The San Diego Chargers use to have an explosive offense. It was once nothing for them to score points in the run game or the passing game. In recent years, the team has struggled since the departure of talented players like LaDainian Tomlinson, Vincent Jackson and Darren Sproles. This offseason, the team was looking to replace some of that lost production with the signing of Danny Woodhead. The team hoped he would be a passing threat out of the backfield but that remains to be seen.
If Woodhead does not produce as hoped it will not be due to lack of talent. Woodhead is a tough runner and great in the passing game on third downs. He shocks people with his skills because he does not look intimidating when he walks on the field. He is listed at 5’8 and 200 lbs; probably generous on both accounts.
Woodhead could struggle this season because this should be the year former first-round pick, Ryan Matthews steps up. The team has worked to make the offensive line better and for once Matthews appears fully healthy. If he steps his game up to the level the team hopes when they selected him, chances for Woodhead could be few and far between.
Another reason Woodhead may not be a huge factor in the offense is offensive coordinator Ken Wisenhunt. While with the Arizona Cardinals, Wisenhunt had a running back very similar named LaRod Stephens-Howling. In four years with Wisenhunt, Stephens-Howling never amassed more than 17 catches in one season.
Woodhead has the skills to be productive in the NFL, but the NFL is about timing and opportunity. Woodhead knows that as well as anyone. When he played for New York Jets, head coach Rex Ryan liked him, but in 2010 did not keep him on the roster. The New England Patriots needed a running back and picked him up after he was cut and he fit well.
San Diego may be the wrong place at the wrong time.
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