Rarely do you hear an NFL coach speak in absolutes.
But Buffalo Bills coach Doug Marrone offered one Sunday regarding rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin.
“You can’t overthrow him,” Marrone said. “I’m excited. He’s an exciting player. He probably doesn’t even know how good he can be.”
Goodwin showed off his world-class speed in the first quarter of his team’s 23-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium by catching up to a bomb from quarterback Jeff Tuel that resulted in a 59-yard touchdown.
“When I threw it he wasn’t looking yet and I was saying, ‘just look.’ I just wanted him to make sure he looked up and found it,” Tuel said. “That was my only concern because I felt like it was a good throw.”
Goodwin found it and used his Roadrunner-like speed to chase it down, his second touchdown of 40-plus yards this season. It’s easy to ask “what if” when it comes to the rookie third-round pick from Texas. Goodwin has eight catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, a preposterous average of 21.4 yards per catch.
But he’s played in only five games – missing four because of a broken hand – and been able to finish only two of them. He left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter because of a hamstring injury that will be re-evaluated today.
Goodwin was hurt trying to make another highlight-reel catch midway through the fourth quarter. He appeared to haul in a 40-yard completion from Tuel that would have given the Bills the ball near midfield, but the play was ruled incomplete and was not reversed after a challenge by Marrone.
“I thought I made the catch, but that’s not my job to rule it a complete pass or incomplete pass. My job is to go out there and make plays and leave no doubt,” Goodwin said. “So next time I just need to secure it and come up with the ball and hand it to the ref.”
Marrone, who has yet to win a challenge this season, said he “thought it was a catch all the way.”
“I really did. I saw him bounce; I saw it in his hand,” he said. “I’d love for someone to tell me what the definition of a catch is.”
Goodwin wasn’t the only Bills’ receiver to be hurt in the game. Fellow rookie Robert Woods went out with a leg injury in the third quarter. X-rays were negative, Marrone said afterward.
Before he was hurt, Woods was leading the team with four catches for 44 yards. Like Goodwin, Woods was hurt attempting to make a catch on a deep ball down the right sideline.
“He couldn’t put weight on it, which is usually a bone,” Marrone said. “The X-ray was negative … but yet he couldn’t put any weight back on it to come back on the field.”
Woods has at least one catch in all nine games this season, totaling 26 receptions for 349 yards and two touchdowns.