- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New York Jets have a big void to fill at tailback after the free-agent departure of 1,000-yard rusher Shonn Greene to the Tennessee Titans. Greene has been the primary ball-carrier in New York for the past two seasons and was the central focus of New York's ground-and-pound philosophy.
But Mike Goodson believes he is the right person to fill that void in New York. Goodson rushed for just 211 yards last season with the Oakland Raiders and will compete with Jets backups Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell for the starting role in training camp.
The Jets are transitioning to a West Coast offense and needs a quick-hitting ball carrier. Goodson has good quickness and could be the guy. Despite limited carries, he averaged 6.3 yards per carry last season.
“I definitely think [the West Coast offense] highlights the things that I do well in my game,” Goodson said on a conference call this week. “Catching the ball out of the backfield, being able to isolate the linebackers, run some routes and also running the ball between the tackles, I think it’s going to be good.”
Goodson said he received interest from New York and the Cincinnati Bengals. Goodson chose the Jets primarily for the chance to compete for a starting role. He would have been BenJarvus Green-Ellis' backup in Cincinnati.
Goodson, 25, has fresh legs. He has just 160 carries in three years with the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders. Goodson might eclipse that number this season alone with the Jets.
Goodson usually shined when he had the chance. But his opportunities were limited playing behind big names in Carolina and Oakland.
“Most of them were 'big-money' guys: Darren McFadden, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart,” Goodson explained. “So at the same time [I’m] learning from those guys. I had to play behind them, so it was tough. But I think it’s put me in a position now where I can come in, be able to make those types of plays and be that guy at running back, that every-down guy.”