SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions after a twenty six yard pass play, has his legs cut from under him by Dashon Goldson #38 of the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 16, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News reported on Thursday that San Francisco 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson has a pretty big fan. That fan is Hall of Fame defensive back and four-time Super Bowl champion, Ronnie Lott.
Lott was drafted by San Francisco in 1981 and made his career in the Bay Area. During his career, Lott became one of the fiercest hitters that ever lived. He revolutionized the safety position with his versatility, ferociousness and ball-hawking skills.
He was the epitome of physicality. This was a guy who put an exclamation point on everything he did. He was the real thing. A pure football player. Even amongst the elites in the Hall of Fame, Lott is still up there among the all-time greats.
He will go down as one of the greatest to ever grace this league.
The Canton inductee recently had some kind words directed toward current safety, Dashon Goldson. Lott spoke with the Mercury News, going on about the Niners defensive back and what he brings to this team. For Lott's comments, continue after the jump.
Lott on Goldson:
I'm surprised that he doesn't have a long-term contract. He's an asset that you don't want to get away because he does everything the right way. He has all the intangibles you want on your team.
What I love about Goldson is this: He just plays the game. He's not patting himself on the back. He's not showboating. He just works. He's a great tackler and an exceptional ball-hawker.
He's a very valuable asset who is doing everything possible to improve his game. He's always working on his craft and trying to get better. He's not working just to get a contract. To me, that's a sign of a very meticulous player who is serious about improving.
That's really amazing to hear from a guy like that. Especially because I think he nailed it: I'm not out here trying to work on individual goals. I'm about the team. I've always been that way. When I was coming up, they always used to give me a hard time because I never liked publicity.
That is a huge compliment for Goldson, given it's source. Frankly, Lott was one of the greatest to ever do it, so if he thinks Goldson is a good ball player, then we're likely to listen.
I think Lott must admire Goldson's dual-threat ability as a hard-hitter and ball-hawking safety. Lott himself was a guy who excelled when it came to contact, but could also display his finesse in coverage. There are few threatening safeties in this league today, because so many of them are one-dimensional: they are either top-heavy run-stuffers or average cover guys who can't tackle that well.
Goldson has performed for the 49ers, yet he is playing this season out on the team's franchise tag. The two sides failed to come to an agreement, as Goldson could not secure that big pay day he desired. However, he did not let it affect his goals or cost him significant time away.
He remains focused, and looks to be continuing where he left off from last season. Last year, Goldson was was tied for 2nd in the league with 6 interceptions. Not to mention his tendency to knock the ball loose. He's always trying to take the ball away, which fits this defensive mindset quite well.
Moreover, you have to love his blue-collar mentality. He comes in and works and puts results on the field. He's been working extremely well in tandem with Donte Whitner, limiting Detroit, New Orleans and Green Bay in three of their past four games -- all wins.
If the 49ers decide to re-sign him after this year, it's good to know Dashon Goldson is Ronnie Lott Approved!