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Tyrann Mathieu a ‘playmaking machine’ in Arizona Cardinals camp

Tyrann MathieuTyrann Mathieu may have his problems off the field that he’s trying to overcome, but one thing we never doubted was his playmaking ability. Some players just have that “it” factor on the football field. These players always seem to be around the ball, making tackles, causing turnovers, and helping their team win. Mathieu is one of those players. Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t taken him long to have a big impact at Arizona Cardinals training camp.

Cardinals.com reporter Darren Urban says Mathieu made a play this week by punching a ball loose after a catch made by tight end Jeff King. Urban said it would be interesting to watch Mathieu in games because he “has been a playmaking machine.”

Ron Wolfley at ArizonaSports.com says “hardcore NFL scouts and coaches” are raving about Mathieu. The third-round pick out of LSU apparently has played corner, safety, and nickle corner in three different defensive packages and already knows all three positions. Wolfley adds that a scout told him Mathieu was “pound-for-pound, the best player on the field” for the Cardinals.

Despite all his off-field problems, Mathieu never lost confidence in his abilities. He called himself the best player at the combine, and he boasted that he could hold Calvin Johnson to five catches if they played. We really hope he is able to stay out of trouble, because we believe he will be a huge difference-maker on the field.

H/T Rotoworld

Darnell Dockett gives Tyrann Mathieu, Cardinals rookies hazing haircuts

Darnell-Dockett-Tyrann-Mathieu-haircut-hazing

Arizona Cardinals defense tackle Darnell Dockett drew the exciting responsibility of playing the role of barber at training camp this summer. Rookie haircut hazing is a favorite pastime among NFL veterans, and Dockett put his own spin on it with Tyrann Mathieu and some of the other Cardinals rookies on Wednesday.

As you can see from the photo above, Dockett shaved his No. 90 into the side of Mathieu’s head. He stuck with that theme for several other rookies, and he even claims he charged them for the new hairstyles.

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Tyrann Mathieu calls out Mike Mayock over doubting him in the draft

Tyrann MathieuThere was once a time when Tyrann Mathieu was considered the best cornerback in the nation and a lock to be selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. Mathieu has always lacked size, but his ball skills and athletic ability made him the best defensive back in the country at LSU. Then, he decided he couldn’t lay off the wacky tabacky.

Once that happened, the Honey Badger’s draft stock plummeted. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock apparently bet some NFL coach that Mathieu would not be selected in the first 50 picks of the draft, and he was right. The former Tiger was taken at No. 69, but he still hasn’t forgotten what Mayock said about him.

Mathieu is likely motivated even more by the fact that Mayock’s analysis wasn’t based on failed drug tests. Mayock gave him a fourth or fifth round grade because he thinks he will be nothing more than a nickel corner and a kick returner in the NFL.

Motivation is a good thing. Mathieu insists he has been staying on the right track, and Mayock could provide him with another reason to keep it that way. If he ends up as an effective corner in the NFL, he might owe the analyst a thank you.

Video via The Big Lead

Tyrann Mathieu open to bringing back ‘Honey Badger’ nickname

Tyrann MathieuTyrann Mathieu has gone down the Adam Jones path to salvation and has ditched the nickname that was associated with his past troubles. Like Jones, who goes by Adam now instead of “Pacman,” Mathieu has stopped going by his “Honey Badger” nickname. It’s a shame because honey badger was such a great nickname and fittingly described Mathieu’s style of play on the field. Fortunately, Mathieu says he is open to bringing it back.

“I don’t know if he’s going to come back this fall,” Mathieu told the Akron Beacon Journal regarding his nickname. “I really don’t know. But right now, I’m happy being Tyrann. Tyrann is a fun guy, and I’m just ready to play some ball.”

Mathieu was kicked off LSU’s football team before the season began last year because of multiple failed drug tests. He even went to rehab for the issue and was arrested on drug-related charges in October. Because of those past issues, Mathieu knows it will take a lot for his nickname to have a positive connotation again.

