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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Schiano defends Goldson on helmet-to-helmet hit



TAMPA -- Bucs safety Dashon Goldson, already fined and suspended a game this season for tackling opponents high, drew a personal foul penalty on Sunday for a helmet-to-helmet tackle on the Rams' Stedman Bailey, but his coach is optimistic the sanctions won't extend beyond the yards lost on the field.

"That's bang-bang. He had no way of avoiding that, other than settling down on the guy and possibly missing him or hurting himself," coach Greg Schiano said. "It's unfortunate that it happened. The way it's being called, that's going to be called 100 out of 100 times. I hope that it's just a penalty."

Early in the fourth quarter, the Rams' Kellen Clemens hit Bailey for a 13-yard gain across the middle, and Goldson took two steps and tackled him, but initiated contact helmet to helmet before wrapping him up with his arms. The half-the-distance penalty set up a first and goal, which led to a field goal and a seven-point lead with 11:15 to play.

After the game, Goldson expressed frustration at the way tackling is being scrutinized by officials this season, making defensive backs change some of their tackling instincts to avoid penalties or worse.

"The new football is discouraging. It's hard. It's really hard," Goldson said. "It's deeper than I thought it was."

Goldson will find out this week if he faces any kind of fine or another suspension from the league -- his coach said he's seen specific changes from Goldson in how he approaches receivers, even in practice.

"That's a tough one, that play right there," Schiano said. "You could say 'Take a nose dive,' but that's not what he's going do. High speed, guys moving, changing levels. It's clear he's really worked to change his aiming point on his contact. Even in practice, he works on it, as he approaches guys, you can see him lower his center of gravity, even though we're not in pads."

[Last modified: Monday, December 23, 2013 3:56pm]


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