Before Monday's news that the Ravens had successfully recruited wide receiver Jeremy Maclin after he had been cut by the Kansas City Chiefs, the general consensus around the league was that the offense lacked a weapon to scare opposing defenses.
That sentiment might have seemed offensive to former San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead, who joined the team on March 9 after signing a three-year contract. But the 32-year-old – who caught 80 passes for 755 yards and six touchdowns and rushed the ball 98 times for 336 yards and three scores in 2015 – said he is not worried about that type of comment.
"I didn't take it as a slight," he said Tuesday morning after the Ravens had opened their first day of a three-day mandatory minicamp. "To be real honest, I can't say that I paid a lot of attention to it. So you're kind of letting me know. But it doesn't hurt my feelings, it's never hurt my feelings. It's not about one guy anyway. If I'm brought in, I shouldn't feel slighted. I think what we need to focus on is just getting better as a team. Really it doesn't matter what everyone else says. If people are going to say we're a bad football team, I don't think we care. We're not worried about that. What we're worried about is going in, putting in the work day in and day out, and we'll see what the product on the field is, and I think we're confident that we've got some really good players."
Some of the initial reservations about Woodhead have had to do with his recovery from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 18, 2016. Any concern, however, did not impact the Ravens' plans to add the 5-foot-8, 200-pound tailback.
"That was somebody that we targeted pretty early in free agency and obviously signed him right out of the gate," coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday. "He's a specific kind of player for us. He's a very versatile running back. He can carry the ball, but he's also a big part of the passing game. He's good in protection, but it's really the route running, getting open, and doing the things that will help [quarterback] Joe [Flacco] and give Joe a great matchup against linebackers and even against safeties in critical situations to help us move the chains."
Woodhead said he hasn't felt any hesitation about running, turning and jumping on his surgically repaired knee.
"As far as the ACL, I haven't really thought about it," he said. "I'm out there trying to compete and trying to win. If I have a route called or I'm supposed to pass-protect, I'm going out there to win. So if I'm thinking about the past, I don't think that helps me win. So I haven't really thought about that."
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