The "Honey Badger" will start at free safety in place of injured Rashad Johnson when the Red Birds host their pre-season opener at University of Phoenix Stadium. Johnson has a mild ankle and knee sprain, injuries that occurred when he broke up a pass late in team practice on Monday.
So is Mathieu. The third round draft pick from LSU had a 12-yard sack, a tackle for loss, a pass defended, two special teams tackles and a 24-yard punt return in Arizona's impressive 17-0 victory over the Green Bay Packers in their pre-season opener last Friday.
He has had a brilliant training camp so far and looks like a real play maker, just like he was during his college days at LSU. Even when Johnson comes back, Mathieu will still see plenty of playing time in Arizona's nickel and dime packages.
His teammates are telling him to just keep doing his job.
"For the most part everybody's just telling me to play my role [and] everything's going to come to me," Mathieu explained to espn.com. "Don't get caught up in the media and all the hype that's going on right now, just go out there and keep doing what you're doing."
What he has been doing has been pretty impressive so far.
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