Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu using Mike Mayock as competitive fuel
It's hard to question Mathieu's productivity on the football field. The 5-foot-9 defender was the 2011 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a Consensus All-American for a Tigers team that went 13-1 and lost to Alabama in the BCS National Championship.
But 2012 was a different story. Mathieu was booted off the LSU squad by head coach Les Miles before the season for a violation of team rules. Mathieu has since admitted that he failed numerous drug tests in college, giving fuel to those who doubted the Cardinals' investment in him.
Mathieu has his own fuel, at least according to his twitter account. The cornerback has taken notice of what some draft experts said about him leading up to his entry into the NFL, especially NFL Network's Mike Mayock.
I'll never forget what mike mayock said about me... I'll blow him a kiss on my first game changing play— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) July 17, 2013
Mayock had Mathieu listed as his 98th-best draft prospect last April and had the following analysis of the former LSU star after the Cardinals picked him. "There's a risk-reward scenario here. What a great opprotunity for this young man. He's going to have a chance to go and use Patrick Peterson as a mentor. There's not a whole lot of cornerbacks there, and I smell opportunity for Tyrann Mathieu."
Not exactly venomous stuff there, but it's possible Mathieu is using Mayock as the face of a composite of analysts who questioned his pro future because of his off-the-field issues.
Mayock took Mathieu's twitter offering in stride Wednesday. "I think he's a playmaker, and on 'Thursday Night Football,' when we've got Arizona, if he makes a big play and blows me a kiss, I'm just going to wave at him and say, 'Way to go, big fella,'" he said Wednesday on NFL Network. "Because I'm rooting for him. I think he's a talented kid. I'm hoping he stays clean off the field, and I'm not sure what I said to motivate him, but I'm rooting for the kid."
Mathieu will have a chance to blow that kiss to Mayock in Week 7 when the Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks in a Thursday night game carried on NFL Network.
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Ron Jaworski: Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer 20th-best QB in NFL
- NFL.com writers: Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald 'primed to regress in 2014'
- Arizona Cardinals' Lorenzo Alexander: Seattle Seahawks play championship game every week
- Arizona Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald beats Seattle Seahawks' Earl Thomas, gets slimed anyway
- Arizona Cardinals ranked 11th in Pro Football Talk's preseason power rankings
- Lorenzo Alexander, AZ Cardinals linebacker - Friday July 18Cardinals linebacker Lorenzo Alexander talks about team expectations for 2014.
- John McClain, Houston Chronicle sportswriter - Friday July 11Houston Chronicle sportswriter John McClain talks about the Rockets’ offseason.
- Steve Keim, AZ Cardinals GM - Friday June 20Keim discusses his players progress so far and his anticipation of future signings.
- Kurt Warner, former AZ Cardinals QB - Thursday June 19How does he feel about being inducted into Cardinals' Ring of Honor?
- Kurt Warner- Former Cardinals QB - Wednesday June 18Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner talks about being inducted into the Ring of Honor.