49ers S Goldson earning new label for hard hits


49ers S Goldson earning new label for hard hits

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Dashon Goldson has a stack of manila envelopes in his locker, filing away the paperwork every time the NFL has fined the San Francisco 49ers safety.

While he has heard from the league office more than a dozen times in his six-year career, the letters often had little to do with his hard-hitting ways until this season.

Goldson estimates he has been fined $70,000 for socks, pants and other uniform violations - about $5,000 for each offense. He said his latest letter from the NFL, however, notified him of a $21,000 fine for an illegal hit Sunday night on Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, which Goldson plans to appeal.

All the crackdowns have earned the 49ers' franchise-tagged player a new league label: multiple offender. The Hawk, as teammates call Goldson for swooping in for shots on receivers, said the fines still won't change the way he plays when the 49ers (10-3-1) face the Seahawks (9-5) on Sunday night in Seattle with a chance to clinch the NFC West title.

``I don't have time to sit there and dictate in the timespan I have as a football player when I'm on the football field to dictate what's a clean and what's a not-so-clean hit,'' Goldson said. ``I'm not a dirty player. And that's just that.''

Goldson, playing on a one-year contract of $6.2 million, has had multiple fines for his play. Among them:

- $7,875 for a late hit on sliding Rams quarterback Sam Bradford on Dec. 2.

- $7,875 for taunting - unsportsmanlike conduct - after tackling Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch in October.

- $25,000 for punching Arizona receiver Early Doucet in November 2011 (Doucet was fined $10,000 for unnecessary roughness for striking Goldson in the helmet area).

- $5,000 for a late hit on Raiders receiver Louis Murphy in October 2010.

In his latest offense, officials whistled Goldson for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he barreled into Hernandez as the tight end was still in the air and turning to make a catch in the third quarter of San Francisco's 41-34 victory in Foxborough. Goldson put his feet together, spread his arms out wide and looked to the sky in a celebration that is becoming routine in San Francisco's secondary.

Niners defensive coordinator Vic Fangio disagreed with the call, but he understands that it's part of the NFL's safety-first approach to protect defenseless receivers.

``He wrapped the guy up, hit him right here in the chest area,'' Fangio said. ``I think what's happened, if it looks bad, the league has told officials to err on the side of caution.''

The violent collisions are a staple of San Francisco's defense.

Goldson believes the style is a big reason why the 49ers are tied with the Seahawks for the best scoring defense in the league, allowing only 15.6 points per game. On the next play against the Patriots, for instance, Hernandez looked timid and had a pass from Tom Brady pop off his hands that Aldon Smith scooped up for an interception.

``Hits like that get wide receivers the short hands,'' Goldson said. ``It's been proven throughout this league for years, and it's been proven since me and Donte (Whitner) have been back there making hits and our whole defense.''

Goldson has three interceptions this season after six last year - he had five in his four seasons combined. Others also have taken notice.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll praised the physicality of San Francisco's secondary this week. Looking back at the 49ers' 13-6 victory over Seattle at Candlestick Park in Week 7, Carroll said rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will have to be aware of Goldson and Whitner if they want a different result the second time around.

``Their safeties are ridiculous,'' Carroll said.

The only concern Goldson has about his rising reputation is that he could face a possible suspension if he's flagged for enough hits. While he wants players to be intimidated by his presence, he said he's not trying to hurt anybody and practices proper techniques. He also doesn't want to be known as the league's hardest hitter.

``I just want to be known,'' Goldson said, ``as a good football player.''

NOTES: DT Justin Smith did not practice for the second straight day with an elbow injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh had said on his radio show Tuesday that Smith will likely play but sounded unsure Wednesday. Neither spoke to reporters Thursday.


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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

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Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Associated Press

Need to Know: Looking at the Redskins' offensive depth chart after early phase of free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 19, 38 days before the NFL draft.  

Free agency notes and nuggets

Looking at the 2018 depth chart—offense

The Redskins are likely to make a few more free agent acquisitions and there is the draft, but the depth chart is beginning to settle in. Let’s take a look at where the offensive side of the ball stands now. The defense is up tomorrow

Quarterback: Alex Smith
Backups: Colt McCoy

The only question here is if the Redskins will draft a late-round project quarterback to develop as the backup. McCoy is in the last year of his contract and he may not be back in 2019.

Running back: Samaje Perine
Backups: Chris Thompson, Rob Kelley, draft pick

This is an area to watch. Thompson could end up being the only carryover if they get a draft pick who can start and decide to keep 2017 late-season addition Kapri Bibbs or if they find another veteran. They also could go with only three running backs.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder
Backups: Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Brian Quick

They may not carry six, so Harris, Davis, and Quick might battle it out for two spots. It’s possible that they will put a draft pick into the mix as well.

MORE REDSKINS: The Redskins week that was

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

As of right now, this appears to be one of the few position groups you can write in with a Sharpie. If the Redskins are going to be better in 2018, a lot of the improvement will have to come from improvement of 2017 draft picks like Sprinkle. If he can develop into a solid blocker and a moderate receiving threat he will be an asset.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Arie Kouandjio, C Chase Roullier RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: T Ty Nsekhe, G/T Tyler Catalina, G Kyle Kalis, T T.J. Clemmings

Kouandjio is a placeholder at left guard for the moment. He was solid pass blocking but struggled in run blocking in six starts in injury fill-in duty. I think that if they bring in another interior O-lineman in free agency or in the draft, Roullier will remain at center. I think Jay Gruden likes the way he is developing there and wants to continue.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 28
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 130
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 174

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