Here's a statement that Dashon Goldson -- and his agent -- will be happy to read. Today Vic Fangio was asked about Goldson, specifically in relation to the player who is arguable the best safety in the league, Baltimore's Ed Reed.
Fangio is in a good position to make the comparison. He either was a special assistant or an assistant coach in Baltimore from 2006 to 2009 before coaching Goldson the last two seasons. Fangio first qualified his response by saying the two were different-styled safeties.
"Ed Reed's a little different guy the way he's always played safety," he said. "Ed's got tremendous instincts and a great feel for the ball, tremendous ball skills. And Ed's one of the best safeties in this era the last 10, 15 years for sure. But Dashon, I think, is right up there with him."
Both players made the Pro Bowl last season, Goldson's first and Reed's eighth. And both are looking for new contracts. Reed is in the final year of his deal. Goldson, meanwhile, got the franchise tag last year ($6.2 million), meaning he is scheduled for free agency again in March. The 49ers could franchise Goldson again, but it would have to be at 120 percent of this year's amount.
Goldson tested free agency in 2011 and found no takers, at least not for the amount he was seeking. He switched agents the following offseason and again couldn't work out a long-term deal with the 49ers.
He joined the 49ers midway through training camp last year, and he didn't start his first game until Week 3. Fangio today said the safety's been making incremental progress since. It's hard to single out anyone from the defense, but Goldson -- who plays the pass and the run equally well -- has shined on a group that ranks No. 2 against the pass and No. 5 against the run.
"I don't know if I'd say significant," Fangio said when asked about Goldson's progress. "But he's made little strides in all areas. And like I said before, little strides in a lot of areas equals a big difference."
Frank Gore was on yesterday's injury report, not because of the bruised ribs suffered against Seattle but because of a hand injury. Gore said he took a helmet to the hand against the Cardinals. He does not have a wrap on the hand and, along with every other 49er, practiced in full Wednesday.
-- Matt Barrows