TORONTO – Buffalo Bill Marquise Goodwin will be able to bring something special to training camp to show his teammates when he arrives in a week’s time – a shiny silver medal he won in the Pan Am Games long jump.
In only his second meet of the year – the first was just late last month at the U.S. national championships where he finished fourth – Goodwin had a jump of 8.27 meters (27 feet, 2 inches), good enough to beat everyone in the field except fellow American Jeffery Henderson, who won gold at 8.54 meters (28 feet).
“I’m grateful. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I felt pretty good about it. I’m just glad to be here. Not much training, my second meet of the year, and coming out with a silver medal is pretty good to me,” said Goodwin, a 5-9, 179-pound, third-year wide receiver in his day job.
The Pan Ams worked well for his schedule, being close to Buffalo and a week before camp opens, so without any conflicts and with no one from the Bills telling him not to, he decided to go for it.
“I love long jump,” said Goodwin, who finished 10th in the event at the London Olympics in 2012 and has the Olympic rings tattooed on his left forearm. “If I’m granted the opportunity, and I wouldn’t serve any repercussions for it, then I will pursue it (the 2016 Olympics), but obviously I’m obligated to Buffalo Bills football so that’s the main focus. I won’t allow anything to distract me. I’m too focused for that. ”
He added that in an ideal world, he’d juggle both of his passions, just like he did when he was at the University of Texas.
“I’ve always dreamed of doing this, being able to be in the NFL and do track and field at the same time. So it’s kind of surreal having a stage like this and an opportunity to just represent my team, the NFL, as well as the USATF.”