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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. 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.
  2. 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
  3. WelshPat

    WelshPat Rookie

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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.
  4. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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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
  5. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    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).
  6. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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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
  7. karran_s

    karran_s Rookie

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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.
  8. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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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
  9. signbabybrady

    signbabybrady Rookie

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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.
  10. 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
  11. Seacoast Fan

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    Ditto x2.

    10 char
  12. Fencer

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    At this stage of their careers, LdT is probably still better at pounding the ball than Woodhead. But that's the only advantage he has, and I'm not aware that he's particularly good or useful at it either.

    Woodhead is better and more valuable.
  13. CheeseMonkeys

    CheeseMonkeys Rookie

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    I don't know if anyone else agrees but woodhead's been pretty good running into people for the extra yard, and isn't being stuffed or knocked around like a rag doll.
  14. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The most talented undrafted duo in the NFL.

    [​IMG]
  15. BradyFTW!

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    #12 Jersey

    It accounts for down and distance, not for formation or the defensive formation that they're running against.
  16. BradyFTW!

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    We can't technically know that he wouldn't rush for 3,000 yards, either, but that's beside the point. It's up to us to use our best judgment, and that doesn't make all speculation equally valid. It still falls to use to use the facts at our disposal, and the simple fact is that Woodhead rarely, if ever, runs into a stacked box, and that's something that LT has had to deal with all the time throughout his career. That, for starters, is why any top-level statistical comparison is ridiculous.

    Woodhead is a situational player, much like Kevin Faulk. You're not going to ask him to run directly into a defense that's stacking the box against the run, like LT has routinely had to do throughout his career. Woodhead excels when he has a little bit of space to work with, and he's already on the field for most of the snaps where the defense is spread out. For him to get 200+ carries, he would have to be more versatile than he is. That's not an indictment of him as a player; a lot of the Pats' extremely valuable players are specialists. Spikes, Wright, Guyton, Page, Faulk, Morris... all specialists. You seem to interpret that as a put-down of him as a player, but it isn't one. He has a role, and he executes it better than any of us could have hoped. That doesn't change the fact that he isn't as good as Tomlinson, though.

    And on top of all of that, you can't overestimate the impact that playing with Brady has on RB's statistics, as I mentioned before. In 2007, Maroney had one of the top DVOAs in the NFL. This year, BJGE is third among players with >100 carries. Playing against defenses that are willing to concede the run because of how afraid they are of Brady will always make RBs look far better than they really are. Do you really think that it's a coincidence that the same's happening with Woodhead right now?

    How about the fact that the leading DYAR for players with <100 rushes has looked like this over the past few years: 2007: Sammy Morris, 2008: Kevin Faulk, 2009: Kevin Faulk, 2010: Danny Woodhead. At this point, it's just glaringly obvious that this is a product of the Patriots efficiently using specialist RBs. and defenses conceding the ground game in these situations to try to keep Brady from killing them. What other possible scenario is there that could lead to the Pats having the top RB in this category for four years running, rotating through three different backs? It's just how the system works, and it's a credit to Belichick's genius as a coach.

    On a side note, Woodhead's DYAR is tops for players with <99 rushes, his 42.0% DVOA is actually below Rashad Jennings' (MJD's backup), so should we speculate that he, too, is as good as LT circa 2006? Two years ago, Felix Jones posted an 81.8% DVOA- should we go ahead and just label him the greatest RB of all time? Or should we acknowledge that the whole reason why intelligent statistical analysis, like that done by FO, breaks out guys with <100 rushes for a reason. Mostly, because it's unfair and misleading to compare them to guys who have a larger volume of carries, for all of the reasons that I just brought up.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  17. Ice_Ice_Brady

    Ice_Ice_Brady Rookie

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    Are some of these replies serious? Let's actually look at the original poster's question before contradicting it eight times in a single post.

    Woodhead is far more valuable to a football team than LT right now. Not sure why anyone is saying LT is more valuable since he has a bigger workload; if he performs below average many situations, that does not make him valuable, just their only option. LT lacks breakaway speed at this point in his career, which is exactly why he is no longer the player he used to be; while he can still get some chunks of yardage and juke defenders now and then, his explosive impact no longer exists. Woodhead's speed makes him incredible valuable to any football team; many of the 40-yard gains he has put up has nothing to do with the Patriots schemes or personnel; Woodhead is just capable of doing it. If anyone wants to look at relative value, look no further than Kevin Faulk and Thomas Jones, the predecessors in these roles.

    A few other points, besides Woodhead's blazing speed versus Tomlinson's old legs, and I might as well throw in the obvious acceleration advantage of Woodhead. First, it's obvious that Woodhead has better hands, while Tomlinson cannot catch anything that isn't put on his numbers. Second, as everyone except Mike Tannenbaum realized, Tomlinson just cannot play in cold weather; everything from the scowl on his face to his slumped shoulders suggests he'd rather be soaking up the sun in So Cal. Woodhead is a straight-up gamer who thrives in challenging weather.
  18. RayClay

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    We're actually comparing one of the top running backs ever, who is on his way to another 1,000 yard season with a 4.3 YPC and 50 receptions to Danny Woodhead, who has been a pleasant surprise as a change of pace, 3rd down receiver type?

    Oooooookay. Knock yourself out.
  19. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    That's an assertion; what's it based on? How do we know that Woodhead is situational player like Faulk instead of an every down back like Warrick Dunn or Ray Rice? He certainly took Faulk's role in the rotation, but that doesn't mean he has the same limitations (or the same strengths, for that matter). Faulk is a known quantity, and had his shot as an every down runner in 2003. Just because it didn't work out for Kevin then doesn't mean it can't work for Danny now. They are not the same player, and many players of Woodhead's size have been every down backs. We don't know what Danny's limitations are yet; why assume them?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  20. RayClay

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    He might be 6 feet tall and just have bad posture, for all we know.
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