The Cardinals went to Seattle on Sunday night and beat the Seahawks. It was Arizona’s first look at tight end Jimmy Graham as a member of the Seattle offense.
But the Cardinals had seen Graham before, and that gave defensive back Tyrann Mathieu a basis for comparing the way the Saints and Seahawks use Graham.
“I don’t think they use him quite as creatively as the Saints used him,” Mathieu said on Monday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. “I played against Jimmy in 2013 when he was with the Saints and I mean he was all over the field. The biggest thing with them was he created mismatches for him, and [Sunday] he wasn’t really in a position where we felt like it was a mismatch. We felt like we had great cover guys on him all the time and those two weeks we had to prepare for them it really helped us a whole lot.”
There’s an assumption that Graham is a mismatch no matter the coverage. Mathieu’s message is that effort is still required to ensure that Graham gets open — especially if quarterback Russell Wilson is reluctant to throw to Graham unless he is wide open.
Mathieu presumably hopes the Seahawks don’t heed that message in advance of their Week 17 rematch in Arizona.
To hear the entire Mathieu interview (including his reaction to Drew Stanton’s late-game sideline celebration), click here and click the Big Name guests tab.