- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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In this week's Patriots mailbag on ESPNBoston.com, "Garett" asked a question about running back Danny Woodhead and his ability to pick up the blitz.
With running backs coach Ivan Fears answering questions today on a conference call, the same question was posed to him.
"He’s done a great job with it," Fears said of the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Woodhead. "The guy is a very smart guy. He sees the defense very well. He understands the rules and assignments. He’s done an excellent job of picking up our schemes. And most importantly, he’s been dog-gone very effective as a blocker. He’s stood up against guys when he’s had to and he’s cut them down when he had the opportunity to."
Fears was then asked about Woodhead's knack of coming up with clutch plays.
"We call those guys ‘playmakers’. Those guys have that. That’s why they’re on the field," he responded. "If you go back to Kevin Faulk and think of the catches Kevin made throughout the years – one-handed grab in the end zone. Those guys have that ability. Randy Moss is one of the best deep threats in the history of the NFL.
"Danny has the little knack about him. He knows how to make things happen when he has the ball in his hands. That’s what attracted us to the guy. He hasn’t let us down. Boy, he hasn’t let us down one bit. Those guys – that’s something they have. They have the ability to make a play when given the opportunity and those are the types of guys you win with."
In five games, Woodhead has 36 carries for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns, and has 14 catches for 136 yards and 1 touchdown.
Fears recalled the Patriots' scouts studying Woodhead and liking what they saw on film. So the idea was to sign him and see if what they saw on film came to life on the field.
"We lucked out and got ourselves a nice find," Fears said.