When Dashon Goldson showed up at the 49ers facility on Nov. 22, there was no alarm sounded.
“Sure, that’d be a natural reaction, but it just didn’t play out that way,” Jim Harbaugh said of a potential 'high-alert' reaction to Goldson's visit. “It’s just saying, ‘Hey Dashon’s here. Hey, I’m going to go say hello to Dashon.’ That’s the way it took place.”
Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety was technically in enemy territory, but consider that he spent his first six NFL seasons with San Francisco. He was welcomed.
“I’ve never seen that before, (another team's) player stopping by like that," Harbaugh said. "But it was cool; it was natural. People were glad to see him and he was glad to see guys. Had a chance to see him, give him a hug and talk for a little bit, so it wasn’t a big deal.”
There will be more head-nods and handshakes on Sunday. It's the 49ers who will be visiting Goldson in Tampa Bay as part of Week 15 action.
Goldson, who was in the Bay Area last month during his Week 11 suspension for his NFL-deemed illegal hit on Atlanta Falcons wideout Roddy White, didn't gather any intelligence on his former team at the facility in Santa Clara.
"I know somebody made a remark that was kind of absurd," Goldson said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. "They were asking –I don't know who it was – like, 'What are you doing, spying on us?' It was coming from a room I walked in."
Goldson, now 29, signed a reported five-year contract with the Buccaneers in March. In 10 starts, he has recorded one interception, one forced fumble and 56 tackles.
Second-year Bucs coach Greg Schiano called Goldson “a great addition” and “a big part of our defense.”
“We knew when we signed Dashon that he plays a physical brand of football,” Schiano said. “We’re trying to re-program his strike zone so we don’t keep getting those penalties.”
Tampa Bay's defense, highlighted by second-year linebacker Lavonte Davis, is the NFC's fourth-best defense against the run (103.7 yards per game) and leads the conference in interceptions (21).
Having Goldson helps.
“Dashon’s a great player, does a lot of great things,” his ‘good friend,’ 49ers quarterback
Goldson said he's obviously familiar with – and the understands the challenge posed by – the 49ers offensive personnel.
"I'm sure my emotions will be flying come Sunday," he said, "but right now I'm just trying to get the game plan down."