Found August 12, 2013 on Fox Sports Arizona:
GLENDALE, Ariz. Tyrann Mathieu is an attention magnet. It was true for the teams that game-planned for him in college, its true for the media who cover his every step on the field -- and misstep off it -- and its true for the fans who hunger for more news, notes and knowledge about the Honey Badger. Apparently, its even true for teammates like Darnell Dockett, who treated the Cardinals rookie defensive back to a special form of hazing recently when he shaved off Mathieus left eyebrow while leaving a sort of signature in Mathieus scalp that forced the former LSU standout to shave his head as well. Its tough right now, said an embarrassed Mathieu while facing the media with his new look on Sunday. Long story short, a couple veterans took advantage of me. The deal going into it was theyd leave the Mohawk, but once I sat down, all the rules were out the window." The same could apply to Mathieu on the field this season. Hes a rookie, which normally means a steep learning curve before he can make a significant impact. He also hasnt played football since the BCS title game against Alabama on Jan. 9, 2012, the product of being kicked off the team at LSU. Although he played some safety in college and will still play cornerback in nickel situations for the Cardinals, Mathieu is essentially switching from that position to free safety as he takes the quantum leap to the NFL. Despite all those challenges, Mathieu has been a force in training camp, and that carried into the teams first preseason game Friday in Green Bay when he separated the tight end from a ball, posted a sack while coming on a blitz and nearly broke a punt return. He had a very productive day, said coach Bruce Arians, not sounding the least bit surprised. He does it every day in practice. Hes caused at least two turnovers the last five practices. Thats going to carry over right to the games. Mathieu admitted to a case of nerves as he rode the team bus to the game Friday. But after that first kickoff, everything sort of comes back, he said. I think I did pretty good but theres always room for improvement. I didnt think I busted any coverages but I definitely would have wanted to make some more plays. Mathieu has been under the microscope from the time he arrived in the Valley, and unless he flames out, that figures to continue. But Arians doesnt believe that poses any potential problems, even if the franchise and fans are holding their breath while waiting to see if Mathieu can walk the straight and narrow after multiple failed drug tests and an arrest while an LSU student. He was a high-profile guy coming out of college, then being suspended for the year ..." Arians said. Hes trying to make a second go of it, and hes doing extremely well with that. Im pulling for him. I dont think he can get enough attention. Whether the attention becomes a distraction remains to be seen, but Mathieu is certainly used to it from his days at LSU in the pressure cooker of the SEC. The expectations can never amount to mine, Mathieu said. I want to play a big role. Everybody always has something to say, whether its good or bad. I just leave it at that and do what I do best, which is play football. Mathieu has a lofty goal in mind. To be the best player on the team, he said. But for the immediate future, he is focused on more mundane daily tasks, learning three positions -- free safety, nickel corner and return man -- and listening to the counsel of good friend Patrick Peterson. Im not a starter, so Im still motivated, Mathieu said. Ive still got a long way to go. Nobody is certain how long it will take for him to become a starter or if it will happen at all -- but at least one form of visible progress should materialize quickly.Ive tried to put a Band-Aid over my eyebrow. That doesnt work. Ive tried to wear my hat low; cant see where Im going, Mathieu said. Hopefully, in the next week, my eyebrow will come back and I can just be myself again. Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Cardinals notes: Offensive line still has questions

GLENDALE, Ariz. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians spent much of Mondays media session talking about offensive line play, and why not? Its been one of the teams biggest problems the past three seasons. An offensive line determines how good an offense is going to be, left tackle Levi Brown said. The eye is always on us. For a welcome change, the eye liked what it saw when the Cardinals...

Former Cardinals quarterback Max Hall named starter for CFL team

There are some people who will just not let their dream of playing professional football die. Max Hall is one of those individuals. Hall was named the starting quarterback of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League on Tuesday morning.

Cards Notes: Tyrann Mathieu to start, Ryan Williams remains out

The Cardinals have returned to the practice field this week to prepare for their preseason home opener on Saturday afternoon from the University of Phoenix Stadium. With the game still a few days away, there have been several nuggets that have come out of Cards Camp over the past couple of days.

Ryan Williams hopes to get relief from PRP injection

Cardinals running back Ryan Williams underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection in his ailing right knee about 10 days ago. Williams is just one of many athletes to receive such injections which are designed to send highly-concentrated platelets the part of blood that helps us heal to the injured area. It works like this: The patient’s blood is drawn and then put through a centrifuge...

Bruce Arians not sure when Ryan Williams will return

When Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians was asked when running back Ryan Williams would return to training camp after missing most of it with a knee injury, Arians said he has “absolutely no idea”. Bruce Arians asked today when RB Ryan Williams might return: "I have absolutely no idea." #azcardinals — Kent Somers (@kentsomers) August 13, 2013 Williams,...

LB/DE John Abraham says he’s got a little left in the tank: ‘If I didn’t feel like I could still play, I’d have called it quits’

Arizona Cardinals LB/DE John Abraham actually retired because he was ‘so pissed off’ with being released by the Atlanta Falcons. After trying out for several teams, general manager Steve Keim figured it was the right time to bring Abraham aboard.

The Arizona Cardinals are the best team no one is talking about

In a league characterized by teams that have been there, done that, the Arizona Cardinals are trying to do something that rarely happens. Their task is simple; they’re trying to take the league by surprise. When you stop and consider the Cardinals as a team, their chances seem as good as anyone else’s. The Cardinals field a tough, young defense that can win games single handedly...

Tyrann Mathieu will likely start this week

After a pretty impressive game last week,   Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu will have a chance to start this week after Rashad Johnson suffered a “mild” MCL sprain and ankle sprain during Monday’s practice. Johnson is considered to be day-to-day right now and likely won’t play this week against the Cowboys, according to AZCardinals.com. “It just gives me an opportunity...

Floyd's improvement would have domino effect

GLENDALE, Ariz. Michael Floyds training camp storyline is static. Thats beginning to annoy him. Its in one ear and out the other, he said with a faint smile. Dont get him wrong. Floyd likes the idea of relieving pressure from Larry Fitzgerald, but when he projects his 2013 accomplishments, he has a few more goals in mind. Im ready to do a lot of great things, he said. Its about...

Striking start for not – The same old Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals were a force on both sides of the ball during their preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers on Friday night. The last time the Packers were shutout was back in their 2006 (8-8) season against the New England Patriots.

Cardinals’ Ryan Williams could miss the Cowboys game

Photo: Scott Rovak, US Presswire Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams could miss more time including the Week 2 preseason meeting against the Dallas Cowboys according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. “I don’t know if he’ll play this week,” said Arians Williams, a 2nd round pick out of Virginia Tech  in 2011, has played in just five games in two years due to...
Cardinals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.