Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/28/14
FOXBORO, Mass. — On a day where Kevin Faulk – a running back whose versatility is deeply entrenched in Patriots lure, was honored at halftime — his successor put on a show that would undoubtedly make him proud. Danny Woodhead, the heir to Faulk’s third-down back throne in New England, had a Faulk-esque day on Sunday and played a major role in the Patriots 37-31 win against the Buffalo Bills. The diminutive tailback, standing at just 5-foot-8, broke off a number of big plays and scored a pair of touchdowns that helped the Patriots both establish an early lead and keep drives alive late in the game. His only carry of the afternoon went for a 15-yard touchdown, giving the Patriots their 17-3 cushion early on. But Woodhead was also a big factor in the passing game, hauling in four passes for 46 yards, including an 18-yard score. Tack on his blocking responsibilities — which can be difficult at his disadvantaged height — and special teams duties, and Woodhead’s impact becomes much clearer. Yet, even with the hefty workload, Woodhead still believes he’s got it easy. “With those guys [the offensive line] doing their job, I had the easy part and that was just run into the end zone,” Woodhead said of his two scores. Woodhead knows his role in the Patriots offense, and understands how to utilize his skills to best benefit the team. And for Woodhead, as it is with every Patriots player, the team always comes first. “Team comes so far before myself, and it’s the win that matters. It’s not myself getting two touchdowns,” Woodhead said. “Whatever the coaches ask me to do, I’m going to do. If it’s blocking, if it’s playing special teams, running, catching, I’m a football player and that’s what I try to be, a football player.” He’s not just a football player, though, he’s something of a utility man, the Marco Scutaro of the NFL if you will. That sort of versatility doesn’t go unnoticed either. Even Bill Belichick acknowledges the indispensable asset Woodhead has become, and offered up some high praise for him following the win. “I think Danny is a versatile player. He does a lot of things well. He’s good in the passing game. He’s got a good feel for man and zone coverages and getting open and he does a good job in blitz pickup,” Belichick said. “He runs well, reads his blocks well, he’s got good quickness, he’s got some speed and really he runs strong for a smaller player. He’s got a good skill set, he’s smart, he works hard, always trying to improve and he does that we ask him to do, so he’s got a lot going for him.” Much like Faulk, Woodhead isn’t just a versatile player on the field, though. As the elder statesman of the Patriots running back quartet, including Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and suspended rookie Brandon Bolden, Woodhead has assumed the leadership role left behind in Faulk’s absence. “That’s the leader of our room, he’s been there the longest,” Ridley said. “So, when it’s a game time situation, it’s crunch time, you can bet your money that 39 [Woodhead] is going to be in there.” Ridley may have seen the majority of the work out of the backfield on Sunday, carrying the ball 22 times for 98 yards and a score of his own. But it’s been Woodhead’s leadership that’s helped him develop into one of the premier backs in the NFL this season. So, while Faulk stood in the Patriots’ end zone, addressing the near 70,000 fans in attendance, Woodhead was in the locker room preparing to fill the post Faulk almost single-handedly established in New England. And it would definitely receive Faulk’s own stamp of approval. Watch all of Woodhead’s postgame comments in the video below. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

FSU’s Egan reported Williams girlfriend's Facebook to cops

Cowboys VP: Tony Romo “very questionable” for Week 9

Report: Warriors sign Klay Thompson to $70M extension

Cubs oust manager Renteria, setting stage for Maddon

Officially official: Michigan's Dave Brandon has resigned

RG3 won't 'try to be a normal quarterback' on Sunday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dez Bryant, Joseph Randle reportedly argue before practice

DeAngelo Hall re-tore Achilles tendon while making pizza

Madison Bumgarner was once roommates with Russell Wilson

Report: Dave Brandon to resign as Michigan's Athletic Director

Wild's Vanek linked to alleged money laundering scheme

Jets fans start 'Fire John Idzik' website

WATCH: Goran Dragic punks Suns teammates with baby dino

WATCH: Johnny Manziel cusses out referees at Cavs opener

Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons are 'Run DMC'

Analysis: Alex Gordon wouldn't have scored on Game 7 error

Game of the week: Broncos vs. Patriots

November games that will shape the College Football Playoff

WATCH: Flyers equip. manager pulls prank with fake snake

Simi Valley team recreates Sandlot photo for Halloween

Ranking the Top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL

WATCH: Vanilla Ice rocked the halftime show at T'Wolves game

WATCH: Russell Westbrook gets into it with heckling fan

PHOTO: The best sports-themed Halloween costume this year

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Game of the week: Broncos vs. Patriots

Baseball team recreates Sandlot pic

Top 10 QBs in the NFL

McDonald unlikely to face D.V. charge

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.