Being a special teams' captain was something Robert Golden took to heart, something he took pride in from the first game of the season against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field through the Wild Card playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens.
"Opening game walking out for the coin toss with those guys, it was like I am here now," said Golden. "It was an exciting time for me. I just wanted to live up to the expectations they had. It was exciting. I was honored. I just enjoyed the season with those guys."
It had it's good moments, including the Carolina game on Sept. 21 when Golden recovered a fumbled punt, forced by Shamarko Thomas, in the end zone for a touchdown in a 37-19 win. But it had tough moments as well.
"I got the blame for the good and the bad. It was good," said Golden. "I just wanted to help prepare special teams with Danny Smith. When things went bad I was the guy taking the heat. You have to have tough skin. You have to be willing to do what is best for the team. Taking the heat was no problem at all. I just wanted to help the team any way I could."
Golden learned even more about special teams this past season, and gave his take on a variety of special teams' topics as well as talking about the tight knit secondary.
Photos of the 2014 Safeties.
What's the mindset you have to have to be a good special teams' player?"**You do have to be fearless. You have to be willing. It's a want to, you have to want to run down there and make the tackle, hustle. It's a want to you have to have."
When younger guys come in who are accustomed to being starters in college, do you have to share with them the importance of special teams?"We express a lot of that during training camp, that special teams can be the way you can make or not make the team. A lot of the guys on the team now understand it. Guys coming in don't understand it, but once they get the hang of it they do."
What is special teams' Coach Danny Smith like?
"He is a great coach. I feel like I haven't been around a coach who prepares you as well as he does. He is going to tell you everything they are going to do. He knows everything to a 'T'. He studies film, presents it to the guys and then we execute it and it works because of his plan and the time we put in."
What's exciting about being on the special teams units?
"It's just knowing you are going to be the first play out there either on kickoff or kickoff return. You have the ability to set the tone on a big kickoff return, or making a big hit inside the 10 or 20-yard line. You get to be out there first and set the tone."