LB Markus Golden Conference Call -- March 15, 2019
Q: What is it about the 3-4 scheme that fits you so well and your skillset?
A: "I would say because you're doing a lot, you're playing linebacker, you're not just playing defensive end. You're doing a lot of different stuff, from shifting different gaps and hitting gaps on the run. Just the simple things like standing up instead of having your hand in the dirt every down. It's a lot with that. I just love the way we play the 3-4 defense in (Defensive Coordinator) James Bettcher's scheme. He calls a lot of blitzes, and guys just get after it, and I've just always loved playing in that defense.”
Q: How much of an influence was he (Bettcher) in you coming here, and how many conversations did you have with him leading up to your decision?
A: "Yes, of course, I didn't get to talk to him until I was allowed to talk to him when free agency actually started. Since then, of course, he was reaching out to me, just letting me know that he wanted me here with him and that he would love for me to get back and get reunited with him. That's what we did, and that's what I'm looking forward to, just coming out here and doing whatever I can do to just help the team win, and I'm excited about that.”
Q: You had the 12.5 sacks a couple of years ago, got derailed by the knee injury. How healthy do you feel at this point?
A: "Yes, that was exactly what happened. A couple of years ago, I tore my ACL, but since then I've been working hard and grinding it out and feeling way better. Each week I'm feeling better and better. Staying on top of working out and just taking care of my knee. I've really been feeling 100 percent and feel like I'm ready to get back to where I was.”
Q: You look at the defense and you see a lot of new pieces, and missing pieces. What do you think the Giants defense can be this year?
A: "I know the work JB (Bettcher) is going to put in. I met some of the coaches here, and I know the work that they're going to put in. So, I expect the defense to be really good. We're only in Week 1 of free agency, so of course we're going to grab some more guys to help out around here. I feel like no matter what group we got, the guys are going to work hard together, and I feel we can have some success.”
Q: In your mind, were the Giants the team at the top of your list? What has the free agency process been like for you?
A: "I really didn't go in with a process of having a team at the top of the list. I bet if I did, then they would've been, but I was kind of open. Just wanted to listen to everybody and kind of let my agent take care of doing his job. After that, I'm kind of just glad I was able to come out here and end up playing for the Giants and having an opportunity to come out here and play."
Q: Antoine (Bethea) said yesterday that he would give you a call and try to persuade you come to New York. Did he reach out to you? Or, was your decision already made by the time he did?
A:"He shot me a little text. Antoine, that's my big bro. I've known him for a while now. Yeah, he was trying to get me to come out here with him. He helped out a lot, but I had planned on coming out here with you guys anyway. I like the organization here. On top of that, I want to come out here and help the team win games.”
Q: It's a one-year deal here with the Giants. It's kind of a 'prove-it' deal for you. Do you like that situation for yourself?
A: "It's a blessing just to play football. Coming from where I come from, it's a blessing to be able to play in the NFL. On top of that, with my knee injury and situation. So, I'm just excited to be able to be on a one-year deal. Whether it's one year, or no matter what, I'm just happy to be able to be in the NFL playing and being able to get out there Sunday and prove myself.”
Q: Do you think you can get back to where you were a couple of years ago when you were third in the league in sacks? Is that what the Giants are getting? Or, are you not quite there yet?
A: "Of course I'm believing in myself. I've been working hard this offseason and just grinding it out. Just been working hard. So, I believe that I'm going to be able to bounce back and be able to come out and help the team no matter what. That's my focus, to keep working hard, keep grinding this offseason and come back and be able to bounce back and the team big."
Q: Your numbers last year were not as high as what your potential slates out to be. What do you attribute that to? How do you look back on last season?
A:"I'm not a guy to make excuses at all, but I got injured. Last year I was kind of playing and trying to get back caught up and getting my legs under me. That's what happened, but at the end of the day, I'm still believing in myself. I know the work that I put in and I know that I'm not going to stop working hard. That's all I'm going to do -- keep grinding, keep working hard, and I feel like God is going to bless me and good things are going to happen."