Apparently in the NFL, as the old saying goes; “one person’s ‘trash’ may become another person’s treasure”. In a captivating interview with Marquise Goodwin on the John Murphy Show this week, Goodwin showed why he did not deserve to be set aside in football purgatory last season.
Most people understand that there is no place for self-doubt in the heart of a champion. Furthermore, there is no question that despite being left for dead along side of the road with Kraig Urbik last season, Mr. Goodwin handled business like a consummate professional.
It’s evident after watching player interviews since Rex Ryan was hired that the Marrone Era (or maybe ERROR?) created divisive issues for certain players. Goodwin somehow found himself in Marrone’s dog house, and was never allowed to come out.
Along with Kraig Urbik’s mystery benching, Marquise Goodwin for some reason did not fit the ‘profile’ Marrone was looking for at the wide receiver position. Why that is the case escapes my ability to fathom, but it is becoming increasingly clear that there was a strained relationship between some players and Marrone that explains why the team faltered so badly on offense.
Why is that relevant to what is going on today with Bills players? A player’s state of mind matters, that’s why. If a coach is making decisions that don’t make sense and the ‘culture’ is one where there is little freedom to challenge their decisions, that can only lead to distrust within the foundation of the team.
That kind of distrust can become like a cancer. Emotions ride high in an NFL locker room. Distrust can lead to more subterfuge and dysfunction instead of bonding as a brotherhood. It’s obvious from listening to player interviews that these players are thrilled to work with Rex Ryan because he cares about them as human beings.
The difference in demeanor by players in interviews compared to last season is noticeable. There are less “canned” player-speak responses, as well as multiple innuendos that all was not well at One Bills Drive last season.
Listening to Mr. Goodwin speak with John Murphy was enlightening. There are certain players who sometimes need a couple of years of development before they blossom.
However, you have to be on the field to allow for that development to take place. Marrone spurned Goodwin by deactivating him at times throughout last season. Goodwin took the high road, did not make himself a distraction, and moved on.
And, move on is exactly what Goodwin apparently did. There’s no real way to describe how or when a player reaches a point in their professional career when everything slips into place and they emerge as a star. We’ve seen it time and time again in the NFL. Ehen fans get to see it happen with a player on their favorite team, it’s such a treat.
Get ready, Bills fans. Mr. Goodwin has come of age. He is not only a rare talent, but also a wise young man that uses every challenge in his life to “get better”. He has the heart of a champion, and a finely tuned psyche eager to blaze his path to glory. When you listen to him, you can’t help but admire his style.
There was a marked difference in Goodwin’s confidence and self-assured nature when he spoke about the praise he recently received from Coach Ryan. Gone was the young man we saw lurking in the shadows the last two seasons. Goodwin has made the most of his opportunity to secure a roster spot with a position group laden with talent.
Marquise Goodwin is at a sweet spot in his career. He is surrounded by talented receivers like Percy Harvin and Sammy Watkins. If OL Coach Kromer can get this line to play with even an average efficiency level, this Bills team will make the playoffs, barring catastrophic levels of injuries of course.
The Bills also have talented running backs, full backs, and tight ends on the roster now as well. This infusion of talent will undoubtedly create an environment where Mr. Goodwin can showcase his world class speed. He’s in perfect situation to blossom at just the right time as he heads toward the latter the end of his rookie contract.
If you listen to Goodwin’s interview, it’s hard to miss the enthusiasm in his voice. Time after time John Murphy tried to get him to talk about building his career resume. Every time he approached the subject, Marquise responded by repeatedly saying that the only thing cared about was winning as a team.
We’ve all heard players say they want to win more than achieve personal accolades. However, when you hear Mr. Goodwin lay it out, it’s obvious that he means it. Players mature at varying rates depending on a number of factors, not the least of which is experiencing success as a team.
However, Rex Ryan made a great point recently when asked about Marquise and his ability to play football in the NFL. Rex was effusive with praise and bristled at the notion that Goodwin was merely a track star. Rex’s point was that you can’t evaluate players or help them get better if they don’t get on the field and play the game.
Marquise Goodwin is blessed with world class speed. But like other players that get lost in the shuffle between coaching regimes, he found himself on the outside looking in through no fault of his own.
Thankfully, Rex Ryan is underrated as a talent evaluator, and an opportunist. It’s obvious from the way the Bills defense is being put together with Dennis Thurman that Rex has a keen eye for finding “football players”, as he puts it.
Marquise Goodwin is much more than a track star, and part of what makes Rex a great coach is his ability to He is a football player about to get a second chance to revive his career after being kept in cold storage by Doug Marrone. No doubt Marquise took that adverse situation and used it to better himself personally and professionally. That is what champions do.
It’s been many years since the Bills had this much talent at the WR position. It will be fun to watch Marquise realize his vast potential under Greg Roman’s offensive scheme.
Bills fans saw the same thing happen with Stevie Johnson. It is alleged that the then outgoing Richard Jauron told Chan Gailey that Stevie did not have what it took to play in the NFL.
Chan Gailey looked at the film after seeing Stevie in OTAs and said to the media that he was “misled” in the notion that Stevie lacked the ability to be successful at the NFL level. It’s amazing what a fresh set of eyes and an open mind can do to rehabilitate the career of an NFL player.
Thankfully for Goodwin, Rex Ryan came along and is giving him his best chance for success in his NFL career. I fully expect this to be a breakout season for Mr. Goodwin, and look forward to a lot more “Flash”, not “trash”.