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“Apprehensive” Mathieu not there yet

Posted by Darren Urban on September 22, 2014 – 3:27 pm

Tyrann Mathieu was in on a season-high 15 plays Sunday against the 49ers, yet the safety still recorded six tackles, including one for loss. It wasn’t a bad performance, but it wasn’t a Honey Badger performance either.

“He was way too apprehensive and afraid he was going to cost us,” coach Bruce Arians said. “You could tell the look in his eye. We had a little talk right before the kickoff of the second half about letting it go and don’t be out there thinking you’re going to cost us. We wouldn’t put you out there if we think you’re going to cost us.”

This is all natural for a guy coming off major knee surgery to repair an ACL and LCL. Mathieu couldn’t argue with Arians’ assessment. On third downs (and one fourth down), Mathieu said, he was playing “a little lackadaisical” in his technique.

“Things I wouldn’t normally do,” Mathieu said. “Like I said, I’m still a few weeks away from being the guy I want to be. That confidence will come with more time, more playing time.”

A “few” weeks is nebulous. Moments later, Mathieu said he thought he could be playing like he wants as soon as the Cardinals’ next game, when they travel to Denver a week from Sunday’s bye date. In the two practices this week, it is the backups who will get the majority of the work, and right now, Mathieu remains a backup to Tony Jefferson and Rashad Johnson.

“Hopefully I’ll be who I want to be when we really want me to be,” Mathieu said, smiling at his own tongue-twister.

“I think it’s all mental,” Mathieu said. “My knee is fine. It’s that mental hurdle. But I am encouraged. I think I did decent (Sunday). It wasn’t my best game, but I did fine.”

Mathieu said he was happy Arians gave him the pep talk Sunday — admitting there might have been a curse word or two mixed in — and tried to take it to heart.

But, “you telling me that and me actually doing it is two different things,” Mathieu said. “Hopefully he keeps encouraging me.”

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20 Responses to ““Apprehensive” Mathieu not there yet”

  1. By Andrew P. on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Really happy to see Mathieu back, even playing “apprehensive” still getting 6 tackles in only 15 snaps is pretty good. Can’t wait to see him when he’s at 100% mentally. And Darren, I just saw something that said we signed Marion Grice to a two year deal, is this true? If it is, I could only imagine what him and Ellington could do to opposing defenses. Grice looked pretty good in the preseason game against the Chargers. Granted it is preseason, but I believe he’s a great addition to our rushing attack.

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Andrew P —

    RE: Grice

    That’s a report out of San Diego. Nothing official.

  3. By Scott H on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Take it easy there, Honey Badger. You’ve got 2 weeks to get closer to being the player you want to be. You’ll get there. Shoot, not so long ago, it was looking like mid to late Oct before you were going to see the field. What we’re getting from you right now is a gift. We’ll take it! These next 2 weeks are a gift for you, so take that as well. Your best is worth waiting for.

    And while you’re at it, can you lend Palmer some of your magical healing powers?

  4. By italycardfan on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    We can still take a bit of time! We want Tyrann back calmly, with a patient’s recovery, without forcing his knee and his mind. On Sunday, he played a good game and things are going well for him and for the team. We expect your full return. Meanwhile, enjoy, along with the fans, the joy of being still unbeaten.
    A big hello from Italy !

  5. By Andrew P. on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks, Darren. Hope we pick him up though, I really think he would be another good weapon to add to the roster, kid can catch and run.

  6. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Just glad to have you back and contributing. No need to rush it. Its a long season. Just do what you need to do to get back to 100 %

  7. By CreditCard on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Talk about a player who really wants to play. I think it is better to try to put the breaks on a player coming off an injury than the opposite scenario.

    How many times have we fans seen high dollar “stars” not play, just because they are not quite a 100%, and they are sitting out in order to protect their stats vs. assisting their team.

    Mathieu must be a joy to coach, and a good teammate / role model to others (especially rookies).

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Grice juked us numerous times in that preseason game, looked better than all but their starter…. hope we get him. If so, who gets cut or demoted?

  9. By CreditCard on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Different safety. Someone please tell me how Tony Jefferson went undrafted. I think I would rather solve the mystery of the Great Pyramids of Giza rather trying to figure out how and why Jefferson went undrafted. He certainly is a play maker.

