Arizona Cardinals Bruce Arians addresses the media following the first day of OTAs.
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azcentral sports insiders Kent Somers and Bob McManaman react to the big news from the first day of Cardinals OTAs. Video: Rob Schumacher
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The NFLPA has released its 2017 Rising 50 list of players poised to break out and rank among next season’s top-sellers in officially licensed merchandise and the Cardinals running back is No. 1.
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers discuss the latest on Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer and the NBA playoffs.
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Shot Clock: Colin Kaepernick is better than Blaine Gabbert, right? So why did the Cardinals not sign him? Also, Zack Greinke has his Randy Johnson moment … what does it mean for Diamondbacks?
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With camp starting tomorrow, players reported today and reporter Kent Somers lays out the future and what the team hopes for it.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers gives some insight into the releasing of Daryl Washington and why it was probably best for both team and player.
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Cardinals draft picks had some time to sit down and answer some questions about their experiences and expectations of the future on Thursday.
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azcentral’s Kent Somers and Dan Bickley talk about the Cardinals decision to release linebacker Daryl Washington.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Bob McManaman weigh in on the Cardinals’ signing of Blaine Gabbert.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians about mini-camp, his excitement about undrafted rookies, LB Daryl Washington and QB Blaine Gabbert at Steak 44 on Wednesday. Michael Chow/azcentral sports
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians about Arians’ annual fundraiser at Steak 44 on Wednesday. Michael Chow/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Daryl Washington possibly returning to the Cardinals and how James Harden can’t beat the Spurs by himself.
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The Arizona Cardinals announced Thursday that former St. Louis Cardinals QB Jim Hart would be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor this season.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers discuss what to expect from the Cardinals’ 2017 NFL draft class.
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Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley assess the Arizona Cardinals’ selection of Haason Reddick in Round 1 of the NFL draft and discuss the needs the team still has to address.
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Check out how Cardinals fans were feeling during the team’s 2017 NFL draft party.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers reacts to the introductory press conference for Haason Reddick and what the Cardinals might do next.
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With plenty of defense options on the table and all the quarterbacks gone, the Cardinals elected to go linebacker and Kent and Bob break down the reasons why.
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The Cardinals have made 18 picks in the first round of the NFL draft since 2000. Take a look at the standouts.
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With the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, can the Cardinals afford to repeat their strategy with their last two first-round picks?
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers have the latest on the Cardinals draft and the reinstatement of Daryl Washington.
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The Cardinals are hosting draft parties Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Great Lawn outside of University of Phoenix Stadium.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Jay Dieffenbach discuss possible Cardinals strategy in the NFL draft, views on picking a quarterback and more.
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Bob McManaman ranks the top special teams players in the upcoming draft.
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Arizona Cardinals’ general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have found some of their best players in the third round.
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Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald and Chandler Jones discuss the importance of giving back and some bets amongst Cardinals players before the Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday at Salt River Fields. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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Cardinals GM Steve Keim has a tough task when it comes to finding quality talent and character to add to the team through the draft.
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azcentral sports Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Fostee Rucker. || Video by Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Cardinals defensive tackle Frostee Rucker discusses learning from last year’s expectations and adding Karlos Dansby and other veterans. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Breaking down the top three games of the Cardinals’ 2017 season.
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman discuss the Cardinals’ potential use (or overuse?) of running back David Johnson.
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Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is ready for the 2017 NFL schedule to be announced.
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Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim talk about the upcoming NFL draft. || David Kadlubowski/azcentral.com
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Carmelo, a dancer, and the Cards’ quiet, classy young superstar.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald discuss Fitzgerald’s charity softball tournament on Saturday.
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The Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald joined azcentral sports’ Kent Somers to discuss the team and the upcoming season.
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USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero recaps the NFL owners meeting and the proposed league rule changes.
USA TODAY Sports
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Bob McManaman and Kent Somers at the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Bruce Arianas likes full-time officials, centralized replay and says there’s 1 QB in upcoming draft who’s plug-and-play. Video: Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Coaches of the National Football Conference take questions from the media in Phoenix on March 29, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers and other reporters talk with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians at the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Video by Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Bob McManaman of azcentral sports talks to AFC coaches at the annual NFL owners meeting at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Bob McManaman and Kent Somers at the NFL owner’s meetings: Coaches of AFC teams meet the media at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Video: Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians discusses free agency, quarterbacks and cornerbacks in the draft on Wednesday night. Kent Somers/azcentral sports
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Bruce Arians on Deone Bucannon, John Brown, more
What Deone Bucannon’s injury means for Cardinals
David Johnson No. 1 on NFL Players Association list
No throws for Cards QB, cheap shot in NBA?
Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?
Kent Somers talks Cardinals rookies
Kent Somers talks Daryl Washington departure
Cardinals rookies take to the microphone
Cardinals release linebacker Daryl Washington: Somers and Bickley discuss
Shot Clock: Gabbert a terrible fit for Cards
Somers sits down with Arians on Cardinals’ offseason
Bruce Arians talks about his annual fundraisers
Daryl Washington-Cardinals meeting: What happened?
Jim Hart to be inducted into Cardinals Ring of Honor
Shot Clock: Cards picks make instant impact?
Shot Clock: Tap brakes on Haason Reddick pick?
