Mathieu will play free safety for Cardinals

AP

Tyrann Mathieu’s twisting, turning football career already has taken an unexpected twist in Arizona.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says that Mathieu, a third-round pick widely expected to play slot cornerback at the NFL level, will be assigned to the position of free safety.

In an interview with NFL Network, Mathieu said he’ll do whatever he is asked to do.

“Stay out of trouble” could be the first request.

That’ll be easier in Arizona, where Mathieu will be reunited with former LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, who has served in recent months as a mentor for Mathieu.  That made the Cardinals the best destination for Mathieu, and his recent misadventures helped ensure that he would be available in round three.

72 responses to “Mathieu will play free safety for Cardinals

  1. Isn’t this guy like 5 ft 7? He’s obviously a good player, but how successful can a 5 ft 7 safety be in the NFL? I hope he’s playing centerfield and not being asked to cover tight ends.

  2. Good. He’s a bit undersized at corner.

    A move to free safety allows him to use his instincts and playmaking ability. He is a turnover machine.

    And he is phenomenal to watch with the ball in his hands. So let him return punts as well.

  3. I actually like this move–since ball hawking (making plays around the ball is what he will most likely do best). Of course, yes, he has to stay out of trouble. Could indeed be one of the steals of this draft if he stays clean.

  4. luckily he will have to munchies and can easily put on weight, cause hes too small to play safety in the NFL

  5. Kid is a ball hawk… I really hope it works out! If Patrick Peterson can help him grow as a man and as football player then the Cards will be in pretty good shape.

  6. He will also play “Cheech and Chong: Up in Smoke” at least 3 times a week in his new AZ condo.

  7. If anyone listened to his interviews on espn and NFL network, the kid obviously didn’t attend class at LSU. He said “effort” was his greatest attribute! Really?? He’s a time bomb. He got drafted cause Peterson felt bad for him and he was DATING THE DEF COORD DAUGHTER!!

  8. @Bigj7769,

    Was there something about his game tape that shows a lack of effort? I’ve never seen a thing during any games at LSU to make me think effort is not one of his redeeming qualities. To the arguments about his size, those are definitely fair and hard to argue against.

  9. Assuming Mathieu stays completely dedicated to football and saves weed for his retirement, he will be an excellent player.

  10. This guy is one helluva playmaker but safety? Wow… I mean allowing him to roam will be good for making plays. Seeing him as the potential last line of defense against some of the big guys in the NFCW seems very risky. Just can’t see him routinely bringing down Lynch, Gore, Miller, Davis etc. Hell linebackers struggle to bring down these guys consistently. He doesn’t fit the mold of the rest of the division but hell it may be crazy enough to work a large portion of the time

  11. It will be interesting to see what he brings, during our two games with the Cards this year. I really hope for his well-being that he can stay off the weed. That may be a tall order with Mexico being so near to Phoenix. but we can hope.

  12. bob Sanders also had 3 h
    good years then his size led to career ending injuries. nice try think of someone else

  13. gochargersgo says: Apr 26, 2013 11:20 PM

    Everyone making clever remarks about his height must have short term memory loss. Bob Sanders wasn’t much bigger and he was a hell of a free safety.
    _____________________________________
    Yeah because 25+ pounds extra weight is basically nothing in a 5’7″ frame right. He was the same height but he was substantially bigger. He was also hurt a lot

  14. @canetic:
    he wont try to tackle: the either strips the ball out, or is intercepting the damn ball 😉 hoping the man turns in a great career! he´s got the moves

  15. Heard his interview on ESPN. He better be good at football, because he has NO chance at ANY job in the real world that requires education and the ability to speak English. Just listening to him makes me think he’s been sucking bong since third grade. He is yet ANOTHER walking, talking example of the folly of the term “student-athlete,” and the NCAA.

  16. randallflagg52 says:
    Apr 26, 2013 10:33 PM
    Isn’t this guy like 5 ft 7? He’s obviously a good player, but how successful can a 5 ft 7 safety be in the NFL? I hope he’s playing centerfield and not being asked to cover tight ends.
    ———————————————

    He plays like he’s 6’4. They called him the “honey badger” for a reason. I think he’ll be good in a big nickel package.

  17. He will be a special teams gunner ace. No way he ever plays a snap at free safety. He’ll be in a few nickel and dime packages but that’s about it on that side of the ball. Mark my words.

  18. Anyone that thinks he can’t tackle hasn’t watched him play. As for Vernon Davis and Frank Gore, we’ll see what they say when he launches himself from 8 yards away and levels them in the open field.

  19. I love the idiotic haters that have no idea about the difference between Free Safety and Strong Safety. The Strong Safety is usually responsible for covering TE’s and RB’s. The Free Safety plays center field and is responsible for seam receivers and over the top protection. One thing is for sure..Honey Badger can ball. He was considered first round talent before his off the field issues. If he matures and lives up to his potential, the Cardinals got a steal.

