I was checking out Barrows blog yesterday and read something that struck me as at least a little bit interesting. He runs a weekly (or usually weekly) Q&A from emails readers have submitted. One question and answer jumped out at me this week:
Question: Matt, my question is more of a statement. I did some personal research and found that 31.2% of interceptions in the NFL last season came from safeties, with 4 of the 5 players with more than 5 INT's being safeties. Of the niner's 12 interceptions a big ZERO came from the safety position... Do you think that Dashon Goldson can actually get after the ball? Because I think that Alfonso Smith could come in and make a difference immediately. 21 interceptions in 4 seasons is impressive. Could he convert to safety? He'll definitely be there for us in the 2nd.
Answer: I have no doubt in my mind that if Dashon Goldson stays healthy this season he will lead the 49ers in interceptions. But that's a big if. Goldson has not been able to stay on the field, not in college and not in the NFL despite playing a bit part the last two seasons. Can he put that behind him? Sometimes a player can do that. Look at Frank Gore. But most of the time, the injury bug sticks with a player throughout his career. (See: Woods, Rashaun; Jennings, Jonas).
I realize it's hard/impossible to predict injuries, but I'm curious what people expect out of Goldson in terms of playing time this season. Barrows makes a good point about Gore. Gore really is an exception when it comes to overcoming a nasty injury history.
Dashon Goldson seems to have a wealth of talent, but it doesn't do anybody any good if he can't stay healthy. So will Goldson join Gore in overcoming the injuries? Or are we doomed to talking about how good he could've been if he'd just stayed healthy?