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Raiders RB Goodson eage to face former team

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Raiders RB Goodson eage to face former team

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders running back Mike Goodson is looking forward to playing in Carolina for the first time since being traded by the Panthers in the offseason.

He just doesn't know what type of reception to expect.

Goodson spent his first three NFL seasons with Carolina, still owns property there and routinely talks to some of his former teammates. Even Panthers coach Ron Rivera considers himself a fan of Goodson's and speaks glowingly about the 2009 fourth-round draft pick.

Make no mistake, however. While he remains on friendly terms with his former club, Goodson definitely wants to make a point to the Panthers.

``It's a pretty big deal,'' Goodson said Wednesday. ``That's my old team and where I used to be for so long. (They) know me and know of me. I want to beat them just as bad as I want to beat anybody else.''

While the scenery has changed, Goodson's role has remained pretty much the same in Oakland as it was in Carolina. He has been the primary backup behind Darren McFadden and has picked up additional reps returning kickoffs.

McFadden has struggled adjusting to the zone blocking schemes the Raiders use, but Goodson has excelled in the few opportunities he has had.

Goodson's 6.7 yards-per-carry average - on only 30 carries - is nearly twice that of McFadden's 3.4. He also has a higher receiving average than any other running back or tight end on Oakland's roster, and has the team's longest kickoff return this season.

That is not surprising to Rivera, who saw Goodson have similar success in 2010 when he put together back-to-back 100-yard games after Carolina running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were hurt.

Rivera backed the offseason trade that sent Goodson to the Raiders for offensive line prospect Bruce Campbell but remains fond of his former player.

``We have always liked Mike,'' Rivera said during a conference call. ``We tried to find a spot for him last year in all the things that we did. It's not one of those things where we gave up on him. I am glad to see that he's playing and doing the things he needed to do to be out on the field. Mike is a terrific athlete.''

The timing of Goodson's return to Carolina couldn't be better. He is coming off his best rushing performance in more than two years and is trying to help the Raiders win consecutive games for only the second time this season.

That is a much different scenario than he expected to face this late in the year. Then again, not much has gone as planned for Goodson or the Raiders.

Oakland's running game has been abysmal for most of the season. McFadden and Goodson only recently returned from foot injuries they sustained in a loss on Nov. 4 to Tampa Bay. While they were out, the Raiders had to turn to fullback Marcel Reece to carry the load in the backfield.

``You just take it in stride,'' Goodson said. ``I've had a lot of practice time, so the coaches have got to see me. I just try to make plays and make all of my touches count.''

Oakland is 29th in total rushing and has had a running back reach the 100-yard mark only three times all year.

Goodson nearly did it last week against Kansas City when he ran for a season-high 89 yards on 13 carries. McFadden carried 30 times for 110 yards.

It was Goodson's most yards rushing since he had a career-best 120 against Baltimore on Nov. 21, 2010.

``I like some of the things he's done,'' Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. ``He's added an element of explosiveness. He's done a nice job in the screen game. He's had a couple games this year where he's really ran the ball pretty good. I think him and Darren are a nice complement to each other.''

NOTES: CB Phillip Adams practiced fielding punts Wednesday after being cleared by team doctors after sustaining his second concussion in three games. ... K Sebastian Janikowski was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week after making five field goals, including a 57-yarder, against Kansas City. ... DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) and S Tyvon Branch (ankle) didn't practice. Of the two, Branch is more likely to play at Carolina.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

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NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—OTA report, fans excited about young D-line

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 25, 62 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Trades, misses and mistakes explain Redskins' dead cap—This post does a good job of outlining where the Redskins’ dead cap came from. It should be noted that dead cap is a part of the cost of doing business in the NFL and the Redskins have done fairly well managing it this year. Only about a dozen teams have less dead cap on the books than the Redskins $5.2 million. 

Tandler's Take—The best- and worst-case scenarios for the 2018 Redskins—I received some comments saying that my worst-case scenario, a 6-10 finish, is not low enough. Since we’re talking about events that won’t begin to happen for about three and a half months, I can’t really argue with them. But it’s just hard for me to see them dropping more than a game from last year when they were hit harder with injuries than any other team in the NFL. 

Pre-OTAs Redskins player one-liners, defense—An extension for Matt Ioannidis seemed preposterous a year ago, now it seems like a good idea. How many sacks for Lanier? When will Ryan Anderson get his first sack? Plus offensive player one-liners here

Redskins OTA practice report—QB Alex Smith sharp—You can’t tell everything from OTAs, but you can tell some things. Taking another look at this post, I gave a good, detailed look at the session, but I didn’t really mention the overall feel, which was fun and energetic. 

Tweet of the week

Certainly, Derrius Guice is the fan favorite of the rookie class. But the great reaction to this tweet shows that there is plenty of love for Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, last year’s top pick. 

In 2016, the starting defensive line consisted of Ricky Jean Francois, Chris Baker, and  Ziggy Hood. The top reserve was Cullen Jenkins. They all had their good qualities and made some plays. But Baker was the youngster of the group and he turned 30 during the season. It clearly was a group on the decline. 

Two years later, the picture is quite different. Payne and Allen lead a younger group that will get better over the next few years. Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Tim Settle, and Stacy McGee should round out the group. McGee is by far the senior member of the group at age 28. None of the others have celebrated his 25thbirthday yet. 

Fans should perhaps temper their optimism with the knowledge that potential doesn’t always develop into performance. But unlike years past there is something to look forward to. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Timeline  

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 18
—Training camp starts (7/26) 62
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 76

The Redskins last played a game 145 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 107 days. 

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