Goodwin expects to jump to new lengths in 49ers' offense

Goodwin expects to jump to new lengths in 49ers' offense

SANTA CLARA – A year ago at this time, Marquise Goodwin was the best in the world in the long jump.

The athleticism was obvious – the speed down the runway, the explosion from the takeoff board – as he propelled himself 8.45 meters (27 feet, 7¾ inches) through the air at the Guadeloupe International Meet.

But what people might not have noticed from Goodwin is the same discipline he believes will allow him to thrive this season as a 49ers wide receiver in Kyle Shanahan’s system.

Shanahan demands execution of the smallest details, and Goodwin has been an eager student during the team's offseason program.

“I love that,” Goodwin said. “You can’t see my arms, but I got goose bumps right now. Really keying in on those details every day, that’s the difference-maker.

“The proof is in the pudding. They had one of the most prolific offenses last year in Atlanta because they paid attention to detail. You put on the tape, you can see that all the guys are honed in on detail and it becomes second nature.”

In 2012, Goodwin won the U.S. Olympic Trials and NCAA outdoor long-jump competition, becoming the first collegian since 1960 to accomplish that feat. He finished 10th at the London Olympics.

He returned to track and field to make a bid for his second trip to the Olympics last year. He posted the best jumps in the world during the football offseason. But his Olympic quest ended at the U.S. Trials with a seventh-place finish while battling a sore hamstring.

“Beside not making the team and suffering a little bit of a nagging injury, I still feel like I accomplished a lot,” Goodwin said. “I’ve very rarely been beat in that event, especially in the U.S. It was humbling for me. It made me respect the level of competition and the amount of work those guys put in.”

Goodwin is noncommittal about whether he will try to return to the Olympics in 2020. He will be 30 years old, which he said places him in his athletic prime for the long jump.

Goodwin attended the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, as a fan over the weekend. He was there to support his friends, Christian Taylor and Will Claye, who finished first and second in the triple jump – the same order they finished at last summer’s Olympics.

“I love track, just like I love football,” Goodwin said. “Really, being out there gave me the moment that I needed. It was my quick fix, being able to go out there and see them compete.

“I still have a lot left in the tank. I always wonder what I could do if I put some more time into it, but football is my priority."

While his track and field career is on at least temporary hold, Goodwin said many of the principles that apply in the long jump are relevant as he learns the nuances of Shanahan’s system.

“Everything has to be to a T,” Goodwin said of his preparation for the long jump. “I have one mark. I’m expected to hit the board, whether the wind is behind my back or the wind is in front of me. I have to hit that same mark at the same time in the same amount of steps.

“Imagine how detailed you have to be to do that, how focused in on the little things. That’s why when it comes to football and a coach like this, that’s right up my alley, because I practice that even when I’m outside of football.”

Goodwin, 26, spent his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills after being a third-round draft pick in 2013. Last year, he played in 15 games and recorded career-highs with 29 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns.

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch targeted Goodwin, signing him to a two-year, $6 million contract on the first day of free agency.

When asked what Shanahan saw in him, Goodwin answered, “I’m always open and I’m fast. And I say that in the most humble tone --not to be arrogant. I’m just confident I’ll be open. And I’m fast.”

Goodwin holds the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash time in NFL Scouting Combine history at 4.27 seconds. But he said Shanahan’s offense will allow him to prove he has a lot more to offer than just straight-line speed.

“I know a lot better things are in store,” Goodwin said. “I’m running a lot of different routes that I never had the opportunity to run before. I’m just excited. I’m excited I can assume a different role.

“People assumed I couldn’t run routes. So when they actually see me run routes, they’re like, ‘Wow, this dude’s fast and he can stop fast and he can run routes, and he can catch.’ It sickens me that people would think I’m just this fast dude who can’t run routes or can’t catch.”

Goodwin said he always lined up outside the numbers during his four seasons with the Bills, and his routes were limited to mostly go-routes and comeback patterns. Now, he is lining up in different spots, including the slot. Goodwin applies the same details to his route running that he did for his approach in the long jump. He said he will be so precise that he will consistently take the same number of strides every time he runs a particular route.

