Missouri defensive coordinator Steve Wilks has been keeping an eye on the performance of the Arizona Cardinals, a team he coached in 2018.

The Cardinals struggled to a 3-13 season during Wilks’ lone season in the desert. He would go on to become the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, eventually joining Eli Drinkwitz’s staff at Mizzou ahead of the 2021 season.

This year, the Cardinals are among the best teams in the NFL as they’ve surged to a 7-0 start, and part of that has been the play of a former Mizzou star: linebacker Markus Golden. The former 2nd-team All-SEC pick has totaled 6.0 sacks and appears on track to surpass his career best of 12.5 set in 2016.

On Tuesday, with the Tigers preparing to face Vanderbilt on Saturday, Wilks looked fondly upon his experiences coaching Golden at Arizona in 2018, making mention of his work ethic.

“He was always in there early (and stayed) late,” Wilks said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter. “I had an opportunity to meet his dad and I could see where that foundation comes from…[He’s] just a great human being. [He’s a] good football player but a great person. I’m excited for him as well as the organization as a whole and what they’re doing right now.”

The Cardinals host the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.