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Mathieu will let actions speak for him with Cardinals

The SportsXchange

As expected, much of the attention at the Arizona Cardinals' rookie minicamp over the weekend was on defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, the team's third-round pick.

In fact, that focus began the day before the camp opened, when the media talked to the talented but troubled player formerly of LSU and formerly known as the Honey Badger.

He was a controversial selection by the Cardinals, who acknowledged the riskiness of selecting a player with a history of trouble, including chronic marijuana use. Mathieu again asserted that he has changed and will make the Cardinals look good for the chance they took.

Mathieu once again answered many of the same questions that he believes will stop some day, when he stays out of trouble.

"Just letting my actions speak for themselves, I think that solves everything," Mathieu said. "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."

The Cardinals are playing Mathieu at free safety, and the idea is to use him in a variety of spots in the secondary. It's similar to how he was used at LSU. He said he prefers to leave the Honey Badger nickname in the past, as an identity that was part of his troubles, but he acknowledges fans may not let that happen.

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

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians acknowledged that he made the first mistake regarding the rookie minicamp, saying he didn't check the calendar and did not know the final day of the camp was Mother's Day.

Otherwise, the three-day camp went as well as be expected, at least judging by the limited access given to media. Reporters were allowed to attend just one of the five sessions, a dramatic departure from years past.

It wasn't that big of deal, however, because the important work at camp was being done in the class room, not on the field. New concepts were introduced daily. There was no time for review. That will come this week when the entire team gathers for the start of organized team activities.

"They heard a whole new offense and defense this morning," Arians said Friday. "I was really pleased with the execution. It looked like they were in very good condition.

"We haven't really slowed it down as coaches. We've thrown it at them just like we did with veterans at the first minicamp."
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