A former Clemson standout is a big fan of the Tigers’ new defensive coordinator/linebackers coach.
Former Tiger All-ACC offensive lineman Eric Mac Lain spoke about Wes Goodwin this week and had high praise for the man who has earned the nickname “Wes-lichick.”
“At the end of the day, Wes is the guy and he is a genius,” Mac Lain said on the Gramlich and Mac Lain podcast with Kelly Gramlich. “And I know people want to see results first before we start throwing out all these nicknames and accolades and deeming him one of the smartest people in the room. But in all of my experiences, this guy is gonna be ready.”
Goodwin is in his 10th overall season at Clemson spanning two tenures with the Tigers. Earlier this week, he was officially promoted from senior defensive assistant to defensive coordinator/linebackers coach and added the role of co-defensive coordinator for safeties coach Mickey Conn.
As a defensive analyst from 2012-14 and as senior defensive assistant from 2018-21, Goodwin served in a critical off-field role for former defensive coordinator Brent Venables, overseeing defensive breakdowns and opponent scouting, assisting with on-campus recruiting and also serving as one of the program’s primary liaisons to NFL scouting personnel and coaches.
Goodwin first arrived at Clemson in 2009, serving as a graduate assistant from 2009-11. He joined the staff on a full-time basis in 2012 in Venables’ first season at the helm of the defense and oversaw the team’s secondary for its 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl win against LSU. In the final season of his first stint at Clemson in 2014, Clemson finished as the nation’s top-ranked unit in total defense, third down percentage, first downs allowed and tackles for loss, all while ranking in the top five in many other statistical categories.
Between his stints at Clemson, Goodwin spent three years with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, serving as an assistant to head coach Bruce Arians. Cardinals squads for which Goodwin worked compiled a 28-19-1 record, including a 13-3 NFC West championship season in 2015 in which Arizona reached the NFC Championship Game.
“He just lives it, breathes it. He is football, and he is going to be so methodical,” Mac Lain said. “I think what’s going to be really fun to see the difference is, I want to see him animated. If something goes wrong, I cannot imagine Wes Goodwin jumping up and down, screaming… I think he’s just this calm, silent killer at the end of the day. So, I am fascinated to see what it’s gonna look like.”
— Eric Mac Lain (@EricMacLain) December 17, 2021
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