Steelers notebook: Golden aims to hold onto starting safety spot
There is a good reason Robert Golden was voted special teams captain the past two years: He is a pretty doggone good special teams player.
But if he doesn’t have to participate in another special teams play the rest of his career, he would be fine with that. It would mean he would be a starting safety.
Golden, an undrafted free agent out of Arizona in 2012, is sort of the forgotten man when it comes to the vacant starting safety position opposite Mike Mitchell. The Steelers used their second-round pick on Sean Davis. There is hope Shamarko Thomas can turn his career around, and there even is talk about Will Allen being an eventual option.
With a day left until the Steelers take a five-week hiatus before training camp, Golden is the man penciled into the starting safety position, and he isn’t about to relinquish it.
“I have been here five years, and my opportunity is finally coming around,” Golden said. “I just want to take full advantage of it. I kind of know it will (be a seamless) transition. I haven’t just been here because of what I did on special teams. The coaches saw something in me to keep me around. I just want to go out there and uphold the standard.”
The Steelers signed Golden to a three-year contract worth nearly $5 million in early March after his most productive season. Golden played in all 16 games, starting three. He replaced the injured Allen in a Week 5 game against the Chargers and went played every snap over the next three-plus games.
Golden then replaced Lawrence Timmons on third-down passing plays over the final month of the season, giving him confidence heading into this year.
“I have always been confident,” Golden said.
• The Steelers will wear their 1934 throwback “Bumblebee” uniforms during the Oct. 9 game at Heinz Field against the Jets. It will mark the fifth — and possibly final — year that the Steelers will wear this version of their throwback uniform. The NFL allows a change in design in throwback uniforms every five years.
• Le’Veon Bell expects the coaching staff to put together a plan during training camp for when he will practice and when he will rest. Bell is coming off November knee surgery that cost him the final two months of the season. “They are going to do a great job of protecting me from myself,” Bell said. “It is kind of hard for me to sit there and watch. It (stinks) not to be able to go out there and do everything, but they have my best interest in mind.”
• Ben Roethlisberger spent part of his day Tuesday with PGA Tour pro Jim Furyk taking part in a golf skills challenge at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger and Furyk attempted trick shots throughout the stadium, including putting inside the Steelers locker room and throwing a football at a sign in the stands. “It was a lot of fun,” Roethlisberger said.
• The Washington Redskins named former Steelers assistant team physician Dr. Robin West as their director of sports medicine. West also is the Washington Nationals lead team physician and is one of two female head orthopedic surgeons in the NFL. West was with the Steelers from 2003-14.