Mathieu impressive, but time will define success

Sep 19, 2013, 10:27 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2013, 12:16 am

It’s nearly impossible not to be impressed with Tyrann Mathieu at this point.

Or with Cardinals GM Steve Keim for taking him in the third round of the draft.

Mathieu has stood out on the field and blended in off it, the perfect marriage for such a high-risk/high-reward player. For those who thought it was a needless risk at that stage in the draft (yeah, this guy right here) watching his early impact has been a bit of a revelation.

For Mathieu — and Keim, for that matter — there is no visible finish line to define this as a success. Much like Vontaze Burfict in Cincinnati, it might take a year or two, or more, before you feel safe in declaring that he is the player and person you know now instead of the one you knew.

This is a big week for Mathieu, returning home to New Orleans. Friends, family and diversions await him. But there was one tiny bit of information — just a short quote really — that made me feel even better about Mathieu’s transformation.

He was asked about how many ticket requests he had received for the game. Mathieu laughed and said he changed his number so, you know, none.

I’m not sure why, but that struck me as an incredibly responsible thing to do. On the surface, he’s trying to avoid the interference of dozens of people who want something from him. That’s just one more thing to worry about for a guy who already has plenty on his plate. And if that’s all that it is, then that’s good enough for me.

But was there something more? Has he decided he needs to leave some of those bad influences in the rear view mirror? Is he turning his back on his boys?

Maybe I’m reading too much into it; certainly wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been accused of that.

Either way, Mathieu continues to hit all the right notes. Just as the new GM had hoped.

Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the NFL game against the ...
Wills Rice

The 33rd Team: Cardinals’ Kyler Murray in Tier 1 of NFL players under 25

The 33rd Team ranked Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray the seventh best player in the league age 25 and under.
18 hours ago
DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks catches a pass for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions dur...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Seattle Seahawks

After taking a look at the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams, it's time to turn the attention to the Seattle Seahawks:
18 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe....
Sam Graveline

Shook: Marquise Brown best Cards’ candidate to be 1st-time Pro Bowler

Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown has yet to make the Pro Bowl in his career, but NFL.com's Nick Shook thinks that could change in 2022.
2 days ago
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams talks with players before mini camp on June 8, 2022 a...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Los Angeles Rams

After diving into the 49ers' current state of affairs, it's time to take a look at the 2021 Super Bowl champion Rams.
2 days ago
Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45) pulls away from Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Isaia...
Wills Rice

PFF’s Linsey: Arizona Cardinals have NFL’s No. 23 ranked roster for 2022

Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey has the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 23 ranked roster heading into the 2022 season.
2 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
3 days ago
Mathieu impressive, but time will define success