“It doesn’t say it (the number of steps) on a piece of paper, but in my mind, when we install plays, I run it in my head,” Goodwin said. “I’ll close my eyes and envision myself running that route, which correlates to track. I do the same thing. That’s how I was able to come out of nowhere and jump, because I practiced it over and over in my mind.”

Listed at 5 foot 9, 179 pounds, Goodwin missed 25 games in his first five NFL seasons with a variety of ailments, including two concussions, hand, calf and hamstring injuries. He played in just two games in 2015 due to ribs injuries.

“The hardest thing about football is just staying healthy,” Goodwin said. “When you’re out there, you’re put in a position to make plays, especially in this offense with Kyle Shanahan.

“Kyle is very smart. He knows how to put people into positions where they can avoid injuries, avoid concussions,” he said. “You know what role you’re going to be in the offense. Mine just happens to be a big role. And I can’t wait for it. Definitely had the conversation to know where I’m going to be exactly what I need to do.”

Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter


Terrell Owens selects former 49ers coach as his Hall of Fame presenter

Terrell Owens has selected former 49ers special teams and wide receivers coach George Stewart as his presenter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“He knew what to get out of me,” Owens told the Hall of Fame.

“He knows who I am. To know who Terrell Owens is, you have to spend some time with him. . . George Stewart became a father figure to me.”

Owens was elected into the Hall of Fame in February. He will enter the Hall of Fame in a class that also includes wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher and Robert Brazile, safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

Owens played special teams under Stewart’s direction as a rookie after coming to the 49ers in 1996.

From 2000 to ’02, Stewart worked as the 49ers’ wide receivers coach. Owens was selected to three consecutive All-Pro teams and Pro Bowls during that time. Owens ranks No. 2 all time behind Jerry Rice with 15,934 receiving yards. He is third all-time with 153 receiving touchdowns.

Stewart is set to enter his 30th NFL season as an assistant coach and his second as special-teams coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Class of 2018 will be enshrined inside Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear


Sherman makes his concern over Reid's free-agency status loud and clear

Safety Eric Reid, who has 69 career starts and one Pro Bowl appearance in his five-year NFL career, remains available on the open market more than a week after the opening of free agency.

Reid has received no reported interest from NFL teams in what has been an unusually soft market for free-agent safeties. But, with Reid, there is another variable that could be playing a factor.

Reid was at the forefront of the social activism that has been a major storyline in the NFL since the beginning of the 2016 season. Reid and former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of racial inequality in America.

Reid has remained outspoken and has taken a knee as a way to “make people uncomfortable about the issues.” Reid has been clear his protest has nothing to do with the flag or the anthem.

“The anthem is just a vehicle to get us to have those conversations,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area last season. “It’s the platform we have. It’s the only time we have to get the eyeballs on us to do that. If we just did locker-room talks afterward, nobody would even know. Strategically, this is the only way we thought we could do it.”

Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who signed a three-year contract with the 49ers on March 10, had been the Seattle Seahawks’ player representative. He is a vice president of the NFL Players Association. Reid was the 49ers’ union representative.

Sherman said he is keeping a close eye on Reid’s situation.

“We are concerned, because he played at a high level for just about every year that he’s played in this league,” Sherman said on Tuesday. “He’s made enough plays to be signed with a team and to make his money. He deserves his money. Safeties make a certain amount. I would think he’s top-five, top-10 safeties in this league, so he deserves to be paid accordingly.

“So there is concern there, because you would think a player of his caliber and his quality would be picked up by now. I think great teams are still looking and people are still looking for players. I’m praying that he gets picked up. But if he doesn’t, then I think there will be a conversation with the league office and the union on potential league action.”

Kaepernick never got so much as an opportunity to compete for an NFL roster spot during training camp last season. Could Reid, 26, be heading for the same fate?

Reid addressed the issue last week on social media:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous. If you think is, then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

The 49ers have not placed a priority on re-signing Reid. The club already has potential starting safeties Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert under contract for the upcoming season.

Reid, whom the 49ers traded up to select with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has 10 career interceptions. He appeared to thrive last season in run support as a safety who played closer to the line of scrimmage.