Goodson Paying Early Dividends

Demetri Goodson

Last year, the Green Bay Packers had some difficult decisions to make when final roster cutdowns were due.  Cornerback was a position of particular interest, as the team had sixth rounder Demetri Goodson in the mix and fighting for one of the last roster spots with undrafted free agent Jumal Rolle.  Many though Rolle had a better preseason and would offer more to the defense, but Goodson was one of general manager Ted Thompson’s few prize draft picks and in the end, Goodson was the keep while Rolle was scooped up by the Houston Texans.

Throughout the 2014 season, Goodson failed to make much of an impression on the coaching staff and found himself relegated to spot duty on special teams.  The former basketball star admittedly struggled to learn some of the defensive intricacies and scheme and as a result, did not see the field much at all.  Goodson is still working on his game at corner and will certainly have his work cut out for him with two rookie defensive backs fighting for roster spots at the corner position.

But one thing Goodson has that they don’t is experience and he’s caught some eyes for his work on special teams.  Head coach Mike McCarthy said after a recent spring practice that Goodson had jumped out at him on special teams.  Given that McCarthy has spent more time with that unit and will be focusing on areas of the team other than just the offense, that’s a ringing endorsement for Goodson.  It’s still early and “Meech”, as he’s called, hasn’t secured a roster spot for himself just yet.  But he’s going about things the right way to do just that if he’s focusing on where he can help the team right away.

We’ll never know exactly what Rolle might have done for the secondary last season, but given that the Packers should have won the NFC and had only themselves to blame for not getting it done, it’s fair to say that the decision to keep Goodson wasn’t detrimental to the Packers.  Earlier this week, I lauded Thompson for his decision-making when it comes to personnel and contracts.  Here’s another area where he tends to get it right more often than not.  Keeping Goodson is appearing to be paying some small dividends now and he’ll have a chance to contribute quite a bit on special teams throughout training camp.  If he continues his solid play in that area, Goodson may carve out a nice and important role for himself on the 2015 Packers roster.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • marpag

    I’ve learned not to be too quick to criticize the team when they hold on to late round picks, UDFAs and small college players as developmental guys.

    “No, No! I never said you SUCKED, Mr. Driver. I always knew you would become the Packers all-time receiving leader. Honest, I did!”

  • Razer

    Aside from our starting secondary, we have two basketball players and a baseball player looking to take over for the quality that we lost in FA. It is the epitome of faith that we Packer fans figure everything will be alright. I don’t doubt that these guys can run and jump and I like our defensive backs coaching so I am willing to trust the process. Like most of you, I’ll need to bite my tongue as the defense struggles with the inexperience and learning. Let’s just hope that these guys are fast learners

    • croatpackfan

      Well, I do not know how good player can help team when he is sitting on the bench because he is injured, or how good you are, when with all of your experience and preparation allows winning TD in the first possession of the opponent in overtime. And that happened purely because the player you were responsible for outsmart you and outrun you… Rookie player! High quality!

      • NemoOutis

        Of course, you are referring to Tramon Williams who allowed the winning TD in overtime. Although beat, he had no safety help. Late in the year, the improvement in the overall D was the result of improved man coverage by Williams and Shields. The CBs often went to “cover 1” or “cover 0” to allow 1 or both of the safeties to stay up to stop the run. In fairness to Tramon, we never would have had been in overtime had Clinton-Dix made the play on the 2 point conversion. He appeared flat-footed and confused. That was a rookie mistake. And he’s a good rookie. So too, is Bears CB Kyle Fuller. As a rookie, he was picked apart by A-Rod and most other experienced QBs.

        • croatpackfan

          Oh, I see. Listen, if Packers intercepted (probably Morgan and Ha-ha) every pass from Wilson, Tramon would do no mistake. I think I’m correct when claims that. But still, it does not matter why we came to that play in overtime. It still is that Tramon should knew better. He should have understood that he is one on one w/o safety help, so he should not “cover” outside, but inside route… That I would expect from my top, excellent corner. Sorry, but putting the blame on rookie because Tramon did not play well is not nice try…

          And I remember more games with Tramon gaffs, lucky for him and Packers with less influenced outcome… I will never judge the player by one play. But that one play was just one of the number before… He became “old” and played on experience. Sometime that was OK, but in crucial times that cost team a lot. I would like if Tramon is still with Packers, but just as help for younger DB…

          • NemoOutis

            Next to QB, CB is the position that takes the longest to develop. We have good rookies, but it will take time. CB Coach Joe Whitt knows this. He recently said, “”I have a bunch of guys that don’t know how to play football right now, and we have to figure out how to get them to play in the NFL.”

            • Dan Stodola

              Completly Disagree. CB is a position that relies on athletcism more than almost every other. If a player has the necessary athletic ability CB is a position that is relatively easy to learn and play very well very quickly. Whitt has done an excellent job to be sure, but the guys he has to work with have all had the ability needed to succeed early.

