When he came to the Redskins via a trade, Dashon Goldson had a reputation for being, well, overly aggressive. Or, as some would say, a dirty player.
Call it what you will but according to a graphic that ESPN showed on screen during their NFL pregame show today, from 2012 through this season, including the playoffs, only Vontaze Burfict of the Bengals has had more personal foul penalties called against him that Goldson. Burfict has been flagged 14 times while Goldson has been hit 12 times.
But it appears that Goldson has cleaned up his act lately. Of those 12 roughness flags against him only one has come in the last two years. He racked up five for the 49ers in 2012 and six with the Bucs the following year. But in the last two seasons his only personal foul flag came in 2015 in Week 14 against the Bears.
It’s a good example of a player growing smarter as he grows older. In addition to the yardage the team lost on those penalties, the fines add up and an even more costly suspension was sure to come at some point. Goldson adapted, perhaps not coincidentally, the year he turned 30. Perhaps he knew that if he wanted to extend his career much longer that the cheap shots, uh, overly aggressive plays, would have to stop.