  10. By br in nc on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    Wish I knew as well, he was an All American at OU, led the B12 in tackles, and had decent coverage skills (although he is/was known for his run stopping skills in college) I did see the OU vs Notre Dame game, he was put on Eifert, ND TE, and he did an outstanding job covering him, almost had a pick 6 that game, and Eifert was held to like, 3 catches, and less than 10 yards total. I heard rumors that his coaches at OU dogged him when NFL teams asked about him, he declared early for the draft thinking he would go 2-4 rounds, but like I said, only thing is rumors of his OU coaches stabbing him in the back, probably used that dreaded word… UNCOACHABLE. Obviously that is not the case, he was coachable enough to go undrafted to playing both safety positions in his rookie season, and now in his second season he was coachable enough to lockdown a starting safety position, and they can’t unseat him! But then again, only rumors, who knows. I think we can rule out lack of talent!! LOL

  11. By Dr. G. on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    Darren –Andrew — azcentral has the Cards signing Grice as well from the Chargers’ practice squad. I guess he must go onto the 53-man roster…. this will be a very good pick up with the open spot… A nice eve….

  12. By Dr. G. on Sep 22, 2014 | Reply

    The San Diego reporter calls the Cards “SNEAKY” for picking up Marion Grice. But given the choice, he picked the Cards over the Chargers…

    Welcome aboard Marion…we rooted for you at ASU in Tempe too !…..

  13. By perry matherne on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    Hey tyrann,we love ya back here in galliano,la.You’re right,you know your body of all people,your knee will progress,let it come naturally,gradually you will be 100 percent before you know it,in the meantime just be productive,give the opponents hell.

  14. By Big Ken on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    I like the signing of Marion Grice as well. A real sleeper.

  15. By rod on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    I love that kid. What a success story.

    He’s my favorite defensive player, then Campbell.

    Great game Sunday!!

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    James Harrison was about the $$, re-signed with Steelers, used us as bargaining chip? Maybe.

  17. By Andy Kw on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    Tony Jefferson is playing so well. I liked him coming out of college and I liked him when he arrived here in Arizona. This guy is only 22 and has been playing well in the starting role. I think Deone Bucannon is our future but should he move into the ILB role. He has speed, a decent tackler, and has the size. I think the weight is a little low but he has a chance to stick to that position if he learns it.

  18. By br in nc on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    AndyKw
    First, long time no chat, how is that crazy thing called life treating you?
    Mine is stupid crazy right now, hurry up, wait…on hold, going here, nope going their, oh wait, there is a third possibility, now back to standing by to stand by, reading to fly out on a moments notice to whatever hotspots they decide my team and I are needed most, so until then I spend my days (and some nights grainy with my team, running them through different scenarios (man a lot of these kids are so young, its funny, we always grow facial hair if we are set to deploy to hostile areas, just the nature of the business, but I will grab one or two of the young PFC’s and start barking at them about shaving, and their staring at me like I’m crazy, (which I’m pretty sure the are right about that!😉 ) but they are like “Master Guns”, I haven’t shaved in 5 days, I promise! Upon further review, if I use a flashlight in daytime, I start to see pretty evenly spread fuzz all over their faces, unbelievable just how young and baby faced they look, or maybe I’am just looking, and getting old!! LOL!!

    As far as Bucannon playing ILB, he would need to add quite a few pounds, but he is no stranger to the position, played quite abit of LB in college, I think if Jefferson keeps improving, they just might lock him. In a combination cafeteria and weight room during the off season and beef him up to make the transition, it seems like a win win situation for all involved, especially during draft day, ILB’s that grade out as first round picks are few and far between each year, and 2015 draft eligible ILB’s are in the same boat, 1 or maybe 2 look like they may be worth a late first round pick, then a couple early 2nd, maybe 1 mid to late second round, then it drops drastically after those few. So if he made the switch, with some coaching up he may solve the TE covering issue, as long as he doesn’t lose a buttload of speed from the added weight, he is pretty solid against the run from what I understand, and with Foote playing out of his mind great football if he keeps it up, I’m pretty sure Cardinals will keep him around, plus still have Minter, to help run stuff! Jefferson can play both safety positions, and looks to be turning into a huge steal away from the jets, I would love to see the Cards give it try at the very least during training camp

  19. By rick on Sep 23, 2014 | Reply

    It was great to hear the crowd when Tyrann was introduced before the game. Everyone went nuts. The fans love him and we wish him nothing but the best! Went to an autograph session with our family recently and he treated everyone great! Go Honey Badger!!

  20. By Coach K on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Honey Badger has to let it go and trust the knee. When he starts flying around without thinking about his knee, he will be back 100%. I expect several players to come back strong against Denver. Especially Coop to replace the struggling Larson at left guard. Larsen has been getting manhandled by defensive lineman the first three games. Cooper needs to get his mindset right and go full speed. We need him now.

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