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TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 27: Wide receiver Richard Goodman #9 of the Florida State Seminoles warms up before play against the Duke Blue Devils at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 27, 2007 in Tallahassee, Florida. FSU won 25-6. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
This week, the Chargers wide receiver is Dexter McCluster, the Chiefs' rookie speedster whom the defense will look to contain in Monday night's season opener.
Goodman is one of eight players on the Chargers practice squad, but he can simulate what no one else in the group can: top-end speed.
The undrafted rookie put that element to use in Wednesday's practice, running a special drill against the defensive backs as the Chiefs' newest weapon. The Chargers expect McCluster, a hybrid between running back and wide receiver, to line up in different positions to exploit potential mismatches with his speed.
“One of the things we sell is you have to give the great look, and I think Goodman gives a good look,” coach Norv Turner said. “...Our guys understand how important that is, so they do a good job.”
It's a job Goodman doesn't take lightly.
His college career at Florida State was plagued with injuries. He missed the final five games of his junior year and redshirted the 2008 season due to a broken fibula. In 2009, he started five of the first six games of his senior season before a groin injury hampered him the rest of the year.
Coming out of college, Goodman said a lot of people had doubts about him, be it due to injury or off-the-field concerns.
After overcoming a preseason hamstring injury to make the practice squad, this is his chance.
He may be simulating McCluster, Moss or Murphy on a given week, but Goodman wants to improve his own game with every snap.
“I look at it as a 61-man roster,” Goodman said. “Even though we're giving the team a look, I'm still here with San Diego Chargers gear on, and I still have the same opportunity as everybody else out there to go out and get better. You look at it that way, the sky's the limit.
“You never maintain. You only get better.”