It seems like every time Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson makes a big hit, his wallet takes the brunt of the impact.
Growing tired of being docked by the NFL, he’s finally putting his foot — and shoulders — down.
Goldson told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday that he’s hired tackling guru Bobby Hosea to teach him the fundamentals of legal tackling.
“I said this can’t be cool because every time I hit somebody I’m getting a fine,” Goldson said. “At that point, I realized I have to figure something out.”
The NFL has become a player safety-conscious sport, with commissioner Roger Goodell imposing stricter penalties for those who lead with their helmets. Goldson hasn’t gotten the memo, racking up nearly half a million dollars in fines and a one-game suspension last season.
Although he’s attempting to curb his style of play, the eight-year pro doesn’t want to completely shed his hard-hitting reputation, which earned him a five-year, $41.25 million contract with the Bucs.
“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.”
Goldson is who he is — an imposing defender over the middle of the field — and no amount of instruction is likely to change that. But it would do him and his team some good if there was a compromise in his technique.