Cardinals covered at safety until Tyrann Mathieu returns


The Cardinals are still crossing their fingers than Tyrann Mathieu’s recovery from knee surgery allows him to be ready for the season.

But until that happens, they’re fortunate to have the guy with nine fingers ready to go.

According to Darren Urban of the team’s official website, veteran safety Rashad Johnson figures to be ready to start training camp with the first team until Mathieu gets well.

Johnson’s a solid player (and committed to the cause, as evidenced by giving up a finger for the team last year). Paired with first-round pick Deone Bucannon at strong safety, it’s a perfectly acceptable pair.

That gives them the ability to give Mathieu plenty of time to recover. Assuming he does, getting him on the field with Bucannon gives them a potentially explosive pair of young safeties at the back of a dangerous defense.

11 responses to “Cardinals covered at safety until Tyrann Mathieu returns

  1. Everybody wants Mathieu back on the field but not till he’s FULLY ready, and with plenty of depth in the secondary there’s no reason for anyone to be concerned. There’s so much talent here that Coach BA will be like a kid in a candystore creating new schemes to keep opponents guessing!

  2. Cardinals fans, can you help me out?

    Why is Rashad Johnson being de-valued by the franchise? I understand that Johnson was a relatively high pick out of ‘Bama and didn’t make the type of impact one would expect out of a third round pick his first few seasons in the NFL. However, from what I have seen of the Cardinals, these past two seasons, Johnson has seemed to be a solid starter.

    In my opinion, I don’t think Arizona was best served taking Deone Bucannon in the first round. I thought a safety tandem of Mathieu and Johnson would have been a solid unit for the Cardinals. I felt that Arizona should have targeted another young corner or a young pass rusher in the draft. Then again, I am not a GM.

  3. Johnson is solid and has made some plays in his time.

    One of the real benefits of Mathieu is that he goes from safety to nickel corner without having to substitute.

  4. Cardinals fans, can you help me out?

    Easy answer is that they are not devaluing RJ. RJ plays FS while Bucannon plays SS. Two totally different positions. And the Cardinals greatest need in the draft was for a SS.

    Before last season, RJ had to play behind Adrian Wilson & Kerry Rhodes while still on his rookie contract. The Cardinals then resigned him before 2013 after deciding to let both Wilson & Rhodes go.

    At the time of the 2013 draft, they still needed safety/cb help & took a gamble on the Honey Badger. I don’t think anyone knew how good Mathieu was going to be. So RJ then ended up as the backup fs or FS in nickle situations when Mathieu covers the slot.

    RJ played very well last season & will this season as well. He is just not better than Mathieu & is not a SS(Bucannon).

  5. Btw, the Cardinals have one of the best CB tandems in the NFL along with a good slot CB Powers & another young up & coming CB in Bethel. There was no need to draft a CB.

  6. Vikesfan; the Cards most likely took Bucannon because of the real question about how well and how soon Honey Badger could come back from his injury, which is logical. I would have preferred them drafting a QB out of the ones that were available, because Palmer only has one or MAYBE two years left. But I can see their reasoning.

  7. I doubt the secondary is going to miss much of a beat if Mathieu is not ready to go at the beginning of the year. That secondary is beyond solid. It is the linebacker core that they need to worry about.

  8. The Cardinals knew Honey Badger would be good. As good as he was this early, probably not. But they knew they were getting 1st round talent, that’s why they took the risk.

    Honey Badger had lived with Peterson’s parents after getting kicked off LSU’s team, and Peterson also hosted him for months.

    The Cardinals knew the talent, and had the inside track into his head via Peterson.

    This guy was top half of the 1st round talent, and everyone knew it. But his head and getting kicked off the team pushed him down the draft.

    He simply excelled from the beginning which was the only surprise.

    The guy was playing like a 6 year veteran in game 1. His instincts are off the chart, and I’m not exaggerating that.

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