Selflessness turned around Tyrann Mathieu’s career

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Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu has undergone a remarkable turnaround in the past few years. Still only 23, Mathieu has gone from losing his spot on the LSU football team to becoming one of the best young defensive backs in the NFL.

He appeared on Monday’s edition of PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio to discuss his recent efforts to promote awareness regarding the dangers of hot cars, an effort that generated a surprising amount of publicity, from sports media to mainstream news to entertainment outlets.

I asked him how he’s gotten from where he was in 2012 to where he is now. And his answer demonstrates why his story has become such a compelling one for anyone interested in the NFL.

“I don’t think I’m just doing this for me,” Mathieu said. “I think I’m doing this for a lot of people. My fans, my family, my children, everybody that I inspire. So this is much bigger than me, and I think that’s my mindset now. I don’t think I had the same mindset back in college. I think it was all about me, and so right now I’m just really living off of everybody else’s positive feedback and their positive encouragement and all those people who really care about me and love me, I’m really doing this for them.”

Whatever he’s doing, it’s working well. For more from Mathieu regarding his own journey and regarding the team’s prospects for 2015, click the thing in the thing below.

35 responses to “Selflessness turned around Tyrann Mathieu’s career

  1. He was on the fast track to becoming a junkie by occasionally smoking a plant. Good on him for turning around his life and steering clear of the devil’s lettuce.

  2. 1) Why don’t we wait to print all the “turned career around” articles until he does, in fact, actually turn his career around?

    2) What are you trying to say? That he is Gandhi? give me a break…

  3. “He was on the fast track to becoming a junkie by occasionally smoking a plant. Good on him for turning around his life and steering clear of the devil’s lettuce.”
    ——————————-

    It’s true. I tried smoke broccoli and it almost killed me.

  4. Let it be known all junkies started on devils lettuce.

    Only someone who says ‘Devils lettuce’ thinks like that.

  5. I didn’t think much of him coming out of college with all his past issues. However, it does seem like he’s getting his life together so kudos to him for becoming a better person.

  6. How many times do people with his red flags just end up making the same mistakes over and over again?

    So far, guy gets it, and hats off to him. Great to see someone who is as talented as him turn things around and move forward positively.

  7. Good to see PFT recognize a player who has succeeded despite a bumpy start coming out of college. Glad Arizona took a chance on Tyrann and has the positive influences in the locker room to help him succeed. He was considered high risk but has more than been a high gain player showing that sometimes is pays to give second chances.
    The Phoenix community loves this guy and this is such a serious issue that desperately needed a high profile voice!

  8. “I’m sorry what has he done so far in the NFL???”

    When he is healthy, and he is once again, he’s a difference maker. The defense just wasn’t the same unit when he got hurt.

    It reminded me of Vontaze Burfict and how the Bengals defense wasn’t the same unit once his hard-hitting and energy was taken away.

    What has he done so far? Ask any member of the Cards defense about the drop-off once he left the field. When healthy, he’s one of those guys who is ALWAYS around the ball. He brings excitement to the team and is bringing redemption to himself.

    Everyone in AZ is really proud of the guy.

  9. Nice article. Developing a selfless concern for others is one of the main principles taught in the 12 step recovery process. I can personally vouch for its effectiveness in overcoming the hell of addiction. Don’t know how severe Tyrann’s use was, but I’m not at all surprised that he attributes his behavior change to a more selfless mindset. Also, my experience is that people become much happier after such a change. Good for him! Thanks for the article PFT.

  10. “I don’t think I’m just doing this for me,” Mathieu said. “I think I’m doing this for a lot of people. My fans, my family, my children, everybody that I inspire. So this is much bigger than me, and I think that’s my mindset now. I don’t think I had the same mindset back in college. I think it was all about me, and so right now I’m just really living off of everybody else’s positive feedback and their positive encouragement and all those people who really care about me and love me, I’m really doing this for them.”
    ==============================================
    Good for him for finally maturing. If I had to put money down on this kid being a bust out of college, I’d have laid down the bet. It sounds like Patrick Peterson was a real positive influence on him to become a responsible citizen.

    Hopefully, all those supporting him don’t also expect him to support them also, financially. Too many mentally unprepared players let themselves be taken advantage of by family and posses.

  11. Not that hard to do. Just give up pot and don’t hit any women. Most people can do that. Is smoking worth $30 mil. Too Josh Gordon it is.

  12. Just saw a video he did with PETA where he was locked in a car with the windows up to illustrate the dangers of leaving your dog in a parked car.

    Instead of at a party, or BBQ, or jet-skiing, yachting, any number of things a 20-something man with money can do…he spent time trying to better the world (and spent a really hot 8 minutes at 120 degrees, which probably wasn’t entirely fun).

    Impossible not to root for this kid.

    And it was kind of funny at the end when he looks at the camera and goes, “But don’t worry about your kids. Just crack a window,” and hit tooth gleams…

    Okay, I totally made that last part up. This post was just getting to serious.

  13. AZ fans aren’t the only ones glad he got his act together, Bayou Bengal (LSU) fans are equally as happy. Keep keepin’ on, young man!

  14. Shows the influence that Larry Fitzgerald has had on him, just like Larry readily admit he was influenced and changed by associating with Kurt Warner.

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