When Markus Golden arrives in Pittsburgh, he’ll have one familiar face. Except it won’t be one of his current teammates. Golden, who played at Missouri from 2012-2014, overlapped with Denzel Martin, Pittsburgh’s current outside linebackers coach. While Golden was a star at Mizzou and later became a second-round draft pick, Martin was a walk-on, but he was already preparing for his coaching career. In a Columbia Tribune article by David Morrison from 2014, Golden talked about Martin’s coaching acumen.
“I was able to sack Johnny Manziel because of him. He told me, ‘Hey MG, watch his foot. If his foot’s back real far, he’s stepping back,’ ” Golden said in the Morrison story. “He’ll be a great coach someday. I hope he ends up being the head coach when Coach [Gary] Pinkel’s done here years from now.”
The article goes deep into the character of Martin, who lost his firefighter father in the line of duty when he was 11 years old and turned down a scholarship at Missouri because he felt other players could use it more. It also shows the origins of him becoming a coach, even while he was technically still a player, although he only suited up for one game in his career with the Tigers.
Now, nine years later, Martin will be helping Golden sack the likes of Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow after helping him sack Manziel, who back then was one of the hottest names in football. Golden has carved out a really solid professional career, with 47 career sacks, and he’s going to be valued depth behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith at outside linebacker for Pittsburgh. Maybe working with his old college teammate and friend, whom he clearly has a lot of respect for dating back to his college days, will help him have a season like he did two years ago, when he registered 11 sacks for the Arizona Cardinals.
Part of the reason Martin went to Missouri is so he could learn from the coaching staff and prepare for a coaching career. After being an assistant linebacker’s coach last season, Martin got promoted and is fully in charge of the outside linebackers this season. He also served as an outside linebackers coach at this year’s Senior Bowl, and he looks like he could be a rising star in the coaching world.
With someone he’s familiar with in Golden joining his ranks, he could further show his development and rise as a coach by getting the most out of the 32-year-old. It’s a pairing that Steelers fans should be excited about, as Golden’s addition helps Pittsburgh’s EDGE depth tremendously and he’s getting coached by someone who knows him as well as any coach in the league.