When the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Melvin Ingram in the summer of 2021, fans had good reason to be excited. The Steelers already had one of the best pass rushers in the league in T.J. Watt, and Alex Highsmith was on the verge of breaking out after the former third-rounder had a very promising rookie season.
Ingram was the icing on the cake... or so we thought. The three-time Pro Bowler was supposed to offer the team outstanding depth at the position, and for a short while, he did. Unfortunately, his tenure with the team came to a screeching halt after the veteran made it clear that he was unhappy in his role.
Because of the falling out, the Steelers were forced to trade Ingram before the deadline. Now that Pittsburgh signed an established pass rusher like Markus Golden, fans are already getting flashbacks of Ingram and fearing the worst -- that Golden could decide that he's not happy with his role on the team.
From everything I've gathered, I highly doubt this will be the case. In terms of their first media sessions with the team, these two players couldn't be more different.
Why Markus Golden won't give the Steelers problems
When Melvin Ingram first spoke to Steelers media after signing his contract in 2021, his response rubbed many the wrong way. Brian Batko of Pittsburgh Sports Now records Ingram saying, “As long as I’m on the field, I’m good.”
This wasn't exactly a reassuring response -- especially considering the fact that he would serve in a heavy rotational role. Golden's response was the opposite. Here's what he had to say during his first media session in Pittsburgh, via Batko.
"“I’m all about winning at the end of the day. Whatever I’ve got to do to come in and help the team win, I’ll be ready to do my part.”"- Markus Golden, via Brian Batko
This is the correct response, though skeptics will always say that we don't know how he really feels. Judging by what we know about Markus Golden, this seems to line up with his character.
Teammates have spoken highly of Golden in the past. Apart from a short stint with the New York Giants, Golden has been loyal to the Arizona Cardinals. He also has always had a chip on his shoulder since coming into the league. Golden did not test well at the NFL Combine, but he quickly put any doubts to rest with a spectacular NFL career that included three 10-sacks seasons.
Obviously, we can't expect that sort of production from a 32-year-old Golden in Pittsburgh -- especially considering that his snap count will plummet behind Watt and Highsmith. However, it certainly feels like the Steelers are adding a selfless teammate to their roster who truly cares about winning. This should put the minds of fans at ease.