Houston’s Got A Badger.

I remember when Tyrann Mathieu was still playing for Les Miles at LSU and the talent he had. The scouts were watching and I’ve often said for many years that as a defensive player when your name comes up in team meetings first, you’re a special player and that’s exactly what he is. He developed a reputation for causing turnovers and he set an SEC record with 11 career forced fumbles and he earned the nickname, the “honey badger”. In 2011, he won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the best defensive player and he was even a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. In 2012, he was dismissed off the team for violating rules. When he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, he was picked up in the third round in the 2013 draft. After spending the start of his entire career in Arizona, he was released last week and signed a free agent deal with the Houston Texans.

When healthy, he’s a top-five safety in the league. He plays with reckless abandon and he leaves it all on the football field. He’s small for the position standing at only 5’9, but he plays much bigger than what he’s listed at and does everything you could ask a defender to do. He has the speed to cover ground and stay with a receiver stride for stride and deflect a pass. He can tackle well in open space and can move from sideline to sideline in run defense and swarms to the football, after all, he made a name for himself with his ability to stop the run. He can be loaded into the box and come in on a safety blitz and get a sack or two on the quarterback. He’s always got his eyes on the quarterback and he can intercept a pass at any time and possibly take it to the house for six points. He can defend receivers tight at the line of scrimmage and play off in a zone read. Some of his peers around the league don’t even consider him a safety and Mathieu himself has even referred to himself as a hybrid. He just knows where to be to make the best play at the right time.

This is a good addition to the Houston Texans. If he can play like he did back in 2015 before his unfortunate injury, Houston’s defense will be a force.