October 15, 2020 | 7:17pm
Markus Golden didn’t look angry. He didn’t sound angry. He said he doesn’t feel angry.
That’s more restraint than he shows tossing around quarterbacks.
How could he not feel disrespected after his 10 sacks last season basically were discounted by the rest of the NFL in free agency and further overlooked by the Giants when he was buried on the bench to start this season?
“I try not to take stuff personal,” Golden said Thursday. “I’ve been that way for a long time. Come in, work hard every day no matter what and make sure I’m the same person every day. If I’m worried about other stuff and not working hard then I’m not being myself.”
Golden’s opportunity arrives again Sunday because two young outside linebackers he has mentored — Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines — are sidelined. He played just 16 snaps per game with a season-low of seven during the first four games — far from the role envisioned when returning to the Giants on a one-year, $4 million contract.
“I’ve been playing this game my whole life and it usually never works out how you think it’s going to work out in your head,” Golden said. “I honestly know that anything can happen when you are playing football. I try to be about business and make sure I’m preparing because the only thing I really want for the team is to win.”
But the Giants (0-5) aren’t winning, which added to the mystery.
“He’s the most disruptive player they have,” a NFL defensive coach told The Post. “He might not flash from a physical standpoint, but he is a second-effort player. That’s not a scheme he is unsuited for.”
Golden became the first Giant in six years with 10 sacks in a season but wasn’t valued commensurate with his production. The Giants on May 5 placed a restrictive tender on Golden after he went unsigned for the first six weeks in free agency, and it seemed the new coaching staff took a while to warm up after he missed virtual team meetings in the spring while waiting on a better offer.
“Right now, he has a great opportunity. It was going to come regardless because he’s a good player,” defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. “I think just getting used to the system … he’s worked his tail off to get the stuff down that we’re asking him to do. You see some of the production coming.”
Golden, 29, leads the Giants with 10 quarterback pressures on just 124 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He had his first combo-sack against the Cowboys.
“I’m sure there is some internal frustration that’s setting in, but he doesn’t show me,” Graham said. “When he gives you that look that he’s ready to go, he’s looking through your soul. That lets me know we have a defensive player. We have to get rolling for this week. We need that.”
Golden says he is comfortable with all his assignments in the new scheme, including setting the edge against the run or dropping into pass coverage.
“Since I’m able to get after the passer that might make people think that’s all I do,” Golden said. “Maybe in one defense you have to be a little more patient and let the guy come to you rather than run through him with your hair on fire, but once you learn what you’ve got to do, football is football.”
Giants coach Joe Judge said Golden never acted like he was owed a bigger role than sub-package pass rusher based on his résumé. Golden and Kyler Fackrell are the only Giants with double-digit sack seasons in their career and Golden is the only one with multiple.
“Some weeks your number gets called a lot and some weeks you don’t get called as much,” Golden said. “That’s really what was going on.”
The Giants are calling for help right now.