Tyrann Mathieu seems to be in a good place with his life right now.
A year or so ago, he couldn’t openly admit that, after he was kicked off the LSU football team for repeated drug test failures and having to enter himself in drug rehab centers in order to get clean.
Mathieu has experienced things most 21-year-old kids shouldn’t or wouldn’t want to experience, but it’s a part of the road he’s traveled in order to get to where he is right now: with the Arizona Cardinals.
“I think my actions the last six months have proven that I’m on the right track and that I’m on the right path,” Mathieu said during his introductory press conference last Thursday. “I’m going to surround myself with positive people, have a great support staff, which I know the Cardinals are going to provide for me.”
The team had it’s rookie minicamp late last week and kicked off it’s OTAs on Tuesday, and Mathieu was a part of both, as he gets acclimated to the safety position head coach Bruce Arians assigned him to.
“I think it’s a challenge,” Mathieu said. “I’ve been challenged before. I played safety a few games in college. I won’t say I’m comfortable with it, but it’s something that I’m willing to do.”
At 5-9, 186, Mathieu might be a bit small in some experts’ eyes to play the safety position.
Mathieu says size doesn’t matter to him. He just wants to make plays.
“I think it’s something I’ve prepared for my entire life, since the age of five, making tackles and going to get the football doesn’t ever change,” Mathieu said. “I think it’s the same motto for me; just go get the ball. I’m going to take the same approach to the NFL.”
Regardless of what Mathieu does on the field this season for the Cardinals, there’s going to be a segment of society that won’t embrace him because of his past indiscretions.
Mathieu knows he can’t please everybody, but he can show everyone he’s putting his best foot forward from here on out.
“I have a different mindset and I have a different outlook,” Mathieu said. “I understand that there is a bunch of people out there who want to see me succeed and who want to see me be the leader of their community.”