On Sunday at 1 p.m. Bucs safety Dashon Goldson will look across the field and see a lot of familiar faces on the opposing team's sideline. Goldson played six seasons in San Francisco but told the Tampa Bay media that he is viewing this as just another game.
In Week 1 the Buccaneers traveled to New York to face the Jets in an emotional homecoming of sorts for cornerback Darrelle Revis. This week it is another prized offseason acquisition’s turn to face his former teammates.
Bucs safety Dashon Goldson played six seasons for the 49ers who travel to Raymond James Stadium this Sunday.
So far Goldson has been able to keep his emotions in check, and told the Tampa Bay media on Thursday that he hasn’t thought too much about facing his former team.
"Not yet, I'm trying to keep my composure,” Goldson said. “I know there's a lot behind everybody asking me about being there, but I'm just looking at it as another football game. I understand that's where I spent the last six years, but it's just another team that (we have) to play, at the end of the day, and that's the way I'm trying to keep it."
Goldson’s first year has been a mixed bag of good and bad. Coaches and teammates point to the experience and leadership he has brought to Tampa Bay, while critics point to his one-game suspension (Goldson had another suspension overturned). But head coach Greg Schiano said on Thursday, Goldson has been as advertised.
“What an intense, intense competitor he is, what a really bright guy he is; he’s really bright, and a good guy, Schiano said. “You never know when you meet a guy on a recruiting trip. He seems like a good guy. We all have our best foot forward. But he really is a good guy, a good teammate, a guy who’s fun to coach. “He’s missed three and a half games (Between injuries and the suspension), really, is what it amounts to. In my opinion, he’s definitely worth the investment. I’d do it over again in a heartbeat.”
With the Niners coming to town, Goldson has been a wealth of information for the coaching staff and his teammates.
“It’s been good and we’ve talked to him quite a bit,” defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan said on Thursday. “I know a lot of our players are talking to him because so much of it is personnel and personnel match up so whatever insight he does have about the players both on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball, he’s just tried to share some of that, with not only coaches but the other players, guys their going to be playing against.
“He’s very familiar, obviously, with their defense personnel as well so yeah, it’s been helpful. And like you said, not so much scheme stuff, because, they’re multiple but you can get a lot of that stuff off of film, most of it is their personnel.”
Revis also commented on how Goldson’s knowledge and familiarity has helped the defense.
“He’s been given us everything, he’s been spilling the beans and we definitely appreciate that,” Revis said. “We want to get this win for Dashon. We know he was one of the captains on that team and one of the leaders and a core guy on that squad. We want to get the win for him.”
Goldson however downplayed his intel sharing.
"No. It's hard because their coach is great and they do a great job of switching it up. They keep teams off balance and don't show the same stuff every week."
Goldson, who has 57 tackles a forced fumble and an interception so far this season, praised his former team’s offense, and said the Bucs defense will need to be on their toes all game.
"Their offensive line can be physical, a physical group,” Goldson said. “With their shifts and motions they try to get you to think a little bit, get you off balance, and then, bam, they hit you over the top or get an explosive play with Frank [Gore]."
The California native isn’t sure what his emotions will be when he runs out of the tunnel on Sunday just before kickoff but said he has never second guessed his decision to sign with the Buccaneers in free agency last March.
"I don’t regret my decision to come here at all,” Goldson said. “I think I'm in a great place and I'm happy to be here. I'm going to be here locked down for a couple more years and I'm excited about it.
“As far as my injuries, I've dealt with some injuries, the MCL that kept me out a couple weeks, that was hard. And the suspension was even harder. It was hard to try to get your mindset when you bounce from an injury to a suspension. It was like, 'What's next?' Then you've got to get back into that football mode and go out there and try to win football games. But I'm in a good place, I'm ready right now and I'm feeling pretty good. We've got a good team coming in and it's going to be a great challenge for our football team. We'll try to make things difficult for them."
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