Updated Aug 13, 2013 - 8:20 am
Raves continue to pour in for Arizona Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu
So grateful that the @AZCardinals took this chance on me....— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) August 9, 2013
The defensive back, who just a year ago was suspended and then kicked off the LSU football team for his off-field behavior, made the most of his opportunity against the Green Bay Packers.
Mathieu played 38 defensive snaps and 11 on special teams, and made an impact in both phases. The former Heisman Trophy finalist had two tackles, including a sack, broke up a pass and returned two punts for 26 yards, including a 24-yarder.
After Mathieu's debut, the experts sounded off.
Herman Edwards, who spent 10 seasons in the NFL as a defensive back and eight more as a head coach, liked what he saw from number 32 Friday and really likes what the Cardinals are building in their secondary.
"He is a difference maker," Edwards said on Monday. "They have two difference makers in the back end of their secondary now -- Patrick Peterson and Mathieu.
"These are guys that actually can catch the football. Now the danger of this, what comes when guys can catch in the back end of the secondary, they can run off to score."
That's exactly what the Cardinals are counting on from a player who wreaked havoc on the SEC as a sophomore in 2011 when he forced six fumbles, recovered four, had two interceptions and found the end zone four times.
"The guy has great instincts, something you can not coach," Edwards said. "This is what you like about this young man. He's going to make a lot of big plays, especially if they use him as a slot player -- in other words, a nickel back."
- The 5: Top storylines heading into Arizona Cardinals training camp
- Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson and Michael Floyd rank high on ESPN's list of top under-25 players
- ESPN: Arizona Cardinals loaded with under-25 talent
- Arizona Cardinals place Tyrann Mathieu and Alameda Ta'amu on PUP list
- Cardinals receive 'B' offseason grade from USA Today
- Bickley Blast - Thursday July 24What will the future hold for the Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald?
- Dr. Cynthia Arnson - Immigration and Central America Expert - Tuesday July 22Why are we seeing this influx of immigrant minors?
- Mike Sando, ESPN NFL insider - Tuesday July 22ESPN NFL insider Mike Sando gives updates from around the NFC West as teams head into training camp.
- 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.