ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders signed G/T Denzelle Good to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Saturday.
Good was claimed by the Raiders via waivers from the Indianapolis Colts prior to Week 14 last season, playing in four games with three starts at right guard for the Silver and Black. He also saw action in two games with one start in Indianapolis prior to being claimed by Oakland.
A 6-foot-5, 345-pound versatile lineman, Good was originally selected in the seventh round (255th overall) by the Colts in the 2015 NFL Draft. Over his four seasons in Indianapolis, he appeared in 26 contests at both guard and tackle and made 20 starts.
A native of Gaffney, S.C., Good played three seasons at Mars Hill and was a two-time All-South Atlantic Conference First Team choice. Good did not allow a sack during his career with the Lions.
Offensive lineman Denzelle Good said he’s grateful for a “fresh start” with the Raiders in what has been a difficult season for the 27-year-old on and off the field.
On Oct. 2, while Good was with the Colts, his brother, Overton Deshan Good, was killed in a drive-by shooting in South Carolina. Good did not play in another game for Indianapolis, though he remained on its active roster until being waived Dec. 1.
Good, a 2015 seventh-round pick who started 27 games for Indianapolis, including Sept. 30 this season against Houston, was claimed off waivers by the Raiders on Dec. 3. On Thursday, Good said he’d asked the Colts to release him and has felt “very comfortable” with Oakland.
“In Indy, I just associated Indy with what happened with my brother and everything,” Good said. “I just kind of wanted a new start, partly because of that. That had a big part to play in it. But I feel really good here. It feels good to be with a staff that knows what you can do.”
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Raiders assistant coaches who previously worked in Indianapolis spoke well of Good. After playing one special-teams snap in his Raiders debut Sunday, Good could have a larger role this Sunday against the Bengals depending on the status of starting guards Gabe Jackson (elbow) and Kelechi Osemele (toe).
Good said learning the Raiders’ offense has been “a lot of work” but he “just wanted to come in and fit in — I didn’t want to be that guy everybody had to slow down to help.” He credited line coaches Tom Cable and Lemuel Jeanpierre with helping him learn the terminology and “getting me caught up.”
Overall, Good said his season has been “a challenge.”
“Just going from injuries at the beginning of the season, and finally getting my chance to play, and then what happened, and then me kind of being a practice-squad player for the Colts in a sense, it was all a lot on me. It was weighing on me heavy,” Good said. “But I really wanted to focus and get myself back into order so I can do what I’m supposed to do, which is play football in memory of my little brother.”
Good said he believes a move to different surroundings can help him do that.
“I feel like the change of scenery’s definitely helped me refocus on football,” Good said. “I haven’t been this excited going to practice in a while. Just being on a new team, new guys, new faces, it’s kind of created a sense of feeling like a rookie a little bit, when I first got here. I still do, a little bit, just being with the guys and stuff. It’s been great.”
The Indianapolis Colts opened up the month of December by waiving offensive lineman Denzelle Good, who was still trying to work through the aftermath of his brother’s death earlier in the season.
Though the Colts front office and coaching staff did everything they could to help Good in his time of need, the former seventh-round pick told Vic Tafur of The Athletic that there were issues with offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo.
“I came back after my brother was murdered and I was dealing with a lot of personal issues,” Good told The Athletic. “That didn’t sit well with (DeGuglielmo). He wanted players that fight through things and play.”
Going through something as terrible and as traumatizing as a brother’s death, it was difficult for Good to get back into the swing of things. The 27-year-old said that didn’t sit well with DeGuglielmo.
Though Good was trying to get back to his normal self mere weeks after his brother’s murder, it was difficult. Good said it all came out in a meeting shortly after.
“He told me that as long as I was there, I would never play for him again,” Good said. “I would never play another down because he felt disrespected. I wasn’t going to play even though I felt I was as good as anyone on the field playing.”
It was then that Good went to general manager Chris Ballard and asked for his release from the team, which happened on Dec. 1. The Raiders were awarded Good off of waivers two days later.
Good did clarify that the organization, including the Irsay family, Ballard and head coach Frank Reich, did do all they could to help the offensive lineman in his time of need.
Good has been starting at right guard for the Raiders since arriving in Oakland.
“Being called a failure by somebody when everybody else in the organization felt differently, that gave me some fire when I came here,” Good said. “I always felt I could be a starter. Things just went sour in Indianapolis.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders have signed offensive lineman Denzelle Good to a one-year extension.
He was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this month before signing Saturday.
Good was claimed off waivers by Oakland from Indianapolis late last year. He played four games for the Raiders, starting the final three at right guard in place of the injured Gabe Jackson.
Good was a seventh-round pick by the Colts in 2015. He has experience at tackle and guard, with 20 starts in his career.
“Me, him, and my older brother, we always used to talk as kids about what we would do once we got to the NFL,” he said. “Me being the one that made it, they were both very excited for me. But him being who he was to me, our relationship – it was just special.”
In late September, Overton was at Lucas Oil Stadium to see the Colts play the Houston Texans and watch Denzelle get his first start of the season.
Two days later, he was killed in a drive-by shooting at his home in South Carolina.
The loss of his brother is something Good is still struggling to come to terms with.
“It didn’t feel real for a long time. It still doesn’t really feel real,” he said. “I find myself struggling a lot. But I feel like this is the best way I have to not think about the situation.”
In football, Good found himself surrounded by family – and not just his Colts family. He heard from former teammates, former coaches, and NFL players he’s never met.
“It’s been tremendous,” he said. “Everyone has let me know that whatever I need – if I need to talk about anything, I can contact them. That’s really important to me.”
It’s also important to him to continue to live his dream and honor his brother while he’s doing it.
As part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign, Good will wear custom cleats in support of The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence.
Designed by Jordan Custom Kicks with Overton’s image and his high school football number, Good will represent his brother and all victims of gun violence.
“It’s a very sad statistic to be a part of,” he said. “I’ve always felt bad when I hear stories like that, but it was just a whole different level actually being involved in a situation.”
Good always had his brother with him on gameday. But the next time he steps on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, Overton will be in his heart and on his feet.
“It will mean a lot. I was having a hard day last week and DT (David Thornton) pulled them out a little early just to show me. It was right on time for me. It calmed me down and I wore them for practice that day.”
When Denzelle Good made it to the NFL, his brother Overton did too.
“He was my best friend. We talked every day,” he said. “He was a great guy. He was funny, he was hilarious. He was loved by a lot of people, I know that.”
Once a childhood fantasy, for Denzelle Good, life in the NFL is now reality – one he enjoys sharing with those closest to him.
He’ll continue to live his dream for himself, for his family, and for the brother who was with him every step of the way – and will continue to be.