          • Dan Stodola

            Correct. On that play and that coverage Tramon canNOT allow an inside release under any circumstance.

            Tramon is/was a great Packer, but his time had come. Would have been ok w 4 or maybe 5M per, not 7M. Wish him well and expect to see him for induction to Packers HOF in 5 yrs.

  • Big T

    Just a thought… maybe instead of trying to score big time on a bunch of green horns and “waiting” for them to develop, what about getting 1 proven stud that can play “now” and win 2-3 superbowls. Aaron’s clock is a ticking, lets win a few superbowls instead of waiting for TT’s learning curve experiments. I know I am the minority on here. I am not content with a winning record and play off losses like the majority on here. There is no excuse anymore. It’s superbowl or TT’s sack on a platter.

    • marpag

      What is this “proven stud’s” name, how will you acquire him, how much will you pay him, how will you fit that amount under the salary cap together with all of the other players and coaches, and how do you know that one more “proven stud” is enough to push the Packers over the top anyway?

      It’s all very simple when you don’t actually have to do it.

      • Big T

        Never said it would be simple. It definitely could be done. And the reward is the ultimate… superbowl ring. Do you think if Reggie White was on the field during the Seattle game that shit would’ve happened? I think not. One proven stud or leader on defense and we are superbowl champs. It really is simple once you take your head out of TT’s azz.

        • marpag

          So then… What is this “proven stud’s” name, how will you acquire him, how much will you pay him, how will you fit that amount under the salary cap together with all of the other players and coaches, and how do you know that one more “proven stud” is enough to push the Packers over the top anyway?

          • TedTomsin

            marpag, just call Big T Big I for Big Idiot.
            Big Ted

          • Big T

            As far as pay we are already under the cap. You could subtract the salary of the 3 TT experiments as well . So money is not an issue. There were several FA’s available to fill our need. All we really needed was a leader out their to win the Seattle debacle.

            • marpag

              Why is it that you keep on forgetting to tell us who this “proven stud” is, and how much you would pay him? It almost seems like you don’t really know what the hell you’re talking about…

              • TedTomsin

                lol.. he doesn’t marpag.. That’s why he’s Big I.
                Ted

              • Big T

                marpag you should be able to go over the list of FA’s that were available and figure it out. Oh wait, I forgot you can’t think on your own, you can only regurgitate what TT says…

              • SchenySchen

                BigT, hardly fair to use Reggie White (one of the 5 greatest defensive players in NFL history) as your example of getting “one proven stud”….. I think all Marpag is asking is that you back up your opinion with 1 example of a player that’s available that fits the “one proven stud” your are advocating. GoPack!

              • Big T

                Actually they just needed a leader, someone to keep them focused when the coaching staff fell asleep at the wheel. An example would be… any FA available was better than what we had at ILB.

              • SchenySchen

                Actually, ILb play did not cost them the game against Seattle.

              • marpag

                So what I’m hearing is that you insist that “other people” should be able to do this, but you yourself are too gutless to even take a shot at it. You’ll just sit off at a distance and bitch. And even if you did “go over the list of FA’s that were available,” and even if you had chosen one, you still haven’t said how much you would be willing to pay that guy to make him a Packer, and how his contract would affect the overall salary structure.

                Obviously, I knew perfectly well that you wouldn’t give any sort of valid answer, because none of your posts so far have ever shown that you even begin to grasp the depth of the situation. Your posts aren’t based on any sort of understanding, but only on an infantile desire to use the word “ballsack” as many times as you can. So forgive me and the rest of the board if no one has very much respect for that opinion.

              • TedTomsin

                You mean a high priced veteran like Julius Peppers who told Morgan Burnett to stay down on the ground after intercepting Wilson? lol Big I, you are talking out your ass. Give up. You lost.
                Ted

              • Robert

                I think the player who fits your description is named Julius Peppers. In my mind, the entire NFC Championship game turned after our defense had played so brilliant regardless of the lack of the usual offensive performance. Team captain Morgan Burnett slid down after another Russell. Wilson interception at the encouragement of another Team captain, Julius Peppers when the defense had the Seahawks by the throat .
                The Entire Team rallied to not lose and it all went downhill after that play. Two of our Captains quit playing football and the result was the entire organization lost the focus that had us in position to play the Patriots for our Lombardi Trophy. If our defense had been more aggressive in that fleeting moment, maybe our entire team would not have went into a shell and imploded.When Peppers “No Mas” ended, Our offense, defense, special teams relaxed.
                Has there been an explanation as to why all five facets of our team melted like a snowcone on a summer Texas day?
                The changes our team has made is for a reason.

              • I think your imputations are not warranted. Peppers just needs a signal that means grab all the easy yards you can but for Heaven’s sake don’t fumble or even get tackled. I think your charge that Peppers is not a team player is conjured out of thin air.

              • WillieWood

                The reason the Packer lost the NFC Championship game was NOT because of Burnett sliding. He intercepted the ball on the play. He gave the Packers a better chance to win the game. He could have made the position even better if he did not slide, but he still improved the Packers chances. It was the offense’s lack of playmaking and other defensive lapses that lost that game.

