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How Steelers OLB Markus Golden Received the ‘Junkyard Dog’ Nickname



Steelers OLB Markus Golden

Markus Golden gives the Steelers quality outside linebacker depth for the first time in about two years after signing with the team a week and a half ago. Along with being a Steelers fan growing up, he fits their mentality like a glove. If you spend a minute around Golden and his teammates, few actually call him Markus, but instead, refer to him as ‘Junk’.

Junk is short for ‘Junkyard Dog’ a moniker that Golden earned all the way back in 2015 when he was with the Arizona Cardinals. On the All Things Covered Podcast hosted by Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, Peterson recalled just how Golden earned that nickname.

“Here’s why he got that name. In 2015, when he was a rookie for us, that’s when we made our run, this guy was literally a freakin’ hound around the quarterback,” Peterson said. “Like, he was a pest for the quarterback. That guy didn’t have the sack numbers but was top three in QB pressures. For the secondary, with that guy getting to the quarterback and harassing the quarterback time after time after time again, it forces inaccurate throws.”

During his first press conference with the Steelers media, Markus Golden mentioned that he wanted to go out and hunt the quarterback. For Peterson, that is basically what his mentality is, and that is why he earned the nickname Junkyard Dog among his teammates in Arizona. Since then, it has been shortened to ‘Junk’ but there is a reason why the teams in Arizona remember Golden so fondly after seven seasons with the organization.

“His mentality is unmatched,” Peterson said. “You know the nickname, he’s got that dawg mentality. That competitive edge mentality and nothing is going to hold him back mentality. As a defense, that’s what you want and that’s what you need to be able to take that next step.”

So, Golden will be tasked with being the main backup to T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. But if the stories around Golden that are said are true, it seems the veteran outside linebacker could fit right in with what the team wants on the edge for their depth.