Tyrann Mathieu was one of Bruce Arians’ first draft picks with the Cardinals back in 2013.
The safety was in Arizona for Arians’ complete five-year tenure as head coach. Arians retired after the 2017 season, the Cardinals cut Mathieu, and he subsequently signed with the Texans in free agency.
A few years later, Mathieu will try to earn his second consecutive Super Bowl ring — this time with Arians on the opposite sideline. Though they’ll be competitors this weekend, Mathieu clearly still values his first professional head coach.
“Me and coach BA, we’ve had a great relationship,” Mathieu said Monday. “Ever since my time in Arizona, and even beyond that, he’s always been somebody [whose] opinions and what he says meant a lot to me. You’ve got to remember, he was one of the first people in the National Football League that really believed in me and my abilities, and really allowed me to really flourish at a young age in this league. And he’s still been a guy that I keep in touch with to this day.”
Mathieu had five tackles and an interception during Kansas City’s victory over Tampa Bay in Week 12. With Tom Brady throwing three picks against the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, Mathieu will be on the hunt for another.