The first thing you noticed about Dashon Goldson was that, at the moment, he was totally alone.
No islands anywhere.
Goldson, the thick, imposing player that he is, more or less filled the stage. He stared out, his eyes dark, as if he was willing to crunch someone at any moment.
He is a special player, the Bucs believe, a home run of a signing. Talk about bang for your Bucs: Julio Jones and Marques Colston and Steve Smith and the other receivers of the NFC South will wake up with fresh bruises this morning.
Yet, you could not help but notice there was no Darrelle Revis to his left, and no Darrelle Revis to his right. The entire news conference, it should be said, was Revis free.
And there is your problem.
As impressive as Goldson is, as promising as he and Mark Barron can be as a tandem, it is hard to safety your way around weak cornerbacks. There are too many talented receivers in this division.
So, yes, the Bucs added a nice piece to their defensive huddle Wednesday. Goldson is an impact player, in every sense of the word, and he has the fines to prove it. That said, there is more work for the Bucs to do in the coming days. They need a corner, and they need another corner.
Which leads us to Revis and the current staredown going on between the Jets and the Bucs.
That's what you want to know, isn't it? Is it imminent? Is it contentious? Are the Bucs about to pay Harbour Island to Revis Island?
Actually, right now, it's kind of boring. The negotiations between the Jets and Bucs more or less resemble a guy making his first inquiry into buying a car. Price hasn't been discussed. Terms haven't been discussed. Trade-in hasn't been discussed. Tires haven't been kicked.
It's going to be a tricky trade, in other words. Not only is there a matter of compensation, but there is a matter of contract, and there is a matter of medical history, and there is a matter of Revis and his occasional bouts of feeling underappreciated.
For instance, there is the feeling that the Jets should get what Minnesota got for Percy Harvin (a first- and a seventh-round pick in this year's draft, a third next year). Ah, but even if the teams were that far along, Harvin is healthy. Not only that, but the first-round pick that Minnesota obtained was 25th; not 13th.
It would be easier for a team to jump out and sign Brent Grimes, or Sean Smith, or Derrick Cox. Except those guys aren't anywhere near the neighborhood of Revis, a player who can take away a half-field at a time. There is a reason cornerbacks haven't been signed; most of them are vastly overpriced.
And so the countdown resumes between Revis and the Buccaneers.
Just, uh, don't hold your breath.
In the meantime, there is Goldson, a two-time Pro Bowl player from the 49ers. No one should throw water on this signing. Think of him in the same terms as Vincent Jackson or Carl Nicks from last year. Yeah, he can be special, and the Bucs need all they can get of that.
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If you don't believe him, ask his sister.
When Goldson was a kid, he was playing football against his mom's wishes. She had given him $100 for his birthday, and he had used it to pay the league fees. He got away with it for a few weeks. It might have been longer, but according to Goldson, he "put a lick" on his sister, and she told on him.
It wouldn't be the last time Goldson got in trouble for "putting on a lick." To date, he has paid more than $106,000 in fines to the NFL. "I could go back and fight for every one of those hits," he said.
"In our scheme, we ask our safeties to do so much," Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. "At times, they cover the deep half of the field. At times, they're at linebacker depth and have to mix it up with the big guys and take on running backs. At times, they're covering wide receivers."
Again, it's hard not to like the signing. Goldson, 28, provides the kind of crackle that makes receivers reluctant to go over the middle. With him and Barron, opposing receivers are going to feel as if they are playing on an interstate.
But before the Bucs are finished, they have to realize they have to import a couple of cornerbacks, too.
You know, more island, less Gilligan.