LB Markus Golden -- August 3, 2019
Q: They say a guy coming off an ACL injury needs two years to get back to where he was before. Do you agree with that assessment, and if so, this is two years for you, right?
A: I donít really look into all of that. I just make sure I can go hard everyday and try to prepare myself. Of course, the more time you need to be able to get from an ACL injury and be able to get out there and get used to everything, and running around on it, doing the plays, and getting back to your normal, healthy self. I would say it helps out a lot just to be able to be out there running around and getting used to being among my teammates.
Q: What is the one aspect of your game that has been the most difficult to regain?
A: Just being yourself, like you used to be before the injury. That was early on, and Iím past that part. Like I said, Iím just going hard every day and taking it one day at a time. Iím just working to get better every day.
Q: Twelve and a half sacks in Ď16. What number would be a successful season for you this year?
A: I wouldnít do that. That has never been me to come out and put numbers on stuff, because itís bigger than that. Pass rush work, up front and backó you need your teammates to do all of that. Of course, you want to come out and do better every year. I know what I can do, and I know what I did before. You always want to get better and work harder every year. I wouldnít dare put a number on that. I just want to come out, hit the quarterback, whether itís a hit or whether Iím sacking them, Iím just looking forward to finally being able to hit a quarterback. I havenít hit one in a while. Iím tired of running past our guys in the red jerseys at practice. Whatever quarterback I get to hit next, Iíll be happyó I donít care who it is (laughter).
Q: It could be a JetÖ
A: Ii doesnít matter who it is, as long as itís a quarterback besides one of my guys.
Q: One of the things (Defensive Coordinator) Coach Bettcher talked about yesterday was that he didnít think that this is a Ďprove-ití season for you. Do you see it that way? How do you see it?
A: To say, Ďprove-it,í I would look at it as a person who hasnít done anything yet in the league, who hasnít made plays, who hasnít showed themselves that they can do it. But Iíve done that. Iíve had double-digit sacks, Iíve had big games, big moments, and Iíve done that, and it just so happens to come with the game Ė which is the injury. (There are) no excuses, I had an injury. At the same time, I wouldnít say (that I am) Ďproving it to myself,í I would just say (Iím) getting out there, getting back started up, and getting back to where I was.
Q: Whatís it like being the only guy in the group who has done that? You have a lot of young guys who are hoping they can reach that level, but youíre really the only one who has done it already.
A: I donít really look at all of that. We have a lot of guys. We have (Lorenzo) Zo Carter, a dude who works hard every day. We have Kareem Martin who works hard every day. You know how it goes, if guys come out and hunt every day, and get better at rushing the pass and learning, anybody can come out and do their thing, but you have to work on it. I donít look at that, I just try to bring guys along. Of course, I know what it takes, I have been part of a defense that led the league in sacks, so I know what it takes and what we need to do to get there. That helps out, but that isnít something I lean on because every year is a new year.
Q: In Arizona, Bettcher had that reputation of being a blitz coordinator, and get after the quarterback with all kinds of pressure, but that wasnít the case last year. What about the guys that are in the room with you right now gives you confidence that you guys can be that type of defense this year?
A: Bettcher is a great defensive coordinator, so I know heís going to put guys in the right position to be successful. I have to give Bettcher credit for that, I believe in him on that part. After that, we have a bunch of good players who are working hard every day out here, going hard, and helping each other out. We want to rush the passer, we want to get out there and make sacks. It is a bunch of hungry young guys that are ready to make plays. When you are hungry and putting in the work, success has to come in some way.
Q: Does that 12.5 sack season seem long ago?
A: Itís crazy. Iím a type of guy who moves on quick, so to me, it might seem even longer ago. I move on quick and focus on my next goal. Yeah, it happened and itís motivation. Itís always good to go back and watch film on yourself and all of that, but at the same time, itís all about what youíre going to do the next year, and what youíre going to do when the time comes. Itís a new season, Iíve been working, and Iíve been getting ready. The number one thing is I believe in myself, and I believe in the work Iíve put in. When the time comes, I know Iíll be ready to go out there and do my job.
Q: Do you feel like you did when you were having those big seasons?
A: I feel good. I can walk (laughter). As long as I donít have crutches, and Iím able to come out here and play, you wonít catch me making excuses. If I can line up and play, Iíll be ready. You wonít ever hear excuses from me if Iím able to get out there and play.
Q: Whatís a guy like Olsen Pierre, another guy who was with Coach Bettcher in Arizona, whatís he like in the meetings in terms of his leadership role? Is he a vocal guy, is he going to point at the screen?
A: No, you wonít hear a word out of OP. Heís a dog. Heís going to come in, grind it out every day, do his job, go hard every day, and he wonít talk about it too much. Heís the type of guy who will get out there and just show you. Heís a beast. Iíve been playing with him since my rookie year. Heís a good friend of mine and weíve been together for a long time, so I know exactly how he is. Heís going to come in and give you his all every day. You might not hear too much out of him, but when itís time to work heís going to be out there.