Dashon Goldson goes by the nickname “The Hawk"—as in a ball-hawking safety whose natural instincts allow him to quickly diagnose a play, soar across the field and dish out a jarring hit to force a turnover.
Which is exactly what the San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl safety did to Arizona Cardinals WR Early Doucet on Monday Night Football.
Goldson nearly knocked Doucet out of his spikes with a shoulder-to-shoulder blow, which gets our vote for biggest hit in the first half of the NFL season.
Goldson’s football savvy enabled him to read the play, a short crossing route over the middle; but it was a combination of his explosive first step and lateral quickness that put him in position to make the play and drop the hammer on Doucet, resulting in an incomplete pass.
When the Hawk migrates to Southern California for the off-season, he trains to improve his quickness and agility to help him make plays like this. One drill he uses is the Lateral Hurdle Chop with Sprint, which trains him to move laterally as quickly as possible before reacting to a command and exploding into a sprint up the field or at a 45-degree angle.
Check out the video above to watch Goldson perform the Lateral Hurdle Chop with Sprint Drill during his off-season training.