The "Honey Badger" will be playing in his first real football game since 2011 when he was a sophomore at LSU. Mathieu can't wait for Sunday to get here.
"Oh, I'm extremely excited," Mathieu told usatoday.com. "I'm looking forward to going out there, making some big plays. But overall, I'm just happy about playing in my first professional football game. I know I'm going to be nervous. I probably won't be able to sleep. But after the first play, I'm thinking it'll all go away and it will just be right back to football."
Mathieu can play safety and cornerback and gives the Red Birds an added dimension by being a talented punt returner as well. He'll team with Patrick Peterson to give the Cardinals two of the most dynamic special teams players in the league. He'll also be a huge asset in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles' nickel and dime packages.
The Cardinals had one of the best young defensive units in the NFL last season and Mathieu should help them create turnovers because he is skilled at stripping the ball away from opposing players. As a rookie he still has a lot to learn but he has a great deal of ability.
"I've got a long way to go, man, but I'm definitely proud of the progress I've made and the person I'm becoming," Mathieu explained to usatoday.com. "But I definitely still got a long road ahead of me."
That road starts on Sunday.
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