Bucs’ Goldson says rep as dirty ‘ridiculous’

Updated: December 12, 2013, 9:55 AM ET


By
Pat Yasinskas | ESPN.com


TAMPA, Fla. — Although he’s been suspended for a game and fined on multiple occasions, Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson said he’s unhappy that many have labeled him a dirty player.

“Definitely,” Goldson said in a Wednesday conference call with the San Francisco media when asked for his reaction to the label.

“I remember being on the good side of it, hearing commentators, analysts talking about how perfect, how good, how I do it the right way and all of a sudden with the new rule I’m a dirty player, a nasty player, targeted and I’m not playing the game how it’s supposed to be played.

“I think that’s ridiculous and then being targeted, I feel, because it’s been a few times people have been in the situation or worse situations than me and haven’t gotten penalized like I’ve been.”

Although fans and media may question some of Goldson’s hits, he said he feels like he has the respect of players around the league.

“Yeah, I think so,” Goldson said. “I think the players, they understand the game and how it’s supposed to be played. They’re more on my side than anybody else, and coaches on top of that. Now with the new rule you do have some of those guys as far as coaches who complain about the hit. And they’re the same guys I’m sure who are teaching their players how to hit and congratulating them when they make a big hit.

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to face safety Goldson for the first time since he left the team for Tampa Bay in the offseason, signing a $41.25 million, five-year contract with the Buccaneers.

But it won’t be the first time the team has seen Goldson since he left. The safety was a surprise visitor to the 49ers’ facility last month when he was suspended for a game by the NFL for an illegal hit.

Goldson said he stopped by to see former teammates and coaches while he was in the area attending to other needs. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh recalled Wednesday that he was surprised by Goldson’s visit, but was glad he made it.

“I’d never seen that before, a player stop by like that,” Harbaugh said. “But it was cool. It was natural. People were glad to see him. He was glad to see guys. I had a chance to see him, give him a hug and talk for a little bit. It wasn’t a big deal.”

ESPN.com 49ers reporter Bill Williamson contributed to this report.

  • Previously covered NFC South for ESPN.com
  • Covered Panthers for The Charlotte Observer from 1999-2008
  • Began journalism career with The Tampa Tribune in 1990

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