Goldson believes Bucs can be a top 5 defense in 2014
Safety Dashon Goldson said he and other veteran players tried to provide input to coaches last season who rarely accepted it but believes the Bucs can be a top five defense under new head coach Lovie Smith.
“Me and Darrelle (Revis), we tried to do that last year,'' Goldson said Friday. "But those guys had to run the operation, those position coaches had to look up to the head man (Greg Schiano), so it was hard to get that started. But I think with this head coach, he’ll listen and I’ve already spoken to my position coach and he was willing to take advice about anything I had to say.
“I think we can be a top five defense. Easy. We’ve got a good line already, the linebacking corps is pretty good, the secondary is good. Some pieces will be added, I’m sure they will be.''
Goldson made the rounds on radio row at the Super Bowl media hotel in New York Friday afternoon. Gone was his trademark flowing dreadlocks, replaced by a close cropped hair cut.
"You like the new 'do?' he asked rhetorically.
Perhaps Goldson is trying to change the outlook for the upcoming season after a disasterous 4-12 year in Tampa Bay -- his first since signing a 5-year, $38.5-million deal as a free agent from the 49ers. In addition to an 0-8 start and three players contracting MRSA, Goldson was suspended twice for one game (he reversed one on appeal) and fined nearly a half million dollars for illegal helmet-to-helmet hits.
"Coming from an organization or a team that was on the rise and playing in the post-season and Super Bowls and things like that and then having to deal with a lot of stuff that had nothing to do with football – things like MRSA and people on the outside talking about things…it was a little struggle,'' Goldson said. "Knowing the talent we had and knowing how good of a football team we could be and not meeting those expectations, it was a little struggle.''
Goldson said he has not yet personally met with Smith but said he is excited about what he will bring to the Bucs.
“I’ve not met with Lovie but I have spoken with him twice,'' Goldson said. "I expressed how excited I was for him to be there and we just talked about me as a player and how excited he is to coach. It was a meet and greet kind of deal. I think it’s going to be fun. I think we already have a good football team and I’m sure they’re going to bring big names and some good players. I’m excited about this year.''