The months of pre-draft scrutiny, and trying to explain his past are over.
Today, Tyrann Mathieu gets to get back to what he enjoys — playing football.
The Cardinals rookie free safety begins his first minicamp today, and said he looks forward to getting back to a football routine.
“Just letting my actions speak for themselves,” Mathieu said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “I think that solves everything. I’m looking forward to it. I definitely have a long journey in front of me, definitely going to be some challenges but I think I’m prepared for it.”
Of course, his previous actions have brought the kind of attention he doesn’t want. After being kicked off the team at LSU for failing multiple drug tests, he was welcomed to the desert with an ad for a head shop bearing his image in an alternative newspaper. Mathieu shook that off, saying he didn’t pay much attention to it.
What he will be paying attention to is teammate Patrick Peterson, who was with him at LSU and for most of the last five months, helping him train for the draft.
“He’s going to be extremely important, probably as important as my girlfriend,” Mathieu said. “He’s probably going to be everywhere with me, walking around with me everywhere. I am just going to follow Patrick’s routine.”
If he can follow Peterson’s example, and leave his old demons behind, the Cardinals might have something.
How much he makes of the chance depends on him, and begins today.