Marquise Goodwin’s breakout 2017 season was a surprise to everyone but him. He never doubted that he could be something other than a deep threat, which he proved in his first year with the San Francisco 49ers. He finished the season with 56 receptions for 962 yards giving him an average of 17.2 yards per catch. He also scored two touchdowns before his season was cut short during the final game in Los Angeles facing the Rams. While he may have not hit the 1,000 yard mark like everyone thought he would, he proved to all of his doubters what he could be capable of. 2017 was also the first season that Goodwin started all 16 games in a season.
Goodwin spoke to local media via conference call and reiterated many times that while the season was filled with emotional challenges for the wide receiver, it was a blessing. Even getting hurt as he did in the final game, he believes the people in stands were more scared than he was. He says “it’s football. It’s a tough, physical game.”
After he left the game, Goodwin’s teammates agreed to score a touchdown in his honor and they completed that task on the very next play. Goodwin had already left the field on a cart but remarked that he was able to watch it from the locker room before heading to the emergency room:
I saw the play live. I was in the locker room at that point. I was in the locker room and on my way to the ER. That was awesome. To have my teammates have that type of energy and that sort of passion when I went down, it shows the type of locker room that we have and the guys we have on the team. It made them feel some kind of way, so they had to do something about it, and they made it happen. They went in and scored, and they did it as a group. It wasn't just a one man show, they continued to play for each other, they drove it in and they did exactly what they were supposed to. I couldn’t have been more happy in that moment.
Goodwin credits his breakout to Kyle Shanahan and the opportunity it gives him to succeed:
I definitely feel like his offense is good for me in the sense that it allows me to be a football player. It gives me an opportunity to be out there and make plays and that’s what you would want in a scheme, in a system. It’s not just targeting me, everybody gets to shine and that’s what’s good about his offense. It’s not a one man wrecking crew, not just one guy making it happen, it’s a lot of guys that’s getting opportunities to make plays. I could come in and make a play and then [George] Kittle then after me you could put Aldrick Robinson. We finished the season with he same about of touchdowns. He could come in and make the same kind of play. I’m just grateful that I’m in the position where I get to play with guys like that and a system that is not based on one person.
For whatever reason I was just in a situation where I had to deal with what I had and I was granted a better position and a better opportunity and I came to the 49ers because I knew that Kyle would put me in a position to be successful. He and John [Lynch] have done an outstanding job of allowing guys to flourish and I see what Kyle has done with many other receivers in his system at different teams, so I knew coming here would be my best fit and obviously it’s proven well.
Goodwin had signed a two year deal during the 2017 offseason but honestly knew that it was going to be a long term relationship. He explains when he came to that realization.
The first day that I stepped foot on campus, (laughing) well, I guess not campus but facility. I remember just walking around in amazement. First because we had finger recognition to get into the building because that was crazy to me. That was the first time I had seen something like that since college at UT. We had high dollar equipment and was...just everything was just great, the whole environment. The weather. I couldn't believe the weather. And the people. even from the workers in the cafeteria, how humble they were, how nice they were, how well they treated me how it made me feel at home. To management, to Joh Lynch who has always been a supporter of mine. He's been very positive to me, personally. He’s always respected me and treated me like a man and
While he says he received congratulatory messages from Lynch, Shanahan and a few position coaches, he says he stays away from his phone more during the offseason, dedicating the time off to his wife and family. As far as next season, Goodwin’s goals for the future are simple, “Stay healthy and win games, that’s it. Sorry it’s so short, but that’s just the truth.”