A veteran of eight NFL seasons, two-time Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson wants to make sure his presence is felt on a revamped defensive unit.
Dashon Goldson knows that a hard-hitting, enforcer-type safety can really set the tone for a physical defense.
The 30-year-old said that he "was a physical guy at a young age," but that players at the position that can before him like Sean Taylor really helped him frame his mindset.
When it was announced last week that the Redskins had acquired the two-time Pro Bowler in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Goldson wrote a letter on Twitter explaining that he was "honored to be patrolling the same playgrounds" that Taylor used to back in the day.
"When I figured out I was going to be here, that was one of the things I wanted to get off my chest is pay my respects to a guy who came in here and did tremendous things in this league and definitely at the position for this organization," Goldson told Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins, on "Redskins Nation." "So I want to make sure the fans understand my mindset coming in here and being on this defense is definitely going to be setting the tone for sure – enforcing that."
Goldson has proven over the years to be one of the most aggressive players in the NFL, putting a stiff shoulder into opponents and striking fear in anyone that comes into his crosshairs.
But the former fourth-round pick doesn't want to be known as just a guy who can change games with his strength.
"A lot of people say I'm aggressive, which I am, but at the same time, I'm a very smart player," he said. "A lot of people don't understand the stuff that comes with playing safety. You have to get guys lined-up, you have to be able to think fast, adjust on the move. So, a lot of that stuff plays a part. I am aggressive. I love being physical, and I think that's definitely something you have to definitely put together a defense. A physical defense is always good."
But when he has the opportunity to lay down a strong hit, Goldson certainly won't shy away from the opportunity.
The Washington Redskins on Friday, April 3, 2015, announced the acquisition of safety Dashon Goldson. Here's a gallery of images from his career.
"Some people don't like to get hit – point blank," the University of Washington product said. "That's just the way it is. People don't like to get hit. That's what I'll bring to this defense, and I'll try to get the guys around me to feed off my energy. I can say vice-versa, I'll feed off theirs'."
Being Back With Scot McCloughan
Look at the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks over the last few years, and they've been among the most successful teams in the league.
From top to bottom, these teams have strong depth that carries over to gamedays.
The blueprints of each roster were helped put in place by the Redskins' current general manager.
Now in Washington with an established plan, McCloughan has already brought in three players he had past ties with – defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, safety Jeron Johnson and Goldson.
Goldson had been rumored to be leaving Tampa Bay throughout the season, and when he finally learned that he would have a new place to call home, the same place McCloughan now calls his own, the safety was thrilled.
"I knew Scot for a long time," he said. "He brought me in this league, man. It's good to be back with him."