Dashon Goldson Learning To TackleMarch 21st, 2014
Joe understands why Dashon Goldson irked some Bucs fans last year. The hard-hitting safety became too hard of a hitting safety in the new football world of NFL
warden commissioner Roger Goodell.
It is simply jarring watching clips of Raiders-Steelers games from the 1970s, which were glorified backalley brawls, with guys getting clothes-lined and pile-driven into Astroturf on every play, dudes spearing knees five yards out of bounds, all right at the feet of zebras who don’t even think of reaching for a flag.
Under the current flag football-like rules of the NFL, half of those Steelers and Raiders would be banned from the game. The difference in 40 years or so is striking.
Goldson is a throwback. He would have been right at home with those teams. Instead of being persecuted, he would have been lauded and celebrated.
But this isn’t 1974. This is 2014. And Goldson has a noted rep as a modern-day headhunter. So much so that even hits that look legal come with 15-yard penalties and six-figure fines.
It has gotten so out of hand that Goldson is re-teaching himself tackling this offseason, types Anwar Richardson of Yahoo! Sports.
Goldson admits the fines affected his play and he hopes to resolve the issue this offseason.
“This is what got me my deal. This is what got me my name,” Goldson said. “This is how you make a name for yourself in this league. You set yourself apart by standing out. What I was doing was making a hit. Just playing hard and playing football the way it’s supposed to be played. I’m hearing fans and coaches coming up to me after the game and say, ‘I love the way you play, don’t change the way you play.’ This is after I’m being fined.
“They’re not being fair because it’s not their money they’re losing, but at the same time, they understand that it comes with the territory, what the safety position is all about, how you play the game. Now they’re trying to take that away from me. It’s the way I make my money. The way I feed my family. Just the player that I am.”
So what exactly is Goldson doing? He has reached out to his old Pop Warner coach and is learning the art of tackling all over again, not just to stop the fines, but so he doesn’t paint his team into a corner with personal fouls.
Now this brings Joe to Goldson and former Bucs commander Greg Schiano. Goldson was truly a leader on the Bucs. The young defensive backs, like Johnathan Banks and Leonard Johnson and Danny Gorrer, followed Goldson all over the place like baby geese would a mother goose. If Goldson stayed late after practice, so too did Banks, Gorrer and Johnson.
Goldson is an intelligent guy. But here he was playing for a law-and-order, fundamentals guy like Schiano and continued to get fined. That tells Joe either Schiano and his staff couldn’t teach Goldson simple tackling fundamentals or that Goldson had tuned out Schiano.
Surely Schiano wasn’t that irresponsible and didn’t try to help Goldson and coach him up. Joe finds that difficult to believe. But it’s not that difficult to connect the dots and and determine that, for whatever reason, Schiano and his staff weren’t reaching Goldson.
Just a hunch, but that won’t be the case with Lovie Smith.