Goodson believes his time is now

The Jets went into free agency with two objectives at running back: Add more speed and pass-catching ability. They feel they killed two birds with one contract, signing former Raider Mike Goodson.

No argument from Goodson, who believes he'll fit nicely into Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast-style offense -- a system that demands versatility and receiving skill.

"I definitely think it highlights the things I do well in my game, catching the ball out of the backfield, being able to isolate linebackers on some routes and run the ball up between the tackles," Goodson said Wednesday on a media conference call. "I think it's going to be good."

In three seasons with the Panthers and one with the Raiders, Goodson had only 160 carries and 59 catches. But he has speed. Despite limited touches, he broke three plays for at least 40 yards last season, including a 64-yard touchdown on a screen pass. The Jets need that dimension in their backfield. It makes you wonder why Goodson, a former fourth-round pick, didn't get more opportunities in his previous stops.

"I think you can blame it on a lot of different things," he said. "You can say a lot of different things, but I've been fortunate enough to play with a lot of good backs on the teams I've been on. Most of them were big-money guys -- Darren McFadden, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. I learned from those guys, but I also had to play behind them, so it was tough. I think it has put me in a position where I can come in and be that guy, that every-down guy."

Goodson said his role has yet to be spelled out, but the team envisions him as a tandem back with Bilal Powell. Goodson signed a three-year, $6.9 million contract, also drawing interest from the Bengals. Ostensibly, he will replace the departed Shonn Greene (Titans), but he won't be a 20-carry-a-game back like Greene.

One other note on Goodson: He was asked about the NFL's new rule for running backs, which prohibits them from lowering the crown of their helmet into a defender in the open field. He had no idea about the rule being passed Wednesday. When it was explained to him, he replied, "I never thought you were supposed to do that anyway, so it probably won't affect me that much."