Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Goodwin vows to return kickoffs 'every time'


While Marquise Goodwin has been impressive throughout offseason workouts and in camp, the rookie is still on the bubble regarding a starting role as a receiver.

At the moment, his main shot to contribute will likely be on special teams, for which he proved a valuable commodity Sunday. The former Longhorn tallied 180 yards on two returns, one of which was a 107-yard touchdown run from the very back of the end zone.

Talking with reporters Monday, Goodwin kept it simple when he was asked about the score. He also said that, if given the chance, he won't think twice about coming out of the end zone again from that distance.

"I got the easiest job on the field, just to catch it and to run fast, and do what I do best," Goodwin said. "They blocked it really well. Following behind Frank Summers, he took the end out and I just cut off his block and cut up the field, cut across the field and just ran for my life.

"I’m bringing it out every time; that’s what’s in my mind. Until the off returner Frank (Summers) keeps me in, I’m going to bring it out every time. In my mind I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to take this one.’"

If Goodwin proves to be a consistent threat in the return game, the Bills' special teams squad will not be one to trifle with. Buffalo's squad ranked fourth on kickoffs and first in punts on average last season, due mostly in part to the work of Leodis McKelvin, though utility man Brad Smith was equally as potent on kickoffs. 

With McKelvin moving to what seems like a full-time role at corner, coupled with the uncertainty surrounding Smith's longevity on the roster, Goodwin looks like a shoo-in as a starting returner. In 41 attempts at Texas, the 22-year-old averaged a little more than 22 yards a return, including a touchdown.

Coach Doug Marrone spoke highly of the rookie's weekend performance, calling Goodwin's wheels some of the fastest he's ever coached.

"The guys that have been with us through training camp obviously have seen him do some good things, not just as a receiver but also in the return game," Marrone said. "He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever been with on the field, and it’s documented his speed. It’s not surprising that he was able to get those two big returns and one return for a touchdown."

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