It is not a stretch to say that the Pittsburgh Steelers have been in need of some steady playmakers on their special teams units over the last few seasons. Thankfully for them and new special teams coach Danny Smith, a number of players have stepped up this fall and provided some solid and consistent play throughout the 2013 regular season.
One player in particular who has made his coaching staff and peers take notice of his play has been backup free safety Robert Golden.
In the aftermath of Sunday’s win over Detroit, Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin had the following to say about his reserve defensive back and his play on special teams according to Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest:
(Golden) has been an awesome contributor in that phase of the game [special teams], … We have given him some very specific jobs to do. He’s the personal protector – the quarterback if you will – of our punt team. He’s an integral part of our coverage units. It’s what you expect of a second-year safety. Second-year safeties should be at the top of your tackle chart from a special teams standpoint.
The fact that Golden, as well as his other young teammates like Terence Garvin and Antwon Blake have contributed to the success of the Steelers’ special teams units has been an under-the-radar positive for Pittsburgh’s coaching staff. Plus, it hasn’t hurt Golden that his head coach has noticed what an important piece of his team’s coverage units has been during his second season with the team.
With the team rebuilding, the 2012 UDFA has appeared to have solidified a place for himself on the Steelers’ roster moving forward. Already a factor on special teams, Golden will probably be competing for playing time at the free safety position and in sub-packages once Ryan Clark leaves town as well.
I am definitely rooting for the former Arizona Wildcat, and it is nice to see that the Steelers have some guys on their special teams units who are helping them improve on a weekly basis.
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