Goode proving to be nice fit for Eagles

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
8:00
AM ET
It's all about the right opportunity.

Not long after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Najee Goode on Sept. 1, 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles claimed him on waivers.

At the time, this was hardly a transaction that left the league buzzing.

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But Goode became a nice fit for the Eagles, coming up with 21 tackles, one sack and excelling on special teams.

Fast forward to now and Goode is so much more comfortable in defensive coordinator Bill Davis' scheme.

"It was hard, but I had good guys to learn from," Goode told CSNPhilly.com. "The hard part was just really learning to make the calls because with us, inside linebacker you've got to make the calls. But Mike (Kendricks) and DeMeco (Ryans), just being around them, coming in and putting in extra time, helped me get the defense down.

"This offseason, I stayed in Philly, doing the same thing over and over again and finally had the time to really learn the defense. Definitely a whole lot farther along than last year, just the mental understanding, knowing the technique, getting our keys, doing the things we have to do as far as reading and reacting ... just being around here and learning."

You never stop learning in the NFL.

"This is one of the hardest offenses in the league and just playing defense against them is boosting my confidence a lot," Goode told CSNPhilly.com. "And just being able to take some reps with the starters, that does a lot for my confidence. They're giving me a chance. Whatever chance they give me, I'm going to take full advantage of it. In the NFL, you've got to be perfect, and DeMeco does a lot of things right, and that they might trust me to go in for him, it's a huge confidence booster to know that they trust me. Once I get that chance, I just need to go out on the field and do the right thing."

Ryans played more snaps than any defensive player in the league last season. If he has to come out, knowing that a linebacker such as Goode can fill in admirably is very comforting.

"He's proven he can do that," Ryans told CSNPhilly.com. "You see the games he got in, Green Bay, Mychal goes out and Naj comes in and we don't miss a beat and play really good defensively. Comes back Washington game, tough offense, he comes in and nails it. To have a quality guy like that is just really great for our group, and it helps us to be versatile as a group. Najee, he can start in this league."

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