    • Peter Maiz

      I agree with you. But Ted is going nowhere. Green Bay doesn’t have one sole owner that could turn the screws, it’s run by delegates from a town. So Ted’s the boss. And that is why we’ll have a bunch of rookie cornerbacks that, though physically talented, “don’t know how to play football”. Good luck, Green Bay but you’re going to need a lot more than luck.

      • TedTomsin

        Peter, sometimes all I have to do is click on who gave you a thumbs up before I even read what you said to know I probably am not going to agree with you.
        Sure enough Big I gave you a thumbs up and sure enough. What? So you want Ted Thompson out because he drafted two cornerbacks “who don’t know how to play football”? Surely you can’t be serious. If you are I might have to start calling you Peter Maized and Confused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQgYn23Xvck
        Ted –

        • Peter Maiz

          The picks were very good picks but they are untried and inexperienced. It takes time to effectively learn the position. Besides, you are being disingenuous by downplaying Julius Peppers. I have high hopes for the first two draft picks but I don’t think they’ll be ready in a couple of months. And you know cornerback is a position that has to be played effectively or you get seriously burned.

          • TedTomsin

            Peter, I have faith in Joe Whitt and also remember Mike McCarthy is now coaching all over the place. He’s not just going to be calling plays. You don’t think they’ll be ready? Well I have faith they will be ready come season opener. As ready as rookies can be.

            Look at Sam Shields his first year here. The guy was a wide receiver and the Packers turned him into a cornerback and he started I believe in week one or soon after that. You are talking about a guy who had a severe learning disability and had to be taught separately in a different way. If Sam Shields could start in his rookie year, Rollins and Randall can too.

            Rollins appears to be highly intelligent just from hearing him speak. I have more hopes for him. He could be a Greg Jennings type where everything clicks right away. I’m not worried.

            As for Peppers, Big I was saying if they only signed a veteran last year that onside kick wouldn’t have happened etc. Well they did sign a veteran and Peppers was the guy who told Burnett to go down which was a mistake. Big I is talking out his Big A.
            Ted

            • Peter Maiz

              It was a mistake but you have to look at some Peppers plays during the season.Some were spectacular, including a couple of pick-sixes and a few forced fumbles. But I blame the NFC debacle on McCarthy’s conservative play calling.

  • I’m a Goodson backer. I really like his athleticism. But if all he can do is contribute on STs, well, that’s okay but I’d like more. This will be his 2nd season, so he still has some time before my moneyball clock starts chiming pretty loudly.

    • BRinMilwaukee

      If we’re very lucky, Goodson will play CB this year, and even get some interceptions, like Rolle did last year.

      • SchenySchen

        BR, keep in mind, Rolle wouldn’t have seen the field for the Packers. It’s easy to say “we could have used his 4 int’s” but in reality, that never would have occurred had he played here (due to the depth of our secondary last year).. He likely would have been a healthy scratch every week or perhaps played ST’s. GoPack!

        • True dat, last year. This year Rolle would look like nice insurance at dime or nickelback in case of injury, or one of the rookies taking a little time to develop. I think there might have been some bad blood after Rolle did not get put on the 53.

          • SchenySchen

            It will be interesting to see how fast the rookies develop. I think they will come along just fine if given the time to do so. My concern is if Hayward is not 100%, and they get thrust into the lineup before they are ready. I think that is where, to your point, it would be nice to have Rolle on board. GoPack!

        • BRinMilwaukee

          Neither player would have seen much action last year. But Rolle clearly outplayed Goodson in the preseason, and had a pretty good rookie season (for a corner). At this point, I can’t say I agree with the decision to dump Rolle for Goodson, but of course the jury is still out. Time will tell.

      • Peter Maiz

        If you place Goodson at CB, expect all quarterbacks throwing his way.

  • mark

    you say TW had not S help like he was supposed to. instead of inferring failure on the parts of other players who were doing their respective jobs, put blame where it belongs (or responsibility if you are pc). It was a stupid defensive call in a series of idiotic defensive calls and it was poorly executed by TW

    • Tramon was not supposed to have safety help, and he knew or should have known it. Seattle put 5 receivers out on the field, and had Lynch at RB. GB elected to use Richardson as a spy on Wilson. Voila, 0 coverage situation, i.e. no safety help over the top. So you’re right, Tramon gave up an inside release right away, and Wilson made a good throw. In fairness, TW was not much more than a half step to a step behind Kearse. TW just did not have the closing speed anymore to close the gap.

  • mark

    gotta laugh, why get a real shut down CB and take advantage of Rodgers now? why no good team does that….smart teams develop draft choices even when it means cutting a better player who was a FA…you would NEVER catch a super bowl champion signed high priced free agents for one year to hold up a weak position. Study some history, look at what actually wins the super bowl, never free agent plug ins, its 6th round draft choices NE would never do this kind of thing or wait, what do they know its all about cheating