Tom Brady won’t miss seeing Dashon Goldson on Sunday.
After spending a week preparing for and then playing against Goldson last season when Goldson was with the 49ers, Brady told me he was a believer in the hard-hitting safety’s impact on opposing offenses.
But Goldson’s calling card -- hard hits -- earned him a one-game suspension and he’ll be out for this week’s game between the Bucs (Goldson’s new team) and the Patriots.
Goldson was suspended a game by NFL VP of Operations Merton Hanks after consecutive games with helmet-to-helmet hits. The one that got Goldson bounced came Sunday against the Saints when Goldson blew up Darren Sproles.
“You had an unobstructed path to your opponent,” Hanks wrote in a letter to Goldson informing him of the suspension.
“It is clear that you lowered your head and unnecessarily rammed the left side of your helmet into the left side of your opponent’s head. You delivered a forceful blow with your helmet and made no attempt whatsoever to wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play. This illegal contact clearly could have been avoided.”
The Bucs have been a penalty machine in the first two games, getting penalized 24 times, tied for the NFL lead with the Niners.
Without the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Goldson, the Bucs will be a little smaller at safety. Behind Goldson on the depth chart is 5-9, 190-pound Ahmad Black. Keith Tandy, also 5-9, is the other alternative. He’s currently listed as the backup to strong safety Mark Barron.
Given the Patriots’ passing-game struggles and the absence so far of any tight-end threat when Tom Brady surveys the field, Goldson would have been a problem for New England. Not having to deal with him isn’t going to make the Patriots’ offense sing, but it should mean a little less mayhem out there.