Bucs' Goldson docked 1 game for helmet hit
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson has been suspended one game for a helmet-to-helmet hit on New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles.
Goldson will appeal the one-game ban and is trying to get the hearing expedited for Tuesday, according to a league source.
The hit to Sproles came one week after Goldson was fined $30,000 for hitting New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland during the Buccaneers' Week 1 loss. The one-game suspension would cost Goldson in the neighborhood of $265,000.
Goldson was flagged for his hit on Sproles, as he was for the hit on Cumberland. The Buccaneers committed 10 penalties for 118 yards in a 16-14 loss to the Saints. Against the Jets, they had 13 penalties for 102 yards. Tampa Bay's 220 yards in penalties are the most in the NFL; its 23 penalties are tied for the most with the San Francisco 49ers.
"You had an unobstructed path to your opponent," NFL vice president of football operations Merton 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."
Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, asked about Goldson's hit Monday, said "it doesn't really matter" whether he thought it should have been penalized.
"As I tell the guys, whether you think it's a penalty or not, it's called, so it's a penalty," he said. "That's really the issue. If something is going to be called, we have to avoid it.
"It's hurting the football team. By the same token, I want our guys to play hard. I don't think anybody is intentionally trying to do that. We just have to be more and more aware of that situation and make sure we avoid that as much as we can."
From 2010 through Monday, Goldson has drawn 15 personal fouls, more than any other player in the league.
Goldson is in his first season with the Buccaneers, joining Tampa Bay with a five-year, $41.25 million contract this offseason. The 28-year-old safety had played his first six seasons with the 49ers.
Schiano said the Buccaneers weren't worried about Goldson's history with penalties when they signed him.
"When we made the decision to bring Dashon here, that was not a concern. Was I aware that he was a big hitter? Yes. Now, it's a concern that he may get suspended, but Dashon is trying to do the right thing," Schiano said.
"He's just got to lower his target point and sometimes the point moves, so that means you have to go lower still. He certainly is trying. It's not one of those, 'Oh, I don't care, I'm just going to do that.' He's very aware and trying," he said.
ESPN.com Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas contributed to this report.
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