“I think [the nickname can have a positive connotation], but I think it’s going to take some time, just because ‘Honey Badger’ happened at such a bad time, a time where I wasn’t making the best decisions,” Mathieu told the Beacon Journal. “So going forward, if I’m able to make the right decisions, able to be that role model for the kids, I think the ‘Honey Badger’ can be a pretty positive person.”

I’m glad he has that attitude. Football is more fun when the Honey Badger is around. Tyrann Mathieu is boring. We want the Badger on the field, and Mathieu off of it. Do you think you can make that happen, Tyrann?

Tyrann Mathieu asks Twitter follower when she turns 18

Tyrann Mathieu cryingTyrann Mathieu already has a bad enough reputation, so he needs to be careful when using social media sites like Twitter. If there is one thing athletes should know by now it’s that there is no such thing as a private message. A direct message is only a screenshot away from becoming a tweet for every sports blog in America to see.

Mathieu was reminded of that recently when he had a DM conversation on Twitter with a young lady who uses the handle @alexiskeams. The artist formerly known as the Honey Badger apparently hit her up on Twitter and was wise enough to instantly ask how old she is. When Alexis said she was 17, Mathieu asked her when she’ll be legal. The screenshot has since been deleted but was captured by our friends at Black Sports Online:

Tyrann-Mathieu-twitter-convo

Apparently Mathieu has learned nothing from JR Smith, who probably doesn’t care that we all got to see that conversation he had with a girl a few months back. What really could be problematic for Mathieu here is that he is supposedly dating a Hornets cheerleader. The former LSU star was smart to ask the girl how old she was, but I’m not sure his lady friend will see it that way.

Phoenix smoke shop welcomes Honey Badger to town with ad

Honey Badger smoke shop

A smoke shop in Phoenix decided to take out an ad in a local newspaper to welcome Tyrann Mathieu to town.

The ad is for Bud’s Glass Joint in Phoenix, which bills itself as “what a Phoenix Smoke Shop should really be.” The ad appears in the Phoenix New Times, and it states: “Honey Badger. Welcome to Phoenix! We have what you’re looking for.”

Mathieu, aka the Honey Badger, was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the NFL Draft two weeks ago. He was kicked off the LSU football team reportedly for failing multiple drug tests. He later went to rehab for his marijuana addiction and admitted he abused himself through the extensive use of marijuana.

Though the ad was clever, Mathieu passed his drug test at the combine and hasn’t shown hints of a continued struggle with the substance. I also imagine LSU won’t be too happy about Bud’s Glass using their logo for the ad.

Photo credit: Twitter/Scott Berger
H/T Darren Rovell

Tyrann Mathieu: Marijuana not an issue, I’ll do weekly drug tests

Tyrann MathieuTyrann Mathieu finally went in the draft. The Honey Badger was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round — No. 69 overall — which may have been slightly higher than what most people expected. He was so overcome with emotion after being picked that he began crying.

Mathieu’s stock had fallen after he was kicked off LSU’s football team for reportedly failing multiple drug tests. He spent some time in rehab and missed the entire football season. But Mathieu passed his drug tests at the combine and insists he is clean. He even said during an interview with ESPN after being picked that he would agree to weekly drug tests.

Mathieu was asked by ESPN’s Trey Wingo what he and the Cardinals discussed on the phone when he was picked. He said they talked about some stipulations that might be in his contract.

“It’s going to be certain things in the contract that I have to fulfill,” Mathieu told Wingo. “I have to hold my end of the bargain up. Whether that’s weekly drug tests, I’m all for that, too. I’m ready to get back out there, I’m ready to show everybody that marijuana isn’t an issue any more. It’s not an issue. I just want to play football and help my team win games.”

Mathieu said he was happy to finally get past some of his past problems, which he describe as old news.

“All the nonsense that’s been coming out the last month? That’s 7-8 months old. I’ve crossed that bridge. I haven’t failed a drug test, I haven’t been in trouble. I’m ready to play football,” Mathieu told Wingo.

“Seven months ago I didn’t think I’d be in this situation. I had everything taken away from me. I kept pushing and I kept fighting. I’m just so happy that someone else had faith in me.”

Arizona has players with whom he is familiar already on the roster, and you have to figure his relationship with former LSU cornerback and mentor Patrick Peterson had a lot to do with the pick.