One of the few positions that will have a new starter this season on the 49ers defense is Dashon Goldson. Goldson, has been a work in progress for the past two seasons seeing action as the primary back up to former starter Mark Roman, and even filled in for starting strong safety Michael Lewis on occasion.
The former University of Washington standout was drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played well for the Huskies totaling 6 interceptions, 293 tackles and 2 forced fumbles, along with 20 passed defended and 1 sack.
Goldson labeled, as a “ball-hawk” during the team’s practice sessions during his first two seasons, always seems to be either intercepting or batting down passes. Known for his size (6’2, 200 lbs.)
Goldson has the physical tools to become a talented safety in the league. However, the knack on him is his ability to stay healthy during the regular season.
He made his first career start in week two against Seattle totaling five tackles until leaving the game with an injury to his knee. He came back the following week against Detroit, but left the game once again with an injury (shoulder).
After being inactive for four weeks, Goldson returned in week seven against the Giants and re-aggravated his week two knee injury.
This would cause Dashon to miss the next nine weeks of the season due to his injuries.
He returned week 16 against St. Louis in a backup role. Dashon played extensively in the last game of the season hosting the Redskins by replacing starter Michael Lewis who left the game with an injured knee.
Played in 10 games as a rookie, compiling 15 tackles, and 10 special teams stops. His rookie season was also hindered with an injury to his elbow.This season Dashon has earned a chance to show his unique skill set to the entire league.
Mike Singletary and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky decided to show their confidence in Goldson’s ability by naming him the starter at free safety. Taking over for the embattled predecessor Mark Roman who was repeatedly torched on huge pass plays in 2008.
Goldson has an opportunity to solidify the 49ers defensive backfield that is the most experienced group in the NFL in 2008, with the hard-hitting, experienced Michael Lewis at strong safety and the solid tandem of corners, Nate Clements, Walt Harris, Terrell Brown, Reggie Smith and Marcus Hudson. The 2009 San Francisco 49er defensive backfield will be one of the teams many strengths this season.