  20. gochargersgo says: Apr 26, 2013 11:20 PM

    Everyone making clever remarks about his height must have short term memory loss. Bob Sanders wasn’t much bigger and he was a hell of a free safety.
    _________________________________

    Where is Bob Sanders now? He has often been compared to a sheet of glass.

  21. Free safety doesn’t need to be a giant guy. If he’s a playmaker it makes no difference. I met Earl Thomas recently and I look much larger than him and I’m only 5’9 205. That said earl Thomas is a guy who can make plays and still aggressive enough to cover tightends. So I have no doubt matheiu will be just fine.

  22. I am a niner fan and can’t hate this idea at all.. He truly is around the ball all the time.. In college anyways, he was a turnover machine with big play ability on Defense.. Good pick I was hoping he fell or we traded up for him but its all good

  23. ad2k13 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:45 PM

    He will also play “Cheech and Chong: Up in Smoke” at least 3 times a week in his new AZ condo.
    ——————————–
    Hah! My first thought was of Tommy Chong intoning, “Wow, man” or “Farrrrrr out, man”.

    Heck, Mathieu at FS is worth a try. As the above mentioned Chong said, “Hey, man, you never know.”

  24. Is it just me, or did The kid seem drunk and or high during his interview, after being picked by the cardinals?!

  25. Never really understood the hype behind this guy. Sure he could make an interception every now and then but he is small, not very fast, poor in coverage and has major issues off the field.

  26. gochargersgo says:
    Apr 26, 2013 11:20 PM
    Everyone making clever remarks about his height must have short term memory loss. Bob Sanders wasn’t much bigger and he was a hell of a free safety.
    =====================
    That is fair, but Sanders was also 20 lbs heavier, ran a 4.3 40 and was a very aggressive tackler. He also was oft-inured as well.
    Their scouting reports do have a number of things that are the same though.

  27. Look everyone deserves a chance to pay for youthful mistakes, but his interview after being drafted was at best amusing at worst pathetic.

    Third graders have a better handle on the english language than this guy.

    What is the minimum academic standards for LSU?

    Yes LSU applicant that is correct! Gilligan did have an island named after him…you really know your world geography.

    SEC…lowering the academic standards for decades…its our tradition!

  28. Mathieu is closer to 5’9 and 5’8 3/4 to be exact. He’s light for a safety but it’s going to be his best position in the NFL. He’s a playmaker and that includes blitzing off the edge.

  29. He’s a stud if he doesn’t F up great pick for the cards. Wish he fell to the forth and we coulda got him. But I like our picks either way SKOL
    BANDIT

  30. “Everyone making clever remarks about his height must have short term memory loss. Bob Sanders wasn’t much bigger and he was a hell of a free safety.”

    No, we just remember he played 50 games in 8 seasons.

  31. Not here to hate but, to congratulate. I bleed red & gold until I leave this earth. My name should speak for itself but, I wanted Mathieu on my team all along & to see AZ pick was disappointing. I think the kid is going to be a stud!!!

    Never have I been jealous of the Cards but, today maybe that “ONE” day. I think the Cards got a playmaker.

  32. Retarded idea , as usual by the Cards . Best nickelback in the draft , play him at safety . There’s a reason you guys are last .

  33. Wish the kid well.

    Saw his interview on ESPN after he was drafted, and one can only conclude he never much attended to his classwork.

    I hope he changes his life to realize that getting a good education is paramount to a successful NFL career.

  34. What about an undersized guy named Brian Dawkins?? This guys hAs all the talent….time will tell if he has the heart. I wish this tough brother all the best. You got what a lot of others don’t ….a second chance. Make it count.

  35. First of all, it’s fundamentally wrong to compare Mathieu to Bob Sanders. Sanders played SS in the Tampa-2 while the Honey Badger is being asked to play FS. Secondly, it is a fact that Sanders was much bigger than Mathieu, some have speculated that he was ‘juicing’, which is why he could never stay healthy. Finally, I can’t believe those of you who dislike Mathieu, or anybody else for that matter, for what you perceive as a lack of intelligence. That is wrong and you all should count your blessings for being rocket scientists. I’m smart enough to know that isn’t the case though, it’s financial envy on your part and you just can’t help yourselves from feeling that way…HA!

  36. Based on what i’ve seen from his personality and his actions, I think he’ll be good for a while and then will get impatient that he’s not playing TRUE cornerback, and at some point will try to get Patrick Peterson ousted so he can take his spot. This kid just projects “punk”. I don’t trust him. Honestly his pot addiction is the least of the problems with Mathieu.

  37. truthplainandsimple
    Apr 27, 2013, 6:19 AM PDT
    Too short? Does the name Bob Sanders ring a bell? He was DPOY too.
    ——————————————————–
    Pretty sure Bob Sanders could push up 225lbs more than 4 times too

  38. I like what Arians has been able to do so far. Some times you have to just roll the dice and see what happens. No one has ever accused BA of not being a gambling man either.

  39. Great pick up for the Cards….he wouldn’t have lasted through the 3rd round. As far as the FS position, it might just be lip service from Arians if they are trying to re-sign Kerry Rhodes at the right price…I think TM is better as a nickel back. Great job Cards!

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