for almost every snap of the series that got the go ahead touchdown on Sunday night. He ran for almost 5 yards from scrimmage on 1st down of the next series before they called two passes and punted. He's *not* just a 3rd down back anymore. He's being platooned with BJGE both situationally and to keep them both fresh. But Danny is getting carries in situations Kevin last saw in 2003. BTW I completely agree that he hasn't yet proven he can be the clutch receiver Kevin was.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  27. karran_s

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    Ladanian is a d****, plain and simple. Give me Woodhead any day. Plus, he's a good special teams player as well.
  28. Kasmir

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    Another comparable for Woodhead would be Ray Rice, who's listed at almost exactly the same size (5-9 195). Rice got 254 carries last year and has 262 so far this year. Danny has only had 82 carries this year, and has been far more effective per carry than Rice. Why is it that Ray Rice can be featured but Woodhead cannot?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010
  29. signbabybrady

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    Thats why I said 3rd down/scat back and not just third down. One game does not neccessarily mean he is going to continue to split the same ratio it could have just been a situational thing. Anyway I fully agree he is taking on a bigger role than just a third down guy but clearly his role is not as big as LTs role. And while Woodhead may be more successful in his role I dont think it is enough to catipult himi ahead of someone who is taking the bulk of the carries and putting up decent numbers as well. Dont let the fact that Woodhead is coming on While LT is fading be ignored though and after two more weeks maybe Woodhead wins out but right now I say push.
  30. Seacoast Fan

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    I hadn't thought of looking until I read your post, but I guessed at it. Your Cheshire Cat grin kinda gave it away. :D
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