At his introductory press conference Thursday, Arizona Cardinals third-round pick Tyrann Mathieu talked at length about learning what it takes to be a true professional.
In short, the former LSU standout wants a fresh start. He wants to move on from his well-known past and that doesn’t just include his off-the-field transgressions.
During his rise to national prominence in 2011, Mathieu commonly was referred to by his nickname the “Honey Badger” more so than his actual surname. Coined to honor his reckless abandon on the football field, it was a nickname and a persona that the former Heisman Trophy Finalist embraced at the time.
But times have apparently changed.
“I understand that a lot of people who are in love with the ‘Honey Badger’ won’t let it go,” Mathieu said. “For me, going forward I want people to recognize me as Tyrann Mathieu.
“That’s my biggest thing. I don’t have anything against the ‘Honey Badger’ it’s just that the ‘Honey Badger’ happened at such a dark time in my life. I’m just really focusing on Tyrann right now.”
Mathieu did make one caveat to his new rule, though.
“If the little kids out there want to call me ‘Honey Badger’ they can do that,” said the Cardinals rookie.