Sunday, May 12, 2013

Goodwin 'retired' from track, 'all football now'


This time last year, Buffalo Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin was in training, but for a much different goal than his current one. (photo: Tab59, Flickr)

The former collegiate and national track and field star was preparing for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where he hoped to improve on his finish from the year before and regain the long jump title. He did just that, jumping 27 feet for his second outdoor title in three years.

Goodwin's track resume is impressive; he even jumped for the United States in London during the Summer Olympics (he finished 10th). But despite his success in the sand, Goodwin says he's hung up his track spikes for football cleats.

"I'm retired. It's all football right now," he said to reporters Saturday via "It's crazy to say, I've only been in the game a couple years, but I'm retired."

That's good news for Buffalo, who don't want a Jeff Demps situation on their hands with their third-round speedster. Goodwin's addition, along with fellow draftees Robert Woods and Da'Rick Rogers, gives the Bills far more options in the passing game than a year ago, especially if the plan to move Stevie Johnson into more of a slot role becomes a reality. 

Goodwin is a serious deep threat on the perimeter, one that rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel acknowledged earlier this week. He, along with 2012 pick T.J. Graham, should provide a solid buffer from DB blitzes for whoever ends up under center for Buffalo, which will certainly be an improvement from the team's one-dimensional offense of a year ago. 

The former Longhorn will likely be battling Woods and Graham for the No. 2 spot in the depth chart, though it will be interesting to see who rises and falls in the eyes of Nate Hackett and Doug Marrone as offseason workouts progress. Health may play a big role in who winds up winning the Week 1 spot, which has been the case for the Bills' wide receiver corps the past few years. 

Goodwin said the break from the track has been a positive on his overall health, and it's allowed him to focus purely on football. 

"I'm really excited. It's actually been a lot better on my body," he said. "I'm a lot more healthy. I've got that football mentality year-round; it's all football right now. 

"Track was then, but now it's football, it's time to go. I feel great; my body feels great. I'm not doing as many sprints outside, I'm not traveling as much and the legs are fresher." 

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