Not every veteran feels a need to attend OTAs — after all, they are voluntary.
But in his first season with the Saints, safety Tyrann Mathieu told reporters at his press conference on Thursday that it was a priority for him to attend the sessions.
“Just being around teammates, being around the coaches, getting in the playbook,” Mathieu said, via John DeShazier of the team’s website. “I’m a player that, once I understand the playbook and the scheme, I can kind of let my anticipation, my personality show. I think it was just a big positive for me to be here, get to know my teammates, get to know the coaches and how everybody likes to roll.”
Over the last three seasons, Mathieu recorded 13 interceptions and 27 passes defensed in his 47 games with Kansas City. The safety said he’s working to get familiar with the defensive system to make those kinds of impact plays in New Orleans.
“It’s all about ball production,” Mathieu said. “A lot of times when I’m watching the tape, it’s a lot of plays out there that you can make. So it’s all about just getting the grasp of the defense, understanding how your coach wants you to see it and play it. And then from there, just kind of letting your personality show and your instincts take over.”
In 129 career games with 120 starts, Mathieu has 26 interceptions, four forced fumbles, and six fumble recoveries. He’s also recorded 10.0 sacks, 41 tackles for loss, and 25 QB hits since entering the league with the Cardinals in 2013.