Former Panthers running back Mike Goodson had a smile that could light up a locker room, and he'll have reason to smile when he arrives at the opponents' locker room at Bank of America Stadium as a member of the Oakland Raiders this weekend.
"I'm excited," Goodson said. "Coming into this game we're just trying to build on the win we got last week, just come out and play hard.
"We haven't exactly had the season we wanted, but we want to finish up right and start rebuilding for next year and just end on a good note."
That goes for the team and for Goodson.
In the Raiders' 15-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs that snapped a six-game losing streak, Goodson enjoyed more carries than he had in his final season with the Panthers and his first 13 games with the Raiders combined.
The speedy, spirited runner took advantage, gaining 89 yards on 13 carries to back up Darren McFadden's 100-yard day.
"I just come in and try to make plays," Goodson said. "Whenever I can get in, I try to bring a spark."
Goodson did just that for the Panthers in 2010. When both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were sidelined with injuries, Goodson produced consecutive 100-yard rushing games on his way to accounting for more than 700 yards of total offense.
Last season, with Williams and Stewart healthy and a new coaching staff and offensive scheme, it was a different story. Goodson played in the first four games but didn't get a carry, then he was inactive for the next five before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury.
In March, the Panthers traded Goodson to the Raiders for offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
"It's worked out to be a good thing. I have no hard feelings," Goodson said. "They sent me to a place where I think they felt like I would have a chance to play, so I appreciate the opportunity they gave me."
Goodson, the Panthers' fourth-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2009, said he keeps in contact with several of his former teammates, among them defensive end Charles Johnson, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and safety Charles Godfrey.
"When we're not playing or we're not at practice and they're on the tube, I'll sit down and take a look," Goodson said. "They're a good team, without a doubt."
And Goodson has been a good teammate for the 4-10 Raiders - smile and all.
"He's really done a nice job for us," first-year Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "He came in under the thought that he was going to be battling for a position on the roster, and he earned the right to be on this roster.
"At times he's has done a really nice job a running the football. He's been our kickoff returner when he's been healthy. And so he's been a nice addition and a nice complement to Darren McFadden."