Niners thought ‘safety first’ with offseason lineup change

Within the first month of the offseason, coach Mike Singletary decided it was time for practice-field standout Dashon Goldson to unseat Mark Roman as the 49ers’ starting free safety.

So Goldson went through the entire offseason program with the No. 1 defense. He took a lot of reps and made a lot of progress in the complete understanding of the defense. The mental part of the game had always been Roman’s strength. Coaches could always depend on Roman because they knew that he knew exactly what to do on any given play.


Question: I’m not too worried about the CBs; it’s the safeties that concern me. Goldson has been injury-prone and I’m not real excited to see Roman back him up. If Goldson goes down, have the other young players shown enough to step in? Or are we back to looking at other teams rejects to fill a hole? (mbniner)


Answer: Roman was given permission to seek a trade in the offseason. But when his agent checked around the league, there were no teams willing to acquire him, at a price, with the intention of making him a starter.


The 49ers gladly welcomed him back – OK, he never left.


Goldson has good size. He is a big-hitter. He is tough. He played cornerback at the University of Washington, so he has good coverage skills and seems to make a lot of plays on the ball. The 49ers are looking for him to generate turnovers. Roman has gone more than two full seasons without recording an interception.


With Goldson slated to start at free safety, veteran Michael Lewis returns at strong safety. In reality, these positions are pretty similar. However, Lewis’ strength is playing closer to the line of scrimmage in run support.


The club will take a long look at seventh-round pick Curtis Taylor, second-year player Reggie Smith and Lewis Baker, who will enter his second camp with the club, to gauge the readiness of those players.


However, as things stand right now, Roman is being viewed as the top backup at both spots. One of the youngsters is going to have to impress on the field and in the classroom to vault over Roman. I do not envision the 49ers picking up another team’s castoff to fill the role as a primary backup at safety.


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How would you spend a vacation? I doubt many of you would think traveling with two other adults and five children under the age of 7 for six days and five nights – and mixing in a 26.2-mile run – sounds like a much fun.


Well, so far, so good.


I’m posting this blog from Gig Harbor, Wash., on the final morning of our sojourn to Seahawks country. In less than 12 hours, we’ll be on a flight back to the Bay Area. Thankfully, there have been a minimal amount of meltdowns. (But it didn’t last too long, as I quickly focused on maintaining my composure with long, deep breaths.)


Although I ran my marathon as a snail’s pace – 80 minutes slower than my PR – I still don’t have a whole lot of bounce in my step two days later. Mike’s Peak at the 49ers’ practice facility in Santa Clara might have to wait a while before I ask the 49ers about being led through a workout on the manmade hill.


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