No highlight reel of Sunday night’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals would be complete without Markus Golden’s fourth quarter strip-sack of Bengals QB Andy Dalton on the Cincinnati 10-yard line.
“I was able to get a good get-off on the ball and as I got around the corner, I saw the ball and was like ‘oh yeah, I’m gonna go for the strip-sack’ and I was able to get the ball out so it was a good play,” Golden told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Tuesday
The forced fumble earned the rookie linebacker a game ball after the 34-31 victory, but Golden said that there’s always room for improvement.
“I feel like I’m doing alright but I know I can be doing a whole lot better. My goal was to come in and get better each week from week one. I wanted to be able to look back and say I got better. I felt like I got better, but I still have a whole lot of work to do,” Golden said.
The former University of Missouri Tiger has played in all ten games for the Cardinals this season — starting in three — and has totaled 19 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble. Golden said that as he’s becoming more comfortable with the plays, he’s coming into his own more.
“When I first started, you have so many plays. You’re trying to remember the plays, you’re out there thinking so much so you forget about all the tendencies that can get you there faster,” Golden said. “That’s what I’ve been getting better at. Just being myself out there and using all the things I can use to be a great player.”
Golden said one key to his improvement from week to week is the help of a few seasoned veterans. For Golden, those players are Sean Weatherspoon, Dwight Freeney and LaMarr Woodley.
“Everybody helps me out a lot, that’s the good thing about it. I’ve got a couple guys that I can go to. Even when I’m out there just playing, they come to me and tell me what I could be doing better or what I’m doing good,” Golden said. “That’s the great thing about playing with a lot of great players – you’ve got a lot of help as a young rookie.”
While Golden says Freeney has been a tremendous help to him this season, we won’t be seeing Freeney’s signature spin move out of him quite yet.
“That spin move, he’s been mastering forever. That’s going to take me a long time to get it down pat, but I’m learning it and I’m learning a lot from Dwight,” Golden said.
“He’s been helping me out with a lot of technique issues that I have and a lot of pass rushing moves—things that he thinks I can do well. And he tells me the things that I do good. Dwight helped me out so much, it’s crazy how much he helped me out. It’s an honor to play with him.”
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