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Mike Goodson likes his chances in Oakland

Mike Goodson

Carolina Panthers’ Mike Goodson (33) breaks away for a long gain against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Rick Havner)


When Michael Bush left the Raiders for the Bears via free agency, it was assumed that second-year running back Taiwan Jones would become the primary understudy for starting tailback Darren McFadden.

But then the Raiders shipped tackle Bruce Campbell to Carolina for running back Mike Goodson. And as Paul Gutierrez of recently explained it, Goodson could end up being a better fit as McFadden’s No. 2 than Bush.

“In this offense you’re definitely going to need more than one guy,” Goodson said. “Darren’s a great back. I’ve been watching film on him since I’ve been here. The things that he does with the ball are amazing, but definitely, to have another guy that can run the ball will be good.”

Especially if McFadden, who missed nine games in 2011, can’t stay healthy.

Then again, Goodson missed 12 games last year with a hamstring injury.

“I came in with a lot of high expectations for myself,” Goodson said of what was his third NFL season. “We got in [after the lockout] and I didn’t play as much as I wanted to and then I got hurt. So that really crushed my whole season. But I’m back now and ready to go, feeling great.”

And he could be playing great in the Raiders’ zone-blocking scheme, which offensive coordinator Greg Knapp imported from Houston.

“It’s different,” Goodson said. “You really see the holes and how they open up and really the room you’re going to get to run in this offense.

“I love it. I love it. It’s fast, it’s open, we’ve got the zone working. It’s kind of like a one cut-and-go deal. I think it plays to my advantages. Get in there and make one move and get up field, use your speed.”

Imagine that. A Raiders player with speed.

So keep an eye on Goodson. Forgotten in Carolina, he could become a key component of the Oakland offense in 2012.