In 2012, the Chargers used five different running backs. Some of that was because of injury, some due to ineffectiveness (see Mathews, Ryan).
So, on Friday the Bolts went out and got somebody sturdy and reliable.
Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead agreed to a 2-year deal in San Diego. He was an undrafted free agent from D-2 Chadron State College in Nebraska in 2009. Woodhead started with the Jets, who released him in 2010. New England scooped him up and figured out how to use him properly.
Woodhead is on the smallish side. He's listed at 5'8" and 200 pounds but is very likely not even that big. But, he's one of those gritty guys who have such a great understanding of the game, they're able to overcome a few physical "shortcomings."
In college he set NCAA records for single-season rushing yards (2,756 in 2006) and career all-purpose yards (7,962).
In his three years in New England, Woodhead scored 14 touchdowns (same as Mathews, the 12th overall pick in 2009), averaging 4.7 yards per rush and 10.7 yards a catch. And coming from the Belichick system, he's a guy who acts like a professional.
"We are really excited to add Danny to our football team," said General Manager Tom Telesco in a statement. "He has all the intangible qualities that we are looking for in the players who we want to become San Diego Chargers. We feel his versatility and playmaking ability will be an upgrade for our offense."
Not long after that, the Bolts retained the services of RB Ronnie Brown for one more season. Brown had a career-high 49 catches in his first year with the Chargers. He's another veteran guy who just doesn't make many mistakes.
Two Chargers free agents are headed elsewhere. CB Antoine Cason agreed to a 1-year, $2 million deal with the Cardinals. DL Antonio Garay, a New Jersey native, is joining the Jets on a 1-year deal.