The “Honey Badger is back” theme has hit high gear, and Tyrann Mathieu has felt optimistic about his upcoming 2015 season for a while now. While the tests of true tackling and NFL football is still weeks away when training camp and actual games start, Mathieu is embracing what he can show in the current OTAs. That included a nice play during 11-on-11 Thursday, when Mathieu scrambled to make an athletic interception as the offense was working at coming out inside their own 20. Mathieu grabbed the wayward pass and ran it back for a touchdown, much to the delight of his defensive teammates and coordinator James Bettcher.
By Mathieu’s count, it was his third interception of offseason work.
Thursday’s play “is an indication or a sign,” Mathieu said. “I feel good out there. Way more fluid. It just feels natural again.”
That’s the same way Bruce Arians has described Mathieu, who never quite got all the way back last season from his torn ACL late in 2013 and also dealt with a broken thumb. “He was playing with one arm and one leg,” Arians said. “He was playing not to lose, and he never played that way.”
In 2013, he did look a lot like the guy who made the pick Thursday. It’s early, but it’s always good to see the tangible proof of what everyone is talking about.
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