Steelers News

Denzel Martin Doesn’t See OLB Markus Golden Going Into ‘Melvin Ingram Mode’ Over Role

The pass rusher has long been understood and recognized as one of the premium positions in football, though one can argue that its status as such has only strengthened over the years. With that in mind, teams are increasingly placing an emphasis on insulating themselves at the position, putting more effort into acquiring quality depth.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been on this path lately, albeit with mixed success, and have more often been turning to veterans rather than drafting. In 2021, it was Melvin Ingram, who ended up requesting a trade. Last year, they added Malik Reed via trade just before the season started. He should have asked to be traded himself.

The team is now hoping the third time is the charm with Markus Golden, another very experienced starter like Ingram was, though perhaps not at quite the same level, even if at roughly the same point in their respective careers. And outside linebackers coach Denzel Martin, who was college teammates with Golden, has no worries about an encore.

“I think he’s fine. I don’t see him as in that Melvin Ingram mode”, he told reporters yesterday, via audio provided by the team’s media department—without video at the moment, perhaps because they didn’t really want this comment to get out there.

“Melvin’s a great player, too. There’s no negatives with Melvin or anything like that, it’s just things happen. Life happens, really, is how I see it”, he added. “Markus is gonna come in and he is gonna work hard and do everything we ask him to do”.

Amusingly, the audio cuts off after a reporter, Brooke Pryor of ESPN, iterates as a follow-up that then Golden would be a volunteer rather than a hostage, to which Martin gave a bit of a taken-aback reaction, or the beginnings of which before the clip ends.

As far as Ingram goes, it’s worth reminding that he was very complimentary of his time in Pittsburgh after he was traded, so there was never any bad blood on either side. One wonders in hindsight if he still would have asked to be traded, considering he played a higher percentage of snaps while with the Steelers than he has with either of the two teams he has played for subsequently.

Of course, his playing time also benefitted from the absence of T.J. Watt during most of his time there, but he was already getting his share of work in the opener, logging 64 percent of the snaps—elevated a bit given Watt’s injury, which would probably more accurately have been around 40-45 percent.

That might not be quite the sort of workload Golden will see on a weekly basis, though it depends on multiple factors, including how much rest the Steelers want Watt and Alex Highsmith to get. That will be dictated as well by in-game circumstances. And whether another linebacker, like rookie Nick Herbig or Quincy Roche, can also step up will influence his workload as well.

But as he has said since he’s gotten here, he’s been around the block before. He knows what the deal is. He came here and he signed his contract knowing that nothing is promised. Whatever his role is, he will take it on.

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