The Chicago Bears defense has been the big kid on the block for a long time. They’re used to having it their own way most of the time in practices. That is why it’s a bit of news when somebody on the offense gives them headaches. By the sound of things, at least one of the team’s latest additions is doing just that. Better still, it is at one of the most vital positions going into this season at wide receiver.
Marquise Goodwin spent 2020 at home after opting out. Combine that with two frustrating years in 2018 and 2019, it was easy to forget that he was actually a good receiver not too long ago. One of the most dangerous speed threats in the NFL. Though 30-years old, it appears he hasn’t lost any of that juice. If anything the fresh legs are already showing out during the early summer practices at Halas Hall. Goodwin torched the defense twice on Tuesday, the first mandatory minicamp practice, according to Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com
“Free-agent acquisition Marquise Goodwin was the star of Tuesday’s non-contact practice as the speedy receiver caught a pair of long passes from veteran quarterback Andy Dalton.”
There’s video evidence to back it up too.
Chicago Bears defense shouldn’t feel too bad
Goodwin has done that to a lot of teams over the years. The man was an Olympic-caliber sprinter once upon a time. It is undoubtedly the biggest reason the Bears signed him. One thing they’ve lacked for too long is the ability to hit big plays. Pairing him with Darnell Mooney finally gives this offense a chance to stress defenses down the field. The key isn’t the talent. It is whether the veteran can stay healthy.
This has been a persistent issue his entire career. He was hobbled by numerous injuries in Buffalo and then again in San Francisco. Often of the leg variety be it knee, hamstring, or foot. Goodwin has only completed a full regular season twice in his career. Not a great track record. This is why the team was able to get him so cheap. Yet when he is healthy? The guy can alter games with his speed. The Chicago Bears defense got a taste of that.
An interesting question is who will be throwing him the ball.
Right now head coach Matt Nagy remains steadfast. Andy Dalton is the starter. Justin Fields, for all his talent and potential, will enter training and likely the season as the backup. The team appears determined not to put the rookie on the field until he is ready. That is a shame for Goodwin. Fields’ biggest strength is his deep ball. It might be a few months before fans get to see it in action.
Thankfully it seems Dalton and Goodwin are already developing some nice chemistry. People pile on the veteran quarterback a lot, but he’s been a solid football player for a long time. Somebody who always seemed to find A.J. Green down the field in Cincinnati. Not to mention Amari Cooper in Dallas. He’ll take his shots.