After he was traded from the Panthers to the Raiders last week, running back Mike Goodson said he’s hoping to get something in Oakland this year that he doesn’t feel like he got in Carolina last year: A fair chance to contribute to the offense.
Goodson told Steve Reed of the Associated Press that after being a regular contributor to the Panthers’ offense in 2010, with 762 yards from scrimmage, he was disappointed when new head coach Ron Rivera and his staff came in last year and barely gave him any opportunities at all. Goodson never carried the ball in 2011 and caught one pass for four yards.
“I thought going in, with the way I performed I’d definitely get an opportunity to play,” Goodson said. “Some things happened. I didn’t get the opportunity I thought I should have. Then I got injured, and it really didn’t go the way I wanted last year.”
The reality, however, is that Rivera did give Goodson an opportunity: In the first game of the preseason, when Goodson got the ball 10 times. The problem was that Goodson fumbled on two of those 10 touches, and after that Rivera never had faith in him again. Goodson also fumbled six times in the 2010 regular season, so those preseason fumbles weren’t an aberration. Rivera didn’t think he could trust Goodson to hold onto the ball, and that’s why Rivera didn’t want Goodson to carry the ball.
The good news for the Raiders is that sometimes players with fumbling problems learn to correct those problems, and Goodson has already shown he can make plays with the ball in his hands. The Raiders will give him the opportunity to show he can keep the ball in his hands through the end of the play.