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NFL roundup: Mathieu will let his actions speak for him

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.

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.

--San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy impressed with his first two picks: right tackle D. J. Fluker and inside linebacker Manti Te'o.

Fluker, the first selection out of Alabama, and Te'o, the celebrated second-rounder out of Notre Dame, didn't disappoint in delivering first impressions.

"(Te'o) did a great job," McCoy said. "Like we talked about D.J. being the vocal one on offense, he was the vocal player on defense. That's why we took him where we did and we're looking for great things from him."

---In his one season of major-college football, Bears first-round pick Kyle Long started his only five games at left guard. But he lined up exclusively at right guard during the weekend's rookie minicamp practice inside the Walter Payton Center.

The adjustment isn't a problem, he said, but Long won't be back with the Bears until training camp begins in late July. Because of an NFL rule that prohibits a rookie from practicing with his pro team before his school's final exams have been completed, Long will miss all the OTAs (May 13-June 6), and the full-team minicamp (June 11-13). Oregon's finals aren't completed until June 14.

---Armonty Bryant participated in the Cleveland Browns three-day minicamp, and he will be on the roster when the Browns get together for a mandatory three-day minicamp in June -- as long as he has no more brushes with the law.

Bryant has become a test case for first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski.

Bryant was arrested earlier this month and charged with DUI. His blood alcohol content was .098.

---Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak, who knows he must prove himself quickly after a 6-10 record last year, has been aggressive in making changes this offseason.

Based on this weekend's rookie minicamp, first-round pick Chance Warmack has virtually already been placed atop the depth chart at right guard, while second-round pick Justin Hunter will have every opportunity to show himself a playmaker at wide receiver and move right into a mix of talent that includes Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt and Nate Washington.

----Kansas City head coach Andy Reid saw plenty of missteps in his team's rookie minicamp, but he may not have been prepared for a quarterback who is not accustomed to being in a huddle.

"I'm not used to the huddle," said undrafted free-agent quarterback Tyler Bray. "We (Tennessee) did no-huddle and hand signals. Now I have to hear the play caller, go in the huddle and try to make sure everyone knows what they're doing."

---For Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, the rookie minicamp was a promising prelude.

"As I told the rookies at the end of practice today, I felt it was clearly one of our better rookie camps, if not the best," McCarthy said. "I'll let this final day of video make that clear. But, I thought the practices increased as far as the production and the efficiency, seeing guys get on the same page. I felt the work was very good."

---The Carolina Panthers used two top-50 picks on defensive tackles, and first-round pick Star Lotulelei and second-round selection Kawann Short began working together in the rookie minicamp over the weekend.

"When you draft guys like that you have an opportunity to keep them together for a long time," head coach Ron Rivera said. "They can play together for 6, 7, 8 years down the line and they'll develop that rapport that you see when a group has been together a while."

--- Lawrence Okoye has never played a down of football in his life, but he did not look out of place during the San Francisco 49ers rookies minicamp.

It'll be the job of defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to make something of Okoye, a 6-foot-6, 304-pound rugby star turned British Olympian in the discus.

"Well, we have an expert in that regard, and that's Jim Tomsula, who coached in NFL Europe," head coach Jim Harbaugh said. "He has done this a number of times. And I can't think of another coach who's coaching who's better-suited to take on that challenge."

---Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young ran into more trouble off the field on Friday, when he was arrested for the third time in less than a week.

Young broke into a house in San Clemente, Calif., according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, and then fled on foot before he was apprehended by police after a struggle.

Young, currently an NFL free agent, was waived by the Lions earlier this year. He then picked up briefly by the St. Louis Rams before he was released again.

---The Indianapolis Colts made two roster moves, signing cornerback Allen Chapman and waiving cornerback Nigel Malone.

Chapman was signed after a tryout in the Colts' rookie minicamp. Malone signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 2.
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