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Mathieu will play free safety for Cardinals

Mathieu 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.

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72 Responses to “Mathieu will play free safety for Cardinals”
  1. doomsdaydefensetx says: Apr 26, 2013 10:28 PM

    What a steal for the cardinals. Peterson and Mathieu will be playmakers for AZ for many years to come. Congrats on gettin drafted.

  2. sactomkiii says: Apr 26, 2013 10:29 PM

    A 5’9″ 180lb safety… That should end well can’t wait to see him try to guard a TE.

  3. navyeoddavee9 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:32 PM

    Too small, to be every down FS

  4. 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.

  5. Canyonero says: Apr 26, 2013 10:35 PM

    That’s cool, Mathieu doesn’t remember he used to play cornerback.

  6. blacknole08 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:36 PM

    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.

  7. mobuccsfan says: Apr 26, 2013 10:36 PM

    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.

  8. canetic says: Apr 26, 2013 10:38 PM

    I look forward to the first time he has to try and tackle Vernon Davis down the seam.

  9. justsomerandomguy24 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:38 PM

    I hope he can stay out of trouble and reach his potential. Guy can ball.

  10. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:38 PM

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

  11. beerbudsnbevo says: Apr 26, 2013 10:39 PM

    Yeah… until week one when they have him on the other side of Peterson…

  12. cardsfann1 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:39 PM

    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.

  13. msclemons67 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:42 PM

    Jay and Silent Bob will be Mathieu’s position coaches.

  14. geniusesq says: Apr 26, 2013 10:42 PM

    Cool story bro.

  15. 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.

  16. americankris says: Apr 26, 2013 10:50 PM

    if carson palmer can add anything this team will have a good season

  17. bigj7769 says: Apr 26, 2013 10:52 PM

    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!!

  18. jayovalentine says: Apr 26, 2013 10:52 PM

    I wish the kid luck !!

  19. thraiderskin says: Apr 26, 2013 11:01 PM

    @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.

  20. hendeeze says: Apr 26, 2013 11:05 PM

    180lb FS? Did the Cardinals forget they are in the same division as Frank Gore and Lynch?

  21. thesteelers says: Apr 26, 2013 11:09 PM

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

  22. jcmeyer10 says: Apr 26, 2013 11:15 PM

    It worked for McCourty. Why not give it a try.

  23. goldrush36 says: Apr 26, 2013 11:16 PM

    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

  24. 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.

  25. seaeagle707 says: Apr 26, 2013 11:20 PM

    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.

  26. westclaims says: Apr 26, 2013 11:25 PM

    When is the last time a third round pick was front page on NFL page, and at the same time, a headline on this site?

  27. bigbenh8tr says: Apr 26, 2013 11:47 PM

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

  28. goldrush36 says: Apr 26, 2013 11:56 PM

    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

  29. bucheadlouden says: Apr 27, 2013 12:01 AM

    @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

  30. bucheadlouden says: Apr 27, 2013 12:03 AM

    hopefully he has not to stay clean – weed should be legal anyway

  31. rcali says: Apr 27, 2013 12:04 AM

    Was he high during that ESPN interview?

  32. fdugrad says: Apr 27, 2013 12:07 AM

    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.

  33. billsboy88 says: Apr 27, 2013 12:18 AM

    Not a big hitter type safety, but he will play one heck of a robber role back there

  34. sourdoughsam says: Apr 27, 2013 12:20 AM

    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.

  35. bobbob1eye says: Apr 27, 2013 12:24 AM

    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.

  36. hawkstradamus says: Apr 27, 2013 12:29 AM

    The kids too beige for racist ass AZ he’ll get pulled over and deported before he sets foot on the field.

  37. sbdt says: Apr 27, 2013 12:30 AM

    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.

  38. jumboli says: Apr 27, 2013 12:35 AM

    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.

  39. thesteelers says: Apr 27, 2013 12:37 AM

    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.

  40. johnschatzan says: Apr 27, 2013 12:39 AM

    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.

  41. baymac408 says: Apr 27, 2013 12:41 AM

    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

  42. smcgaels1997 says: Apr 27, 2013 12:48 AM

    Dude blew off football to get high. Yep that’s the committed winner I want on my team.

  43. mazblast says: Apr 27, 2013 1:47 AM

    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.”

  44. bleedtwincitiessports says: Apr 27, 2013 1:55 AM

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

  45. skylander14 says: Apr 27, 2013 2:27 AM

    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.

  46. skylander14 says: Apr 27, 2013 2:37 AM

    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.

  47. halftermguv says: Apr 27, 2013 2:42 AM

    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!

  48. brooksob53 says: Apr 27, 2013 2:53 AM

    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.

  49. theskolbandit says: Apr 27, 2013 3:00 AM

    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

  50. listerineman says: Apr 27, 2013 3:11 AM

    i dont root for this guy. another gifted talent with zero brain.

  51. thetooloftools says: Apr 27, 2013 3:45 AM

    You can’t measure heart but you CAN measure pot head.
    I wish him well.

  52. deelron says: Apr 27, 2013 4:00 AM

    “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.

  53. omniscient48 says: Apr 27, 2013 4:01 AM

    Luckily Phoenix is too hot for good weed to grow.

  54. cali49er707 says: Apr 27, 2013 4:42 AM

    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.

  55. hawkfan50 says: Apr 27, 2013 4:59 AM

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

  56. duncanthecat says: Apr 27, 2013 5:37 AM

    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.

  57. lawyermalloy says: Apr 27, 2013 6:22 AM

    This kid is a third round STEAL! If they can keep him off the weed he has star quality.

  58. phinsneverwin says: Apr 27, 2013 8:43 AM

    Congrats on putting a druggie in your line up.

  59. adm350 says: Apr 27, 2013 8:51 AM

    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.

  60. ladymacesq says: Apr 27, 2013 8:56 AM

    Honey badger don’t care.

  61. rockymtnphinfan says: Apr 27, 2013 9:15 AM

    Dude is a nickel back at best……good luck AZ. Hope you guys don’t have tasty weed down there or this will be a short affair.

  62. truthplainandsimple says: Apr 27, 2013 9:19 AM

    Too short? Does the name Bob Sanders ring a bell? He was DPOY too.

  63. inallsincerity says: Apr 27, 2013 9:54 AM

    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!

  64. buccfaninhawkeyecountry says: Apr 27, 2013 9:59 AM

    For those trying to compare Tyraan to Bob Sanders.. Bob may be “tiny” but he would knock ur lights out. I don’t see tyrann doing that, actually probably the other way around.

  65. The Prophet says: Apr 27, 2013 9:59 AM

    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.

  66. jrazz22 says: Apr 27, 2013 10:02 AM

    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

  67. atthemurph says: Apr 27, 2013 10:06 AM

    Peterson is supposed to keep him in line? I’d be far more worried that Mathieu will drag Peterson into hell.

  68. ddogdaddy says: Apr 27, 2013 10:34 AM

    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.

  69. bigdinla says: Apr 27, 2013 10:51 AM

    Anyone watch his games vs Bama? They attacked Tyran and exposed his lack of athleticism. He excels at blitzing that is it.

  70. matth3w420 says: Apr 27, 2013 11:02 AM

    How did this guy make it through college? Dumb as a box of rocks.

  71. barbeaux says: Apr 27, 2013 12:23 PM

    Yeah, he’ll provide great coverage on boldin or Megatron down the field lol

  72. theuglitruth says: Apr 28, 2013 12:20 PM

    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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