NFL Suspends Bucs Safety Dashon Goldson After Hit On Darren Sproles
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were correctly called for several personal foul, helmet-to-helmet penalties in their 16-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints yesterday. While no ejections took place, one Buccaneer will not be in action next week due to his actions.
Bucs safety Dashon Goldson has been suspended one game by the NFL after leading with his helmet when tackling Saints running back Darren Sproles yesterday. Sproles was deemed defenseless on the play. Goldson is suspended for being a multi-time offender, including two helmet-to-helmet personal fouls in the first two weeks of the 2013 season.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks (yes, that Merton Hanks) said the following in his suspension letter to Goldson.
“You had an unobstructed path to your opponent. 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.”
Goldson has three days to appeal.
Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano was asked by FOX sideline reporter Eric Andrews about the multiple personal foul penalties on his club during halftime of the Saints victory over the Bucs.
“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,” explained Schiano to Andrews. “We just have to be more and more aware of that situation and make sure we avoid that as much as we can.”
The simple fact that he said it with a straight face after Goldson's hit, and more notably, safety Ahman Black's dirty hit to Jimmy Graham's head, is a telling clue as to where Tampa Bay follows its lead. A coach with no discipline equals a team with no discipline.
Now, Tampa Bay must defeat the New England Patriots on the road Sunday to avoid an 0-3 start, and they'll have to do it without one of their team captains.
UPDATE: Goldson has won his appeal, but will be fined $100,000. Click here for more.