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.——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone: