Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 6/10/13

There was a considerable amount of apprehension surrounding Tyrann Mathieu as he entered the league. Aside from his drug habits, the man formerly known as the "Honey Badger" stood just 5-foot-9, quite small for a NFL safety.

Apprehension has turned into adulation, however, as he's impressing his teammates -- quarterback Carson Palmer, in particular.

In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, SI.com's Peter King noted that Palmer compared Mathieu to the Steelers' Troy Polamalu.

“He reminds of Troy Polamalu with his closing speed,” said Palmer. “He might not be the fastest guy out there, but he can change directions and get to the ball really fast, like Troy.”

Palmer should know, as the ex-Bengal signal-caller used to face Pittsburgh's potential Hall of Fame safety twice every year.

And it's not just Palmer.

King recently attended Cardinals practice and reported that Mathieu, working with the first-team unit, was "buzzing around plays."

Mathieu's sheer athleticism made him a star at LSU, and, thus far, seems to be carrying over into the big leagues. Both Polamalu and Mathieu are undersized for the position, but rely on instincts to make a play on the ball.

If Mathieu can turn out just half as good as Polamalu, the Cards will be very, very happy with their third-round pick.

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