When offensive lineman Denzelle Good joined the Raiders in early December, he didn’t expect to get much playing time.
Though he started 23 games for the Indianapolis Colts from 2015 through 2018, the veteran had been waived by the Colts on December 1 and Good believed the Raiders acquired him to be a late-season backup.
But because of injuries to guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson, Good moved into the starting lineup, played well and felt at home.
“When I got here, these guys welcomed me like I was family, like I’ve been here,” Good told the media in December. “They made me feel comfortable. I feel like Coach (Tom) Cable and Coach Lemuel (Jeanpierre), they really did a great job of just getting me up to speed on offense, and again, just trying to get me to feel as comfortable as possible. … I felt like I hit the ground running and I’ve been having fun, man.”
Good started the final three games of the season at right guard, and may have earned himself a chance at sticking with the Raiders for 2019. His contract expired at the end of the season and he’s due to be a free agent. Good has played both guard and tackle, and could be a versatile backup for the team in 2019 when Osemele and Jackson should both be healthy starters.
Good was upset by the death of his brother during the season – he was shot and killed in North Carolina – and what happened in Indianapolis, and played like a man who wanted to prove his former team was wrong when it let him go. Over the final two games, the Raiders’ run-blocking opened more consistent holes, and Good was a part of helping Doug Martin rush for 100 yards or more in consecutive games.
“I had a lot of anger already and that didn’t help it,” Good told Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “So I knew a fresh start was what I really needed. And I am using that anger against the guys I am blocking.”
Good had asked for his release in Indianapolis after he said offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo told him he’d never play for him again. Good told reporters DeGuglielmo was upset that Good had left the team to be with his family for a week after his brother’s death.
Then, this week, the Colts fired DeGuglielmo, even though the Indianapolis offensive line was one of the best in the NFL in 2018, giving up just 18 sacks. The Colts didn’t explain why he was let go.