Veteran Arizona Cardinals linebacker Markus Golden believes that you really can come home again.
Golden, who was picked by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, returned to the desert via trade on Oct. 23.
The former University of Missouri Tiger spent a season and a half with the New York Giants but remained close with his former teammates in the Valley.
Golden joined this week’s episode of “On the Fly” to discuss his feelings about coming back to Phoenix and the team’s postseason chances this season, amongst other topics.
“[I’m] back like I never left. I’ve been waiting on that opportunity,” Golden said. “And I felt like once I got out there I was going to do whatever I had to do to get it. That was the mindset.”
Golden has taken advantage of that opportunity so far, as the outside linebacker had a sack and five tackles against last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in his first game back with the Cardinals.
Golden addressed his animated play against the Dolphins in the interview, saying his antics came from being hyped to play for Arizona once again.
“I’m just happy to be back so that’s where the energy comes from,” Golden said.
“It just comes out of me. I don’t plan nothing. When I get out there it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I’m not just out here, I’m not just in the NFL, but I’m a Cardinal.’ And it just brings out a different energy.”
Golden discussed the relationship he shares with fellow Cardinal linebacker Chandler Jones, who suffered a season-ending biceps injury in October.
To Golden, Jones represents the best of the best in the league. While he can’t fully replace the All-Pro linebacker’s skill set but believes he can do his best to fill the void going forward.
“There’s different people and all of that, but that’s just the NFL,” he said. “Every year the people change and it’s a lot of guys in and out and you can’t replace Chandler Jones. Best pass-rusher in the league and I learned a lot from him.
“So I wouldn’t look at it as replacing him, it’s just football. Guys go down and you’ve got to go out there and play.”
Golden said he stayed up-to-date with the team’s progress when he played with the Giants.
He believes the Cardinals have what it takes to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
“We’ve got a lot of potential,” Golden said. “I told the guys, watching film when I was with the Giants, if I saw a Cardinals game I’d click it just to watch some of the field. And guys were flying around and playing hard and playing for each other.
“And you can tell that we really want it, we really want to win and we really want to go to the playoffs. And if you’ve got that, big things can happen.”