Bucs S Goldson gears up for former 49ers team
Dashon Goldson dropped by San Francisco team headquarters a few
weeks back and nobody thought it too strange, even now that he
plays for the Buccaneers and his former 49ers travel to Tampa Bay
The veteran safety was serving a one-game suspension at the time
and in the Bay Area to see his doctor and chiropractor for a body
tuneup before returning to the field following the Week 12 penalty
for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
”I’ve never seen that before, a player stopping by like that.
But, it was cool, it was natural,” coach Jim Harbaugh said
Wednesday. ”People were glad to see him and he was glad to see
guys. Had a chance to see him, give him a hug and talk for a little
bit. So, it wasn’t a big deal.”
Despite his fresh start and new big-money contract, Goldson
still has plenty of close connections with the 49ers.
”Being there, I understand their personnel and who I’m dealing
with here on Sunday,” Goldson said.
He has gone from winning on a one-year deal with San Francisco
to that multiyear commitment he long coveted, across the country
with the losing Buccaneers.
A tough tradeoff at times, indeed. Yet the veteran safety
believes the Bucs can build their young team into a contender much
the way the 49ers have recently, capped by last season’s return to
the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years.
When the 49ers (9-4) take the field in Tampa on Sunday, they
will see that familiar face and hard-hitting defender in the Bucs
secondary. Goldson is determined to do his best to disrupt Colin
Kaepernick, Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree in the
”Of course, I look forward to every Sunday. I’m not looking at
it like that,” he said. ”I’m sure my emotions will be flying come
Sunday. Right now I’m just trying to get the game plan down and
focus on what I have to do.”
Goldson landed a $41.25 million, five-year contract with the
Bucs during free agency last March.
After losing the Super Bowl 34-31 to Baltimore, Harbaugh
announced he would make it a priority to re-sign Goldson – and the
defender thought he more than deserved to play on a lengthy
”He has been a great addition not only from a schematic
standpoint, but his leadership and attitude,” Bucs coach Greg
Schiano said. ”All those things are a great addition. He’s a big
part of our defense.”
The 29-year-old Goldson played on one-year contracts the past
two seasons, including the 2012 franchise tag of $6.2 million, and
made it clear he was ”not for that” again. He had 69 tackles,
three interceptions and a forced fumble last year.
Many others on the San Francisco defense have received long-term
deals, and the 49ers selected Eric Reid in the first round of this
year’s draft to replace Goldson and he has made an immediate impact
as a hard hitter like Goldson, with three interceptions and 61
tackles while dealing with a pair of concussions.
No hard feelings on Goldson’s part.
”He’s really good, a raw talent,” Goldson said. ”They’re
going to be good for years to come. He’s got to stay healthy.”
Goldson’s former teammates are cheering him from afar – aside
from this Sunday, that is – and thrilled he landed that large
contract at last.
”Dashon and I, we came in together,” linebacker Patrick Willis
said. ”We kind of grew in this league together, so he’ll always be
close to me and dear to me as a teammate. I know him like a
brother. But we’re very fortunate to have Eric and all the things
he’s brought to this team.”
When Goldson stopped by last month, he only felt slightly out of
”I know somebody made a remark that was kind of absurd.
Whatever. … He was asking, I don’t remember who it was, `What you
doing, spying on us?”’ Goldson said. ”I thought that was
ridiculous. It was coming from a room I walked in.”
Kaepernick certainly knows what’s coming with Goldson on the
”Dashon’s a great player, does a lot of great things, has a lot
of range on the back end,” Kaepernick said. ”One of my good
Notes: LG Mike Iupati returned to practice as Harbaugh expected,
though his status is still unclear for Sunday. He has missed the
past three games with a sprained left knee. … Kaepernick traded
jerseys with former teammate and current Seahawks WR Ricardo
Lockette on Sunday. ”First time,” Kaepernick said. ”He’s a good
friend. Wanted to keep that as memento.”
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org