Tyrann Mathieu poised for fresh start in Arizona

Says kids can call him Honey Badger if they want Brad Biggs

Print This May 10, 2013, 10:37 AM EST

Tyrann Mathieu wants to let his actions speak for him as he re-starts a football life with the Arizona Cardinals a little less than a year after being booted off the team at LSU.

The Cardinals took a gamble on Mathieu in the third round and it’s a risk with a high ceiling. The team is moving him to free safety where he could be a playmaker. Mathieu is maintaining a positive approach as his pro career begins today with a rookie minicamp.

Just letting my actions speak for themselves,” Mathieu said, according to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “I think that solves everything. I’m looking forward to it. I definitely have a long journey in front of me, definitely going to be some challenges but I think I’m prepared for it.”

It speaks volumes if Mathieu does the right thing. He reportedly failed more than 10 drug tests while in school and then had a marijuana arrest after he was kicked off the team. He proclaims he’s been clean since October and wants to leave the past – and his Honey Badger nickname – in the past.

“I don’t have anything against the ‘Honey Badger,’” he said. “It’s just that ‘Honey Badger’ happened at such a dark time in my life. If the little kids out there want to call me the Honey Badger, they can do that.”

The Cardinals are hopeful that cornerback Patrick Peterson, a teammate of Mathieu’s from LSU, can be a positive influence in the transition to the NFL.

“He’s going to be extremely important, probably as important as my girlfriend,” Mathieu said . “He’s probably going to be everywhere with me, walking around with me everywhere. I am just going to follow Patrick’s routine.”

We’ll see if Mathieu can follow through on his words and excel in Arizona.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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