Former Edison High star Robert Golden has come a long way since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After making the Steelers’ roster, Golden has played in 48 consecutive games and 53 of 54 overall since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
But in those first 47 straight games, he didn’t make a single start. That all changed Sunday against Arizona.
The 5-foot-11, 202-pound safety finished with a career-high eight tackles in the Steelers’ 25-13 victory over the Cardinals.
My whole goal is to help the team get a victory and that’s what I was able to do.
Pittsburgh Steelers safety Robert Golden
“One thing coach (Mike) Tomlin always preached here is the standard,” Golden said. “My whole goal is to help the team get a victory and that’s what I was able to do by going out there and playing hard.”
Golden got the start in place of injured strong safety Will Allen, who suffered an ankle injury Oct. 12 in the first quarter against San Diego. Golden finished with four tackles and a pass deflection against the Chargers.
He is expected to start again against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Tomlin said it’s up to Golden to make the most of his time on the field. He’s already a captain on special teams.
“They have roles and jobs within this group, but from time to time they’re going to be provided with an opportunity to expand those roles – and Golden is looking at it right now,” Tomlin said.
Robert Golden is a guy who has worked long and hard around here.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin
“Robert Golden is a guy who has worked long and hard around here,” he added. “A guy who is highly respected by his teammates, elected captain of the special teams group by his teammates. He’s getting an opportunity to expand his role and help us in other areas, and most people are excited about that opportunity for him.”
Since joining the Steelers, Golden has learned from Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Allen and Ryan Mundy.
“I've been blessed to be here for four years,” Golden said. “I’ve been able to be behind some great safeties and learn a lot from those guys and waiting for my opportunity, and it finally came and I’m just trying to take full advantage of it.”
Et cetera – Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (College of the Sequoias) returned from a four-game suspension and helped New York to a 34-20 victory over the Washington Redskins, finished with three tackles, a half-sack and a quarterback hit. Richardson missed four games after violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. Tight end Anthony McCoy (Bullard) started for Washington but didn’t record a reception.
▪ Minnesota inside linebacker Eric Kendricks (Hoover) had a team-leading 10 tackles in the Vikings’ 16-10 victory over the Chiefs. He also had a sack, one tackle for loss and a pass deflection. Cornerback Steven Nelson (COS) had a tackle on special teams for the Chiefs in his second career game.
▪ Chargers left guard Kenny Wiggins (Fresno State) started his third straight game and helped quarterback Philip Rivers set franchise records for attempts (65), completions (43) and yards (503) in San Diego’s 27-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Wiggins made his first career regular-season start at Minnesota on Sept. 27.
▪ Cleveland wide receiver Marlon Moore (Fresno State) was inactive and Denver tight end Virgil Green (Tulare) was never targeted in the Broncos’ 26-23 victory against the Browns.
▪ New Orleans defensive tackle Tyeler Davison didn’t record a tackle, while fellow Fresno State alum Bryce Harris (Tulare) was inactive for Atlanta as the Saints beat the Falcons 31-21.
▪ Carolina linebacker Ben Jacobs (Fresno State) played in his 26th game, but didn’t register a tackle in the Panthers’ 27-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
▪ Chicago Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson (Tulare) had two receptions for 54 yards in a 37-34 loss to the Detroit Lions He was targeted four times.
▪ New England offensive lineman Ryan Wendell was inactive before the Patriots’ 34-27 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.