Goodson making most of his opportunities

October 18, 2012, 7:52 pm
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ALAMEDA -- Mike Goodson has carried the ball 11 times this year, for 89 yards. And his average of 8.1 yards per carry is more than double that of featured back Darren McFadden's average of 3.2 yards.Now, this is not to suggest that Goodson should replace McFadden as the starting tailback -- far from it -- but isn't it interesting that Goodson seems to be a better fit for the Raiders' new zone-blocking scheme? At least, in a sample size of five games.Whatever the case, Goodson, who had a 43-yard run Sunday in Atlanta, has started to carve out a nice little niche for himself in his first year with Oakland."I kind of take the glass-half-full thing," Goodson said. "I get to play along with Darren McFadden. So, I know what hes going to do when he gets the ball, so I feel like I've got just as much pressure on me. So, when I touch the ball, I've got to make something happen every time."Like the 43-yard run he had Sunday in Atlanta. And the screen pass he took 64 yards for a touchdown at Miami in Week 2 at Miami."When I get in there, its just a combination of great blocking, great play-calling and being able to get into the open field," he said. "The linemen have opened up some holes. Like on the screen, when I got the ball, there were four or five linemen downfield right in front of me, so it feels pretty fortunate."Goodson, acquired in a March 30 trade with Carolina for offensive lineman Bruce Campbell, has also returned five kickoffs for 117 yards, with a long of 51 yards."He's kind of just a team guy," quarterback Carson Palmer said of Goodson. "He knows this is Darren McFadden's running game and he knows that he's kind of the lead dog in that and understands his role and just looks, anyway he can help the team. Like I said, playing special teams, he'll play on any special team you ask him to. He'll come in on third down, he'll carry the ball in short yardage, it doesn't matter. He just wants to be on the field. Just loves playing football."After a scary neck injury in training camp left him tad gun shy, Goodson fumbled twice in his first exhibition game with the Raiders, at Arizona, and wondered if he had lost the trust of the coaching staff that had brought him to Oakland."Definitely. I talked to coach, man, and he had confidence in me," Goodson said. "So, I just went out there and played football. When you play football, you try not to think about it, you just kind of go."But, yeahto have those two fumbles and come out, a new team, it was devastating. So, to be able to get in there and make plays, it felt good."