Tired of getting fined, Dashon Goldson hires a tackling coach


Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson lost almost half a million dollars because of fines and a suspension for illegal hits last season. He got the message.

Goldson says he’s sick of the NFL fining him for leading with his helmet, and so he has hired a private tackling coach to teach him the fundamentals of tackling with the shoulders.

“I said this can’t be cool because every time I hit somebody I’m getting a fine,” Goldson told Anwar Richardson of Yahoo Sports. “At that point, I realized I have to figure something out.”

This will be music to Roger Goodell’s ears. Goodell has made clear that he hopes fines will result in players thinking about the way they tackle. Goodell wants to put an end to players leading with their helmets, something Goldson has been doing for years.

Goldson added, however, that he believes his reputation as a hard hitter has served him well in his NFL career, including getting him a five-year, $41.25 million contract last year, and he needs to be careful not to change the way he tackles too drastically.

“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.”

If Goldson can continue to be the player he is, but lower his target and lead with his shoulder when he hits, he’ll save himself a lot of money by hiring a private tackling tutor.

45 responses to “Tired of getting fined, Dashon Goldson hires a tackling coach

  1. Unfortunately, it happened to be James Harrison’s tackling coach.

    Both were fined.

  2. While I respect anyone who is trying for self-improvement, this is kind of funny. I mean…this dudes been playing football since he was in BVDs. He should know by now how to tackle properly.

    Anyway, he should hire Kam Chancellor. Dude lays the wood and rarely gets fined.

  3. He should hire “prime time” Deion Sanders. He would learn how to backpedal out the way. Never tackle, never fined.

  4. If the NFL is serious about eradicating these types of hits, perhaps in addition to the player, the owner should be fined (and count against the cap) for every illegal hit. I think that owners subjected to fines would pressure their staffs to coach this out of the game. It seems unfair that the responsibility falls solely on the players when coaches are rewarding that style of play.

  5. Funny, spending your whole life playing football you’d think he’d know by now. The rest of the league has adjusted

  6. Wow.

    So what do all the macho posters talking about the wussification of the NFL feel now that a player has come out and admitted that the reason he is getting fined is because he doesn’t know how to tackle and is actually doing something about it?

    There are what, over 500 regular season NFL games a year? If there are 100 offensive snaps a game, that’s over 5,000 plays per year. How many resulted in fines for illegal hits? I could only find an article that said there were 13 in week 2 last year. That would project to 208 for the season, or less than 0.05% of all offensive plays. That means on 95.95% of all NFL plays last year, the tackles were deemed to be legal.

    So yeah, the problem isn’t that the league is “outlawing” hard hits, the problem is a small amount of guys who either never learned to tackle properly or can’t control themselves on the field.

    Good to see one of them has acknowledged that HE’S the one who has to change.

  7. Ya, I’m not an expert but I’m pretty sure you lose the “feed my family” card when you ink a 40 million dollar contract.

    How about how other players plan on feeding their families after football with their brains? Square up and hit em hard in the letters: sometimes you miss but his pattern is egregious.

  8. is this some sort of joke? first off, he’s been playing football his whole life and he doesn’t know proper tackling technique? all he has to do is watch the videos the NFL sends out about what is a legal hit. and why go through the process of hiring a tackling coach, when he has an actual NFL coaching staff at his disposal?

  9. ireadpftforthecomments says:
    Please be Terry Tate…please be Terry Tate….

    LMAO comment of the year. I wish they would make more of those (or at least more in that vein).

  10. Hire Malcolm Jenkins and he’ll teach you the finer points of diving at the ball carriers feet, ducking your head when “tackling” and never, ever wrapping up which will result in no fines as you rarely even make contact with your opponent. He’s your problem now, Philly!

  11. i also get tired of hearing about “its the way i feed my family.” “They” are trying to take that away from me, he said. Well, the normal world and the normal job has rules and limitations.

