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The Next Leg of Mike Goodson's Journey

We've had a flurry of transactions recently, but one of the most interesting for the Jets and their season could be the return of Mike Goodson to the fold.

"I'm really happy to get Mike back, there's no question about it," head coach Rex Ryan said at today's news conference about the rearrival of the unrestricted free agent RB, at least on a limited basis for now. "What he can do with the league suspension rules are he can condition and meet, individual meetings and such, but he cannot practice with the team."

"I'm really excited, really excited," Goodson said in his first public remarks pretty much since May, after he signed with us and before he got into his legal problems that month. "I've just got to work real hard and work for the trust of my teammates, not do a lot of talking. I think the proof is in your actions and if I do things I need to do, I think I'll earn the trust of my teammates back."

Goodson's admitted to having something of a personal journey from that day to this, a journey that landed him first on our Reserve/Did Not Report list at the start of training camp and Monday night on our Active/Non-Football Injury/Illness list, all of which is a prelude to his NFL suspension for the first games of the regular season for violating the league's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse.

He declined to discuss exactly where that journey took him, but what he said in general spoke loudly enough.

"I'm pretty disappointed in myself. Like I said, I had some things that I had to do. I'm back now and I was able to address those things and I'm a lot better," he told reporters in the Jets' locker room, adding to a later question, "I was able to get my life in order and able to look at some things that I wasn't happy with with myself."

The process, then, is under way for the new No. 23 in green and white to get back on the field. As Ryan said, the physical part for him probably won't be as hard as the mental.

"Is he way behind? Not four weeks' worth," Ryan said. "He'll get up to speed. When he left, he had a pretty good grasp of what we were doing. The conditioning part, he'll have to obviously get into football shape without being able to practice, and that will be a challenge."

Goodson admitted to the challenge but said of whether the next 4½ weeks is enough time to get caught up with everything, "I think it is." And he espoused his admiration for coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast scheme in the offseason.

"I was at minicamp, and I ran this offense and this style of offense in Oakland last year," he said. "I kind of know the scheme of things, so it won't be that hard for me to pick it up."

And when he returns, what can he provide the offense?

"Spark," he said. "I think I'm really explosive, and given four weeks to prepare for something, I think I'll be pretty explosive and ready to play."

Ryan wouldn't go as far as Goodson and say he was disappointed in not having his running back working with his teammates for this extended period.

"You know what? That's kind of a tough question because everybody makes mistakes. Everybody in here's made mistakes. I know I've made plenty, and they're all documented," the coach said. "I'm just glad the young man is back with us. I'm happy about that."

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