49ers’ Marquise Goodwin making a run at stardom

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (11) against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)


Two weeks before wide receiver Marquise Goodwin won the 49ers’ Garry Niver Award for cooperation and professionalism with the media, I got the feeling he wanted to punch me.

This was during a one-on-one interview at Goodwin’s locker.

“You’re having a big growth season,” I said to him. “Some people feel you stepped up after Pierre Garcon went down, and you have a good relationship with Jimmy Garoppolo. Would you consider those contributing factors to your emergence recently?”

Goodwin stared at the floor.

Did I say something wrong?

“What else has played into your emergence?” I asked, trying to modify my question.

“Uh, throwing me the ball,” Goodwin said. “That’s it. It ain’t got nothing to do with Pierre. It ain’t got nothing to do with Jimmy.”

I definitely said something wrong.

“You don’t think you’ve grown as a player?” I asked

“No,” he said. “I’m the same player. It’s not like I changed overnight and became this person who can catch or run a route. I won’t elaborate.”

He was staring at me now. Sizing me up. Visualizing the ass-kicking he could give me, I thought.

Click here to read the rest of my column.

This article has 47 Comments

  1. Goodwin is fast becoming one of my favorite players, and with Jimmy delivering the goods, his future is so bright I’ve got to wear my shades….

    1. Same. Hard not to like the guy. I appreciate why there are people saying we need to get a true elite WR or at least get an upgrade, but I really would like to see how far Goodwin can progress as a starting WR. He is more than just a fast guy.

      1. “He is more than just a fast guy.”

        For sure, and that definitely seems what he was guarding against at the beginning of the interview.

        The guy finally got a chance and he made the most of it. Really looking forward to watching him in year 2 with a guy like Garçon on the other side.

  2. Best article I’ve seen you write yet (2+ years of reading your columns).

    Trust must be earned first in order to get thoughtful answers.

    I don’t think the first questions you asked were unfair or derogatory, they just needed to be asked later in the interview, which is exactly what you implied. I hope this helps you with future interviews.

    I am impressed that you were able to change directions with the questions, gain his trust and get him to open up.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. If JG can throw the deep ball accurately there will be no stopping Goodwin. Defenses will have to play over the top and Goodwin will be eating them alive going over the middle. If he demands double coverage lookout…. Add a little Garcon, a dab of Kittle, a smidgeon of Taylor topped off with some Juice, you got something brewing-yuppers.

  4. I was hoping Nyheim Hines would declare, and he has. Adding to the immense depth at the position, this guy would be a perfect fit in Shanny’s run scheme. He should be there for the taking in round 3….

  5. Best interview you have done yet, I’m a long time reader but comment rarely. I have thought you to be a Tool(no offense)but your last year has been your best work. You now come across more objective and lot less jilted. Keep it up Grant and I will keep reading.

  6. Grant! Grant! Grant! Wow! Definitely the best article of yours I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I literally had to read who wrote that. This is not to take away from any of your previous work, as I always read your articles and appreciate the differences between you and the other beat writers. But dang, this is like a grown up Grant article!

    Ok, enough stroking. On to Goodwin, I don’t think anyone expected him to be what he is/was for us this season. All of the FA grades I read when we picked him up we’re C’s D’s or F’s. All mentioned the track star thing, and didn’t believe that he could turn out to be a true WR. He’s a winner and an amazing person. Everything we were hoping for in Torry Smith, who I love as a person, but could never find the success Goodwin has. Super excited to see him and Pierre on the field at the same time with Jimmy G! Go Niners!

    1. Good post…but……
      : -)
      Torrey Smith is fine; our QBs couldn’t deliver the ball accurately and on time. He’s contributing to his team this year.
      Goodwin used to be a track guy. He pretty much was when he got to the Bills
      (Who had QBs who couldn’t deliver to Watkins either!) even though he’d played big time college ball. Skeets ( Nehemiah) didn’t play college ball.
      Goodwin progressed as a player and as a professional. Coming out of college he had the personal distraction of his Olympic ambitions. He focused later on, made progress, and we enjoy the results.

    1. Another victory for the Jeff Sessions Crusade!
      C’mon Reuben, really? FFS! 90 Million peeps toking up and you have to get caught?!
      (Triple Marty Feldman eye roll)
      It’s Strike #1, not Armageddon, but jeez….
      Didn’t hire KN Jr quite soon enough………..

    1. Given that he was already in the NFL substance abuse program for his diluted test at the combine, he’ll receive a minimum of 4 games suspended, and could receive up to 6 games….

      1. That’s incorrect he won’t be getting suspended. He got arrested for possession it’s not a failed test. According to Maiacco it will be a hefty fine.

  7. “You don’t have to be smart to run track”

    Grant, have you ever competed in any sport? I am guessing no based on this absurd remark.

  8. Ya Foster is sketchy. I was saying this is the beginning of the year.

    He was hurt all season, had two run ins with the law.

  9. Seems like some of Foster’s most enthusiastic fans will be falling over each other trying to get off the bandwagon. Foster did not come across to me as the brightest light bulb in the locker room, but seems like a good kid. John Lynch & Ken Norton needs to dope slap some sense into him.

    1. Great idea. I’ve been a docent out there. The hike from Mt. Vision to the estero and back will get all the piss & vinegar out of you. Jerry Rice would approve!

  10. The NFL should not be concerned with pot. 49ers should not be concerned with pot. Sessions should not be concerned with pot. I’m a bit concerned over the affect of pot farming on Sonoma County watersheds.

    My only other concern is when players violate the strict “No Bogart Policy” that will be enacted at the next owners meeting. That’s just not nice. Think about the guys on the relatively meager practice squad paychecks paying bay area rents.

    1. B2W,
      In about 3-5 years we’ll be seeing pot ads on TV giving beer ads a run for there money.
      Legalized pot in California is really all about money. Who knows, Sonoma may become the pot capital of the USA.

  11. Honestly, I think there was denial there with Goodwin. Yeah, he was fast. Yeah he didn’t get many opportunities. But the plum was there for the taking in Buffalo and he didn’t do it.

    And now he is. And while it takes time for WRs to develop, they almost never develop after Year 3, and virtually never after Year 4. Yet here he is in Year 5 looking like he can light up the NFL after being a a gimmick WR with a limited route tree his first four years.

    Also, nice interview.

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