Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu went into last season at less than full strength while finishing up rehab from a torn ACL, but health isn’t a concern for him this summer.
It’s not a concern for too many of his teammates, either. Quarterback Carson Palmer says he isn’t even thinking about his knee after his own ACL rehab and the rest of the team is in good condition with training camp about to start. That’s one of the reasons why Mathieu called the Cardinals a “pretty good team” and “legitimate contenders” during a Thursday visit to the Rich Eisen Show.
In order to be more than that, though, Mathieu knows that the Cardinals are going to need to find a way past the team that’s been the best in the NFC for the last two seasons.
“I’ve never been a fan of disrespecting people who have earned it, so for me it would have to be Seattle,” Mathieu said when asked about the team to beat this year. “Those guys went to the Super Bowl two times in a row and they have everything that we want. We’ll definitely have to go through Seattle again this year.”
The Seahawks beat the Cardinals twice last season, which loomed large at the end of the season when the 12-4 Seahawks got the division title over the 11-5 Cardinals. Some of the names and faces will be different this time around, but it seems like a good bet that those two games will again have a lot to do with who wears the crown in the NFC West.