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Feeling Goode About What's To Come

Posted Feb 10, 2016

As the Eagles continue to build the roster for the 2016 season, the team secured a key depth player on Wednesday, re-signing Najee Goode to a one-year contract.

“It feels great just to have another opportunity to come for the Eagles,” Goode said after signing his new deal. “I’ve been here for three years going on four, and there's been a lot of new changes and it’s a fresh start for everybody, and after signing the new deal, it’s definitely a fresh start (for me).”

When Goode was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he didn’t think he’d be playing in Philadelphia by the time the 2013 season started. But that was the case, and the West Virginia product quickly made a name for himself as one of the top special teams players on the team, while also serving as a reliable option at the linebacker position.

“Everything happens for a reason,” said Goode. “I came here and played in 2013 and excelled in special teams, played on defense, started, had some good film and then had the injury which kind of set me back, but I still progressed under the radar, so to say, with the injury and the rehab.”

After that standout year in 2013, Goode suffered a setback in the 2014 season opener, as a pectoral injury placed him on Injured Reserve. Goode says that it was difficult to watch his teammates play without him while he was sidelined, but he worked hard during his rehab to come back as strong as ever, and that’s just what he did in 2015.

He played in 14 games for the Eagles this past year, returning as a cog on the Eagles’ exceptional special teams unit. His biggest moment came against the Patriots in early December when he recovered a blocked punt by Chris Maragos and ran it back 24 yards for the touchdown. Goode also scored a special teams touchdown in 2013 against the New York Giants, so he’s well aware of what strong special teams play can do for a team.

“What it takes is just a straight-up mentality of ‘can’t stop, won’t stop,’” Goode said. “Special teams is a part of the game that is often overlooked … but when you go out there and play special teams, it’s a play that could immediately affect the game, whether it’s a touchdown like my first year here against the Giants or against New England, it changes the swing. It’s momentum and that home run hit, that punch straight in the face that you’ve got to be able to be willing to take and give on that single play, whether it’s kickoff, punt return or anything.”

While Goode is anxious to get back on special teams and play with a unit that ranks among the league’s best, he’s also excited to see what the Eagles can become under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. In fact, he’s spoken to some of his teammates about what the future may have in store.

“We’re jumping for joy,” Goode said. “We have guys like Vinny (Curry) and (Fletcher Cox). Our defensive line, linebackers – our front seven is going to be off the chain … It’s hard to block two of those guys at the same time, even one at a time with Fletch, Bennie (Logan) and Vinny.

“Right now, it’s kind of like with this team the pieces are just falling into the right places because of the guys that we got. … The pieces are just going to fall correctly into the puzzle and we’re going to go out there and be dominant.”

As for where his best fit will be in the Eagles’ new defensive look, Goode said that he believes he’s well equipped to play wherever he is needed.

“Linebacker is linebacker,” Goode said. “At the end of the day, you still have to go hit and tackle.”

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