Chat with former Miami LB Tavares Gooden
In his first four seasons at Miami, Gooden played in 37 games and tallied 137 tackles, half a sack, five pass breakups and a blocked kick. In 2005, he suffered a left shoulder dislocation in the season opener that required season-ending surgery. In 2007, he had 100 tackles, three fumble recoveries, three pass breakups and an interception.
According to Gooden's Scouts Inc.'s draft profile, Gooden "is a good-sized, fluid athlete with very good closing burst to the ball carrier. He certainly has the skills to develop into a playmaker in coverage and as a pass rusher. However, he is undisciplined with his reads, he lacks explosive power and he needs to do a better job taking on and shedding blockers in the iso-run game. Regardless, Gooden is a bit of a boom-or-bust prospect as a late-second or third round pick because he seems to have curable weaknesses but only time will tell if he's coachable enough, tough enough and instinctive enough to take his game to the next level."
Send in your questions now, then join Gooden on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Tavares Gooden (2:39 PM)
Hey everybody, happy to be here to answer your questions.
Tavares, since your from Miami the 4-3 system most likely fits you better, but if a 3-4 team drafted you, would you be dissapointed?
Tavares Gooden (2:41 PM)
No, I can't be disappointed. I have played outside linebacker while in high school. I can play inside or outside linebacker.
Howard (Lake Charles, LA)
Who do you think is the best linebacker in the draft?
Tavares Gooden (2:42 PM)
You can't just ask who the best linebacker is because a person should always say that they are. As far as what I can bring, I'm strong, I play the field well, and I can bring a lot to the team.
Billy (Conroe, TX)
Do you have any goals for your rookie season?
Tavares Gooden (2:43 PM)
I do, I want to step into a system and play right away. I want to learn the system and hopefully win defensive rookie of the year.
Marcus (Louisville, KY)
What is the best part about playing at the linebacker position?
Tavares Gooden (2:44 PM)
The best part is being in control of the defense. You have full control over everything that happens on the field. If something goes wrong, it's your fault.
Tariq (Charlotte, NC)
Which team in the ACC did you enjoy playing against the most?
Tavares Gooden (2:45 PM)
In the ACC it would be Florida State. It's a in-state school and it's a big rivalry. It's fun playing against people you played with in high school. And plus if you win you get bragging rights for the season.
Shawn (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
What advice do you have for a young player coming up wanting to play college football?
Tavares Gooden (2:47 PM)
In order to play college football you have to do something special to be notice. I worked hard on and off the field. I stayed out of trouble, I went to school, and I didn't do drugs. Just stay out of trouble and work hard. You can't just sit back you have to be a go getter.
Jordyn (Miami, FL)
What NFL linebacker do you compare yourself to?
Tavares Gooden (2:48 PM)
You can't compare yourself to anybody. You have to have confidence in yourself and I do. I don't really compare myself to anybody.
With the tradition of the U, what's it like being there during a couple of sub par seasons?
Tavares Gooden (2:50 PM)
None of our seasons were sup par. We worked hard and when you do that things will go well. State wise, we might have had sub par season. But I made my personal goals by working hard and doing what I had to do to get better. With all the work that Miami put in, they will be back at the top.
Mark (Houston, TX)
What would yu bring to an NFL team that another player may not bring?
Tavares Gooden (2:52 PM)
I would bring durability and I can play a couple of positions. I'm a big strong guy and I can do many things on the field.
Austin (Daytona Beach, FL)
Who was your favorite NFL player and or team growing up?
Tavares Gooden (2:54 PM)
Didn't really have a favorite team but my favorite player was Jevon Kearse. In high school I was given the #90 while playing high school varsity football. Jevon had # 42 in the preseason but had #90 in the regular season.
Larry (Miami, FL)
What's your biggest football superstition?
Tavares Gooden (2:55 PM)
I like to where the same thing every week, from my sock to my gloves.
Robert (Miami, FL)
Did you see a difference between Randy Shannon and Larry Coker at head coach? Do you think the program is in good hands? Good luck in the League and GO CANES!!!
Tavares Gooden (2:58 PM)
It's in very good hands. They have the same type of coaching style. Since Randy Shannon is from Miami he will get a lot of in state talent.
Brian (Orlando, FL)
What is the one thing that you need to work on to be successful at the next level?
Tavares Gooden (2:58 PM)
I don't think I have anything to work on physically. I just need to learn the system and I should be fine.
Tavares Gooden (2:59 PM)
Thank you for all your support. I enjoyed answering your questions and I hope to be back soon.
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