If it seems like Tyrann Mathieu is fitting in well with the Cardinals, it’s hardly an accident.
After all, cornerback Patrick Peterson leads a cast of mentors from his college days, but even the players who didn’t have that link had a hunch he’d end up there, and began planning accordingly before the Cards took him in the third round.
“When he started having problems, we knew Pat reached out and was going to give a helping hand, and we all said, ‘You know, if he ended up on this team, we were definitely going to pitch in,’ ” cornerback Jerraud Powers said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website. “It was a perfect spot for him.
“He didn’t need to go to a team where he didn’t know anybody. He didn’t need to go somewhere where he might not get the warm welcome he probably needs. It just felt like the perfect place for him to be was here.”
It’s far from his New Orleans home, which might be a good thing for a guy who was kicked off the team at LSU for failing drug tests. But Peterson took Mathieu under his wing well during a recruiting visit, and kept him there when the trouble hit.
That’s why Mathieu thinks he’s in a “good place,” and will be able to prosper there.
“I think I have found a routine,” Mathieu said. “I’m just staying out of the light, man. Out of sight, out of mind. If I am not playing football I’m pretty much at home or over at Patrick’s house. That routine is working for me. . . .
“Of course I miss my family. But I think this is a pretty good situation for me, given the distance I am from home.”
Now, he can work on the easy part, playing football. The early returns on his transition to safety are positive, and thanks to a strong supporting cast, his chances of succeeding off the field are better too.