Sights and sounds from Cardinals draft party
Somers talks Reddick and possible 2nd and 3rd round picks
Kent Somers and Bob McManaman talk Cardinals draft of Haason Reddick
Cardinals’ top first round NFL draft picks since 2000
Can Cardinals afford to be patient with another first-round pick?
Cards face choices with draft, Daryl Washington
What to know about the Cardinals’ draft party
Shot Clock: Cardinals trade up for QB?
Top 5 special teams players of 2017 NFL draft
Keim, Arians striking gold in draft’s third round
Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones talk about Celebrity Softball Game
Cardinals looking for ‘football character’ in NFL draft
Kent Somers talks with Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker
Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker on expectations, adding Karlos Dansby
Top 3 games in Cardinals schedule
Cards playing dangerous game with RB Johnson?
Bruce Arians wants to know date of London game
Keim on Cardinals’ NFL draft prep
Shot Clock: New face of Cardinals franchise?
Larry Fitzgerald holding 7th annual charity softball tournament
Larry Fitzgerald 1-on-1 with Kent Somers
Goodell says he’ll be in New England for opener
NFL meetings in Phoenix: On Bruce Arians, new rules, the draft
NFC coaches take questions at NFL owners meeting
Kent Somers talks with Bruce Arians at NFC coaches breakfast
Bob McManaman talks to AFC coaches
At the NFL owner’s meetings: AFC head coaches meet the media
Cardinals’ Arians talks free agency and draft
The Badger is bothered.
Something is different this year about the Honey Badger – Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu. He won’t come right out and tell you what it is, but you know it’s different. You feel it in his words, in his eyes, even in his new-but-old Honey Badger hairdo, if that’s even possible.
“Enter at your own risk,” a fellow Cardinals defensive back whispered as reporters closed in on Mathieu during the only day of media availability this week after the team’s first official day of organized team activities.
Whether that was a warning or a weird welcome remains unclear. All that is certain is that Mathieu, the undersized man-child of Arizona’s stellar defense, looks and sounds very different as he prepares for his fifth NFL season.
Maybe it’s because he hasn’t been able to get through a full season without suffering some type of injury, big or small. Perhaps it’s because he’s seen so much violence in his home state of Louisiana and got so exhausted preaching patience and peace on social media that he took a vacation from Twitter.
Who really knows with the Badger? This seemingly different attitude could just be a new way to motivate himself. But when he speaks, and doesn’t really offer in-depth specifics, it makes you wonder. Like this answer when asked why he feels like he has to change his attitude this year:
“I think at times you tend to put other people’s opinions and expectations over your own and I think it messes with you mentally, emotionally, spiritually, so you’ve just got to quiet the noise, focus on yourself, think about yourself, and get better within yourself.”
But who has higher expectations for Mathieu than Mathieu? Is someone else challenging him or calling him out? Is it about the five-year contract extension he signed that made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL coupled with his inability to stay on the football field to earn all that money?
“Not at all. Not at all,” he said. “Like I said, it’s really noise. Sometimes, you don’t perform up to expectations and people judge you, people critique you. Sometimes in life, you hit road bumps. People act like they never hit road bumps, so it’s just really important to quiet the noise, focus on yourself and just get better.”
According to coach Bruce Arians, Mathieu just needs to stay healthy. Arians knows what type of impact player the defensive back can be when he’s at his capable best. It’s why Mathieu was on his way to possibly capturing NFC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2015 until suffering the second torn ACL of his brief professional career.
Last year, it was a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the final six weeks of the season.
“That’d be it, stay healthy,” Arians said. “The season he was (having), he had a chance to be Defensive Player of the Year, but you’ve got to finish it out.”
Mathieu won’t look back; his eyes are on the moment and what he kept saying over and over, that he is here to “win the day.” This new outlook means there will be no bold proclamations, no personal goal-setting, no more “Savage Seasons.” That’s what Mathieu called 2015 when he was winning, every week, until getting injured.
Now, it appears, he’s just going to keep his head down and move forward quietly – but with a big thump every time he meets a ball carrier.
“I don’t really have any goals this year,” he said. “I’m just trying to attack every day, win every day, and just focus on everything day by day. But I don’t have any goals. I’m not even thinking about tomorrow. I just want to win the day.
“I think at times we tend to get ahead of ourselves. I just want to own the day, attack the day, think about the day and not worry about any expectations I may have in September.”
Mathieu said he is returning to his football “roots.” Only he really knows what the means, but apparently, it has a ton to do with confidence. And that, he said, is important.
“Yeah, I mean extremely important,” he said. “Ever since I was a kid, my game was pretty much built on confidence, being confident in myself, believing in myself. I’ve really just got to get back to my roots, tune out all the noise, and just really focus on myself and getting better each and every day.”
Whether Mathieu’s words come off as cryptic or straight from the heart is up for interpretation. But reading between the lines, it appears as if the Honey Badger is back, albeit a little wiser with a little more introspection.
“I’m just more confident,” he said. “And I’m just having more fun. When you’re injured or struggling through injuries or you’re having an up-and-down year, you tend to lose confidence and you’re not really having that much fun. So it’s important for me to just have fun this year and not really have any expectations or goals, just really attack each and every day.”
The team signed Grambling State wide receiver Chad Williams, its third-round draft choice, to a four year contract on Thursday.
Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.