On Monday, 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson took to the podium in Santa Clara for a press conference. Goldson is not a regular when it comes to 49ers pressers, but the Niners have recently gotten a lot of new faces in front of the media.
Ray McDonald, Tarell Brown, Joe Staley, Delanie Walker and Carlos Rogers have all addressed the media since training camp got underway.
Coming off a Pro Bowl year, Goldson had some interesting things to say Monday. He talked about the defensive, particularly the secondary, and the upcoming season. He briefly touched on his personal approach, now that he has reported after his brief holdout. Goldson seems motivated, focused and eager to get this season going.
Follow me after the jump for some of Goldson's more interesting comments, and a discussion about the 49ers defense in 2012.
On the team:
We're playing as one. We've had a lot of good players, but now we're starting to play together as one team and get on the same page, and it helps out.
On Donte Whitner:
With [Donte] Whitner being back there, he knows what's going on, he's played in a lot schemes. He was with Buffalo before here, so he's seen some things that'll help me out that I probably haven't come across. That's where all the communication comes from.
That's probably one of the best safeties in this league, man. I mean, he don't get enough credit, I feel. His game has been tremendous for our football team and just playing with him has been an honor and I'm glad for him to be a part of this defense - he does a good job playing the run and the pass.
On good safety tandems:
Troy [Polamalu] and Clark, Ryan Clark, they do a good job. Ed Reed was pretty good-- I mean, he's still pretty good, before [Dawan] Landry took off. There's a lot of good safeties out there, but as far as the one-two punch, it's hard to find.
On making offenses one dimensional:
We have a good run defense, everybody knows that. If we can make [teams] one dimensional, that's good for us; gives us more opportunities to get turnovers.
On being back with the 49ers:
I'm a team player. This is where I want to be. Football is the most important thing to me and my teammates, I owe it to them. I'm back here, I'm glad to be back here and I'm just excited to get the season started and happy to be in camp.
The return of Dashon Goldson is huge for San Francisco. While we are very critical of Goldson and very brash to judge his risky style of play, it has paid dividends for the 49ers. Goldson had 6 interceptions in 2012, contributing to a top-ranked defense and the league's No. 1 turnover ratio.
Besides the interceptions, Goldson sets the tone with his devastating hits and keeps receivers cautious. He has delivered a litany of crushing blows, and is no stranger to forcing the ball out. Goldson has the mentality to hit hard and take the ball away. And it could be said that Goldson's risky style is allowable in a defense that plays so well collectively.
The consistent performance of the front seven allows Goldson to take chances, and he's made plays when doing so. He is sort of a wildcard but looking back on how absolutely terrible the 49ers secondary was only a few seasons ago, aren't we glad that we have not only a top free safety, but a complementary and efficient safety tandem?