Making his mark: Dashon Goldson
From time to time we’ll come across articles written by friends of the site and they are so well done, we just have to share. The latest article is from Turron Davenport over at Press Coverage Sports. Continue reading to see Turron talk about how Dashon is making his mark. Also be sure to check out more from Turron over at Press Coverage Sports.
Dashon Goldson has set himself up as one of the best safeties in the NFL. He has the range to cover a lot of ground as a free safety. Wide Receivers who play against the 49ers know that Goldson will be in the vicinity to lay a big time hit on them. There are few safeties in the NFL that hit as hard as Goldson. Last year was a breakout year for him to some but I saw some things in Goldson a few years ago that told me that he would be a good player.
The first time I really saw it was in Houston against the Texans back in 2009. The 49ers lost the game but Dashon had nine tackles. He also had a forced fumble in that game. That play was actually the one that caught my attention. He came up and laid a pretty solid hit on Steve Slaton to force the fumble and he recovered it. After that game, I always paid attention to how #38 would always be around the ball. I watched how he constantly came up and put hits on running backs or wide receivers. Unfortunately, being on a mediocre team on the West Coast hurt Goldson’s exposure early in his career. Everyone did get to see the kind of playmaker that Goldson would become on a Monday Night Football game against the Cardinals in 2009. Goldson had two forced fumbles and he intercepted Kurt Warner. Checkout the highlight here:
We got to see how hard Goldson is capable of hitting against the Rams in the season finale as he dished out a few Ronnie Lott like hits that knocked out two of the Rams wide receivers. Dashon Goldson finished 2009 his first season as a starter with 94 tackles, four interceptions, six pass defenses and three forced fumbles.
A lot of 49er fans have complained about missed tackles by Dashon in 2010. His numbers where down from the 2009 season. The 49ers as a team really struggled under Mike Singletary so they fired their Head Coach. Jim Harbaugh was hired and he brought Vic Fangio with him as his Defensive Coordinator. The off season was a new situation for Dashon as he was an unrestricted free agent. He was allowed to seek a better deal elsewhere. A few teams did look at Dashon while the 49ers elected to sign Donte Whitner. This move ended up being a very good one for Dashon. He decided to come back to the 49ers on a one year deal in 2011 which allowed Goldson and Whitner to become a feared safety tandem.. He missed the first two games but ended up returning to his 2009 form. Goldson had a career high six interceptions and was elected to the Pro Bowl. He also had an interception against the Saints in the playoffs.
Now it is official, Dashon Goldson is arguably the best safety in the NFL. He played the 2012 season under the Franchise Tag and signing him to a long term deal should be a top priority for the Niners. He was voted to be a starter in the Pro Bowl along with his “partner in crime” Donte Whitner. This safety combo became the first to both be named starters in the Pro Bowl since Michael Lewis and Brian Dawkins back in 2005 with the Eagles. The so called issues with missed tackles are not as evident now. As a team, the 49ers are one of the surest tackling units in the NFL. A large part of that is because they have the best tackling safeties in the NFL. The range that Goldson has allows the 49ers to do a lot in coverage and trick even the best quarterbacks. Take the season opener against the Packers for example. Navarro Bowman was able to get a key interception late in the 4th quarter. This happened because they showed a cover two look but Goldson left Chris Culliver in man coverage on James Jones, drifted to the middle of the field while Bowman dropped into the passing lane and made a jumping interception. Aaron Rogders took the bait and stuck with his presnap read that told him that the middle of field would be open. This play by Goldson isn‘t measured by personal stats. It is an example of how he has evolved into a very good safety. Look for Goldson to be a big time factor in slowing down the Packers offense this weekend. It will be up to him and the secondary to limit the strong Packer wide receivers as they try to break tackles and gain yards after the catch.