    Take a doctor for example; what if Dr. Smith said, well i normally perform gall bladder surgery this way…..but now im supposed to perform it a new way. They are taking my talent away from me. “Its how i feed my family and many people at the hospital say im good at it.”

    maybe he should have to go back to school (like most “professionals” do when they need trained in a new technique).

    But, i agree that at least the man is taking it upon himself to fix his inabilities. Good for him.

  12. The tackling coach should not come out of Goldson’s pocket.

    It should be funded by the same league levying the heavy-handed fines- on players either getting fined for unavoidable contact and/or for doing it how they’ve been taught since pee wee football.

    The league has deep enough pockets to pay Goodell $44,000,000.00 in 2013 – plus was delighted to only pay $763,000,000.00 in a recent settlement. Have the league pay for the individual “tackling coaches.”

    Yeah, in what reality will that ever happen?

  13. People keep saying he has coaches at his disposal but perhaps his current coaches are preaching something entirely different. On the other hand perhaps he is just covering himself which is smart on his part. I don’t see why the guy gets criticized for paying out of his own pocket to “better himself”. I say better himself because I’m in the minority with saying I’d rather he not change the way he plays. I truly believe that a lot of the fines he incurred last year came on reputation versus performing actual illegal hits. Not to say some weren’t illegal but obviously you lose the benefit of the doubt after a while

  14. I think this is a good move from Goldson because personal fouls were one reason SF fans weren’t upset when he left. Sometimes the reputation of being a hard hitter can also draw some flags. Will be such a benefit to that team.

    Kam Chancellor actually got fined quite a bit in his first Pro Bowl season but he adjusted and don’t think there was one personal foul this year but many nasty fierce hits.

  15. Wow… Congrats Dashon….

    Since you are now 29 year old, so I’m guessing you’ve had the last 22 years are so with “tackling” coaches….

    and you’ve ignored all of them for the past 22 years…, because I guarantee you… not a single on of them “coached” you into your method of launching yourself at an opposing player.

    What makes this particular coach so special ????

  16. Good on him for taking the initiative but I still can’t help but laugh at this story. It’d be like a bus driver hiring a driving instructor. How do you not know one of the major skills of your trade that you’re being paid 40+ mil for.

  17. If you think football coaches on lower levels care about your tackling form you havent played football. As long as there’s a loud crack and the other guy falls, they couldnt care less.

  18. The majority of defenders need to hire a tackling coach and it has nothing to do with illegal hits.

  19. If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s professional athletes who are making millions complaining about “feeding their family”. While his complaint about being fined is valid (some of the time, anyway), I’m pretty sure that he’s earned enough by now to feed his family over several generations—assuming he’s being smart with his money.

  20. 1. Drive your shoulder into the ball carrier, anywhere between the midsection or thighs while sliding your head to either side depending on which shoulder you are hitting with.

    2. Wrap up at the knees

    3. Bring to the ground

    Not tackling coach needed. I just explained it by remembering what I was taught in Pop Warner.

  21. How pathetic.

    A guy who has presumably played the game his whole life and has been getting paid millions to play at a pro level and admits he doesn’t even know basic tackling technique ?

    What the heck is he doing at practices anyway ? And what about his position coach ?

  22. Due to the new CBA, the team’s coaches can’t do contact drills with the players until summer. It’s going to take more than a month to break 10-15 years of bad tackling habits.

  23. I’ll be honest…as much as I’d love to make fun of this because it just sounds so over the top…I have to hand it to him for at least TRYING to change his game and tailor it to the new brand of ‘football’ that Goodell is enforcing.

  24. The fact of the matter is he needs a tackling coach because of the Glee Generation of football we’re currently plagued by. If they played under these sissy rules when Lynch was still around he would have ended up starting for the Marlins and not the Bucs.

  25. I taught both my sons how to tackle so they’d be ready when my daughter started dating. I got your back, Dashon! I’ll coach you and when you get done paying me we’ll both be able to “feed the family”!

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