After years of playing behind “big money” guys like Darren McFadden, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, Mike Goodson is ready to step in the spotlight.
After signing a three-year deal worth $6.9 million last week with the Jets, the former Raiders free-agent running back said he’s “definitely” hungry for a bigger role.
“I think you can blame it on a lot of different things,” he said on a conference call Wednesday, referring to his limited playing time during stops in Carolina and Oakland. “You can say a lot of different things, but I’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of good backs on the teams that I’ve been on.
“Most of them were “big-money” guys: Darren McFadden, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, so at the same time learning from those guys, I had to play behind them, so it was tough. But I think it’s put me in a position now where I can come in, be able to make those types of plays and be that guy at running back, that every-down guy.”
Goodson spent last season with the Raiders, where he rushed for 221 yards on 35 carries. He also had 16 catches for 195 yards and a receiving touchdown.
The 25-year-old out of Texas A&M was drafted by the Panthers in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. Goodson posted career highs in rushing (452) and receiving yards (310) in 2010, when he played in all 16 games with the Panthers.
Goodson said his final decision came down to either the Bengals or the Jets. But when he arrived in Florham Park, he said, “It felt like home.” The running back also said he’s intrigued by Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast system.
“I think he’s going to be able to do some big things,” Goodson said of the Jets’ new offensive coordinator. “I can’t wait to run and play in his offense. The direction I think the team is going in is exciting.”
He believes the West Coast offense suits his particular skill-set – catching the ball out of the backfield, being able to isolate the linebackers, run some routes, and, running the ball between the tackles.
Though he’s anxious to get the bulk of the playing time, Goodson said the team hasn’t yet determined whether he, Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight will be the starter.
“(It is) just competition,” Goodson said, “and whoever comes out I think is going to be good.”