After the Denver Broncos final game of last season, the entire roster was a huge question mark. That especially held true for Denver’s aging secondary.
Brian Dawkins is on the tail end of his career, while Champ Bailey has a limited number of years left to win a Super Bowl ring. It didn’t look good for the two long-time Pro Bowlers after a 4-12 season and having to endure another coaching change.
It also didn’t look good for ten-year veteran Andre’ Goodman. After playing two straight 16 game seasons, Goodman only suited up in the orange and blue 8 times due to a thigh injury. The jury was out as to if the Broncos even wanted the right corner back.
Dennis Allen made the move west to embark on a journey to revive the Broncos defense as defensive coordinator. He looked at the secondary and did what he could to retain the high-profile men, including Goodman.
“Goody has been around for a long time so he’s got a big body of work for us to look at,” Allen said. “Last year obviously, he was injured and didn’t play as much so we went back to the year before and really when you back and you look at him, he’s been a top notch cover corner for a long time in this league.”
The injury didn’t sway Allen’s decision to keep him. It almost reinforced it.
“Sometimes when you don’t play a lot, it takes some of the wear and tear off your body and sometimes some of those older guys come back a little more refreshed,” Allen said.
This season, Goodman has played in all 12 games for the Broncos. Each day that he goes to work, he’s got a heavy workload. That’s what happens when you play opposite Champ Bailey. Other teams want to test “the other” corner.
Through 12 games, Goodman has 40 tackles, 2 interceptions (1 returned for a TD), and 8 pass deflections.
Goodman was tested big-time last week when Vikings receiver Devin Aromashodu racked up 4 catches for 74 yards in the first half of play.
“One thing I know about him is his memory is very short,” Bailey said of Goodman. “He doesn’t worry about what’s happened, bad or good. He just keeps pushing to the next play.”
He pushed into the second half a new player. Aromashodu finished the day with 6 catches for 90 yards.
When the game was tied 32-32, the Vikings were making one last push down the field with a minute left. All they had to do was get it into field goal range, but Goodman came up with perhaps the most timely pick of his career. That’s what he brings to the table.
“Just those big plays,” Bailey said. “That’s one thing I know he craves is making a big play.”
They don’t come much bigger than that.