Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons need Goldson to have flashback to 2012

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons need newly signed safety Dashon Goldson to have a flashback if he gets on the field in 2016.

Goldson started 15 games last season for Washington last season and was lowest rated safety in the league by He was an All-Pro as recently as 2012 and is a former two-time Pro Bowler.

Goldson, who’s  also racked up a slew of fines, must be a more refined and discipline hitter and tackler.

Here’s what Bryson Vesnaver wrote in an article titled:  Worst players at every position this season (through nine games):

Safeties: Dashon Goldson, Redskins, 37.1, and Trenton Robinson, Redskins, 36.3

Once again, Redskins’ teammates make this team at the same position, and it’s no less depressing/scary than before. Goldson is here thanks to equal struggles in coverage and run defense. Coverage-wise, Goldson grades out at 43.4, which is 82nd among 85 safeties in the NFL. He’s missed 12 tackles, including eight against the run, compared to 13 run stops. No safety in football has a lower run defense grade than Goldson’s 29.7

Robinson is just the tiniest bit better than Goldson. His coverage grade of 43.9 ranks 81st out of 85 safeties, and his run defense grade of 33.1 is the second worst. He’s missed two less tackles (so he still 10 missed tackles), but he’s only made eight run stops. So, there is one thing that Goldson beats him at. Still, not good; especially for the Redskins, whose entire midfield made this team.

Honorable Mention: Jahleel Addae (48.3), Calvin Pryor (46.2)

 The Falcons signed Goldson to backup Kemal Ishmael at strong safety while Keanu Neal recovers from knee surgery. He's expected to miss at least two regular season games after suffering a knee injury against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.

The Falcons plan to get Goldson up to speed quickly.

“It’s a crash course in studying,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He and (senior defensive assistant/secondary) Marquand (Manuel) are getting very close this week and spending a lot of time together. He’s played a lot of football. I know his toughness, so I’ve seen that and I know what his leadership’s about, so we’re thrilled to have him be a part of the group.”

Goldson plans to get to work on learning the defense.

“It’s just the terminology and the way to handle things as far as positioning and techniques, stuff that I’ve got to get down,” Goldson said.

As far as flashing back to 2012, Goldson was the starting free safety for San Francisco in the NFC championship game against the Falcons. The 49ers came back from 17-0 deficit to prevail 28-24 and advance to the Super Bowl.

"It was a good one," Goldson said. "This team always put up a fight when we were playing against them. That was a great game. They came out and got a great lead in the first half. They gave us their best punch. We found it in ourselves to come back and do what we had to do. But I'm a Falcon now."



WR 11 Julio Jones,16 Justin Hardy, 14 Eric Weems, 87 Devin Fuller, 6 Corey Washington

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 76 Tom Compton,66 Laurence Gibson

LG 67 Andy Levitre, 71 Wes Schweitzer, 64 Collin Rahrig

C 51 Alex Mack, 63 Ben Garland

RG 65 Chris Chester, 68 Mike Person

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 72 Bryce Harris

TE 83 Jacob Tamme, 81 Austin Hooper, 80 Levine Toilolo

86 D.J. Tialavea, 82 Joshua Perkins

WR 12 Mohamed Sanu,19 Aldrick Robinson,15 Nick Williams, 85 J.D. McKissic

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 8 Matt Schaub, 4 Matt Sims

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 28 Terron Ward, 20 Brandon Wilds

FB 42 Patrick DiMarco


DE 99 Adrian Clayborn, 50 Brooks Reed, 93 Dwight Freeney, 96 Nordly Capi

DT 94 Tyson Jackson , 95 Jonathan Babineaux, 98 Cory Johnson

DT 97 Grady Jarrett, 91 Courtney Upshaw, 92 Joey Mbu

DE 90 Derrick Shelby, 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 54 Malliciah Goodman

LB 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 41 Philip Wheeler, 52 Tyler Starr

LB 55 Paul Worrilow, 45 Deion Jones, 53 LaRoy Reynolds, 46 Matt Wells

LB 56 Sean Weatherspoon, 59 De’Vondre Campbell

CB 23 Robert Alford, 32 Jalen Collins, 29 C.J. Goodwin

CB 21 Desmond Trufant, 25 Akeem King, 34 Brian Poole, 43 DeMarcus Van Dyke, 33 Devonte Johnson

S 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie, 20 Sharrod Neasman

S 22 Keanu Neal, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 38 Dashon Goldson, 40 Damian Parms


K 3 Matt Bryant, 17 Shayne Graham

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 26 Tevin Coleman,14 Eric Weems, 87 Devin Fuller, 85 J.D. McKissic

PR 14 Eric Weems, 87 Devin Fuller, 85 J.D. McKissic

LS 47 Josh Harris

H 5 Matt Bosher


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.