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Free safety Dashon Goldson staying tough with MMA-inspired workouts

Redskins safety Dashon Goldson has earned a reputation as a physical defender, and he has maintained it with grueling workouts in Jay Glazer’s MMA-inspired gym. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

RICHMOND — Redskins safety Dashon Goldson is 30 now, 31 in September, three years removed from his last Pro Bowl appearance and on his third team in four years. Still, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety has maintained a reputation for toughness.

“We know he is a physical football player,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “There’s no question about that.”

Goldson said he has kept that reputation by working out at Jay Glazer’s MMA-inspired gym on Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip.

The Unbreakable Performance Center has earned mentions in TMZ and The New York Times’ style section for training the likes of Usher and Sean “Diddy” Combs, but Glazer — an NFL reporter for Fox — also pushes NFL athletes.

Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson reportedly threw up nine times during his first two days of training, and Falcons defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman told The MMQB “This is the hardest s— I’ve ever done.”

Goldson, who has been with Glazer for three years and goes there to add an hour to his workout three or four times per week in the offseason, confirmed the program’s rigor.

“They’re really tough, man,” he said of the workouts. “They test you pretty good.”

The biggest improvement Goldson has made training there is simple, he said, “strength.” But Goldson added that the routines have improved his flexibility and his hip level too.

Beyond that, trainers stress “just being able to fight through when you think you’re tired,” Goldson said. “Just keep pushing.”

Glazer has gained a reputation for not allowing athletes to put their hands on their hips in the gym and for demanding they maintain a “neutral face” to hide their pain.

“We will find your breaking point and move it and move it and move it,” Glazer told the Times.

The hardest part of the workouts, Goldson said after pausing to consider all of the tough drills, is tussling with big linemen.

When Goldson leaves the gym though, he resumes his role of inflicting punishment.Wide receiver Rashad Ross called the safety “very intimidating.”

But Redskins say Goldson brings more than just a tough attitude to his new squad.

Cornerback David Amerson said Goldson has taught the rest of the secondary and has helped them see the field more completely.

“He’s been around a lot and he’s seen a lot,” Amerson said. “You can’t replace experience.”

Gruden has noticed Goldson’s interactions with teammates.

“I did not know about his leadership and I did not know how smart he was,” Gruden said. “I’m very impressed.”

Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has not been as surprised by Goldson, though, after watching him when both were in San Francisco.

“I’m very lucky to have Dashon Goldson … knowing not just the kind of football player he is, but the leadership he brings, the intelligence he brings, not just for his position but for the whole secondary,” McCloughan said. “A guy they can trust.”