Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Najee Goode better than his last drop
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- John Goode spent two easily overlooked seasons in the NFL, one in St. Louis and one with the Philadelphia Eagles.
His son, Najee Goode, is a young linebacker preparing to make his first NFL start. That he is doing it in Philadelphia, the city where his father spent a season, is both coincidental and instructional.
"He told me to embrace everything in the city," Najee Goode said Tuesday. "The fans take the game to a different altitude. People may say they boo and this and that, but they support the team. That's why it's a great place to play. I can already tell, the fans are up and at it. You see them on Twitter, you see them on Facebook, all the social media. It's great."
Goode replaced Mychal Kendricks Sunday in Green Bay after the second-year, star-in-the-making went out with a knee injury. Goode acquitted himself well. He blitzed effectively and played well in the run game.
"Right after I got in," Goode said, "it was like the third or fourth play, I was able to slash in and hit Eddie Lacy in the backfield. It was kind of a statement play: I was going to be here all game."
Goode is likely to start against Washington Sunday. Kendricks was the defensive player most likely to be assigned to spying quarterback Robert Griffin III, just as he did against Oakland's Terrelle Pryor. It's a big challenge.
"You're starting, now what can you do with it," Goode said.
His most memorable play in Green Bay was a near miss. Goode stepped in front of a Scott Tolzien pass with nothing but the end zone in front of him. He dropped the interception.
That was catnip to his father, the former tight end. Turns out the two Goodes maintain a competitive aspect to their relationship.
"I must have had Vaseline on my hands," Goode said. "I'll get it next time."
The play was Najee's comeuppance, in a sense. He recovered an errant snap for a touchdown against the Giants. That gave him one more touchdown than his father managed in his own brief NFL career.
"As soon as I got back to the house," Najee Goode said, "I called him and told him I had him, 1-0. We got drafted in the same round, he just got drafted three picks before I did. So he always talked crap about that. My dad always kept a healthy competition going between me and him."
If the touchdown gave Najee the advantage, that dropped pick-six brought the karmic wheel all the way around.
"I used to play offense in high school and everything," Goode said. "After that, my dad told me never to try to play offense again."
He laughed. His father's career is in the books. Najee's is just beginning. He may have the last laugh yet.