The joy was evident in safety Rob Golden's voice the minute he started to talk about re-signing with the Steelers for three years, avoiding becoming an unrestricted free agent.
"It's a great thing to know I am going to be a part of this organization for another three years," said Golden. "I am very happy. I feel like it's a privilege to play for the Steelers and for me to have that privilege, I am very thankful."
Golden was one of four players, including guard Ramon Foster, safety William Gay and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who signed with the Steelers in advance of the beginning of free agency.
"That is something the Steelers have always done," said Golden. "They have been really loyal to the guys that they like, that they think can help this team win championships. I am thankful they see me as a piece of the puzzle."
And he is thankful he didn't have to deal with the insanity that free agency brings.
"I always wanted to play with the Steelers," said Golden. "I didn't want to explore the market. I wanted to stay with the Steelers. I feel comfortable there, I know the whole scheme. I know the coaching staff, I know the people. It feels like home to me. It's a privilege to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I wear that with pride. Playing for the Steelers, I know I have to bring my hard hat, I know it's a first class organization. To be a part of it is a beautiful thing. It's an honor.
"Being able to get it all done before the whole free agency period started, it felt good. I am happy and where I want to be and that is all that matters."
Golden, the special teams captain the last two seasons, has mainly been used on special teams, but saw more action on defense in 2015 than he had in the past. While he still embraces his role on special teams, he wants to be even more involved on defense this year.
"I definitely want to expand my role on the defense," said Golden. "I feel like I can do it. I think I showed that to the coaches. I hope I get more opportunities this season. I feel like I am a playmaker. I always want to get the ball. A good reason why teams have great defenses is because they create turnovers. I think I am one of those guys that have a good knack for the ball. That is one thing I want to bring to the defense, to the team. Being able to give our offense another possession, another opportunity to go down there and score points so we can win the game. However I can contribute on defense is where I want to be.
"I definitely want to still contribute on special teams. I feel like whatever I can do to help this team win a world championship, I am all in. Wherever the coaches want to put me at, anywhere in the secondary or on special teams, I will do what I have to and try to help this team win a championship. I feel like we are close, that we are very close. I think a lot of people saw that last year. The guys in the locker room know we are really close to accomplishing that goal. A lot of guys are working, doing the things we have to do to make sure we don't fall short this year. I know we are very close. We have a real good chance this year."