METAIRIE, La. — Drew Brees didn’t mince words Wednesday when describing Bucs safety Dashon Goldson as a player intent on injuring other players, all but directly calling him dirty.
“He certainly has no regard for the rules in the middle,” the Saints quarterback said. “He’s going after guys’ heads. You can see it. Obviously $100,000 is a pretty hefty fine. I’m sure if it continues to happen, there will be even greater punishment than that.”
Goldson was initially suspended by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Darren Sproles in the second quarter of New Orleans’ 16-14 win over Tampa Bay. The unnecessary roughness penalty was his second in two games. But his suspension was overturned on appeal and he was allowed to practice Wednesday.
Since 2010, Goldson has 12 unnecessary roughness penalties and three unsportsmanlike conduct flags thrown on him.
When asked if he thought it was hypocritical of the league to allow Goldson to keep playing in spite of its focus on player safety, Brees said he recognizes there’s “an evaluation process” that must happen.
Still, he didn’t like what he saw Sunday.
“It’s hard when you’re coming off a game where that was one of our guys he was going after on more than one occasion,” Brees said. “And obviously the hit on Jimmy (Graham), which wasn’t him, it was another one of their guys. But it was obvious that they were going at his head so I’ve got no sympathy for that.”
He added, “I know it’s tough playing the safety position in the middle. Things happen fast. But then again, there’s some instances where you can see it was pretty obvious that a guy was going at another guy’s head and it happened at least in two occasions in our game.”
While Goldson’s hit on Darren Sproles is what got him in trouble, the hit by Ahmad Black on Graham was every bit as nasty. Graham was being brought down from behind when Black flew in like a projectile, striking the tight end’s facemask with both his shoulder pads and his own helmet. Graham was slow to get up after the hit.
It was a hit in which Black likely could have changed his target before striking Graham.
“You’ll look at some guys and say this is a hard-nosed but clean player,” Brees said. “You’re going to look at other guys and say hey, this guy’s reputation is being a dirty player. He doesn’t care, he’s going for the head. It’s obvious by the film that you see or the number of penalties he has racked up over the course of time.
“You’re going to be able to evaluate that based on the player and if you flip on the film and you know what you’re looking at and you know football and you’ve been in that position before and are well aware of the situation, you’ll be able to say hey, that was unintentional or that looked pretty dirty.”