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 Post subject: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:11 pm 
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http://thesidelineview.com/columns/ncaa ... gets-stung

Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung

By John Harris
August 11, 2012
Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
Tyrann Mathieu was recently dismissed from the LSU football team.
Photo: WBRZ

As I've listened to many and read even more opine about the loss of LSU's All-American candidate Tyrann Mathieu, I'm struck by the revisionist sort of history that seemingly applies in this situation. Now, don't let me sit here and tell you he's not worth the coverage and not worthy of the hype. Quite the opposite. But, let's discuss what the true impact is to both LSU and to his draft stock in the future?
The LSU defense

I said this earlier today on Twitter but I feel I need to expand on my thoughts. Defensively, there wasn't a big SEC game in which Mathieu honestly impacted it. Defensively. He didn't do much against Alabama in either game. He recovered a fumble and had eight tackles against Arkansas. He didn't even play against Auburn as he sat out a one game suspension for failing a drug test due to synthetic weed usage. Against UGA in the SEC championship game? Four tackles.

Thinking of it that way, they're not going to miss him at all, right? No, not necessarily. He actually was better used in the team's Mustang package as an outside linebacker/safety. Think about it: Which defensive plays do you remember from last year? You remember the interception off the edge against West Virginia. You may also remember the strip sack and return for a touchdown early in the season against Kentucky. Both of those plays were a result of him playing a hybrid safety/outside linebacker position where he had a ton of freedom to blitz the edge and make plays in space.

From that position, he led the team in tackles and for a guy that is only 5'8"/5'9" and 180 pounds tops, he is an excellent tackler. However, he is not Deion Sanders in coverage. He's not a lockdown corner and will never be one. His football IQ is off the charts and that is what the defense will miss the most in 2012. His absence will perhaps keep Defensive Coordinator John Chavis from running his Mustang (6 DB) package more this season. That's where he'll be missed tremendously.

In my estimation, in base packages, had LSU lost S Eric Reid or either of the DE Sam Montgomery or Barkevious Mingo, the Tigers would've been in a bit worse shape. When LSU goes to its sub packages this year though, that's when LSU will struggle a bit, especially early in the season.

One final aspect of his absence that'll hurt is his ability to force fumbles. Trust me, having played for as long as I did and many others who play will second this, that's an innate ability a player has or not. He has it. Without a doubt.
The LSU special teams

Oh boy, to the LSU special teams this was the Hindenburg going down in flames, the Titanic hitting the glacier and Bruce Jenner marrying a Kardashian all rolled into one. Whether it was returning punts, covering punts or making something out of kickoffs too, he was the most dominant one man special teams wrecking crew we've seen in quite some time.

Some guys make a career out of returns. Some are demons making tackles on nearly every return team. Rarely do we ever see a guy who does both of those and also loves to be a part of both of those aspects of special teams.

He changed the Oregon game, the Arkansas game and the SEC championship game against UGA with plays on special teams.

Now, some will say that "well, teams wouldn't kick him the ball". Fine, give me 10+ yards of field position advantage on every punt and my offense will kill yours. If he's worth only that because teams won't punt him the ball, so be it, we'll take it. That's now gone and so is his magnificent coverage on punts and kicks. This is the area that'll suffer the most struggle without #7.
His future

If we could only look into the Magic-8 Ball and see what his mindset is after today's announcement... Will this be a lesson he learns from and changes his life or just a bump in the road on his way out of football by age 24? If it's a true wake-up call, he's too good a football player to not be in the NFL, but the biggest concern right now for his next level future is the multiple failed drug tests.

Talking to many scouts, most of them have the same thought - recreational users we can live with, but if you have to have it and can't walk away from it, we'll take you off our draft board. Failed drug tests -- plural -- signify you have an issue and it needs to dealt with in a manner more so than just transferring to an FCS school.

Of course, everyone and their brother is referencing St. Louis Rams CB Janoris Jenkins, formerly of the University of Florida and the fact that he had similar "issues" in Gainesville. It's a good comparison but not a 100% analogous one.

These are still two different players, even though they're both labeled as cornerbacks. Jenkins is bigger and a more true corner talent than Mathieu. Jenkins is a bona-fide cover corner with the desire to be physical. Mathieu is not a lockdown corner in that vein, even though he's more than willing to tackle at the point of attack. Mathieu's value is in his ability to always be around the ball and make plays in space.

There's a need for that in the NFL, no question, but there have been some great college playmakers that never get a legitimate shot because of lack of size or outright speed. At Mathieu's size, some teams just won't be intrigued no matter how many impact plays he produced. Now? There will be others who turn the page quickly as well.

He'll be the most talked about prospect when he does decide it's time to head to the NFL, because for the next year or two, he'll be in relative anonymity playing FCS football, a la Jenkins.

There's little question that Mathieu's dismissal will have a ripple effect throughout college football; hopefully now you'll truly understand why and how.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:50 pm 
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All of my friends think that he was a lock to be a first round pick and make a lot of money in the NFL. I have always thought he was more Eric Weddle than Ed Reed (in terms of being in the right place and making plays) he is small, he does not particularly have special speed, and when he was in coverage he was often a liability. Curious to see how he works in the league best case he becomes Cortland Finnegan at worse he is a decent nickel back.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:18 pm 
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1st round pick? Doubt it. His lack of size would hurt him as a corner, and safety. There aren't many short safeties out there. Bob Sanders comes to mind, with Sanders being about 5-9/205. Mathieu is listed at around 5-9/180. He would need to bulk up considerably.

His return skills and versatility to play a role in the nickel might have gotten him a 2nd round pick. But a first round? Nope. He's about as good an NFL prospect as Javier Arenas.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:39 pm 
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:P Just be happy you don't have to hear Musberger say "honeybadger" 8500x this season!

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:25 am 
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http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/ ... u-arrested


Tyrann Mathieu arrested
October, 25, 2012
Oct 25
11:08
PM ET
By Edward Aschoff | ESPN.com

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Any chance Tyrann Mathieu had of returning to LSU's football team likely vanished with his recent arrest for simple possession of marijuana.

Mathieu
Mathieu, also known as the Honey Badger, was arrested and charged Thursday along with three former LSU football players, including former quarterback Jordan Jefferson, after officers found the marijuana in Mathieu's apartment, according to the police report. The report also said that officers found a marijuana grinder, a digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana inside the apartment.

Mathieu was dismissed from LSU's football team over the summer, after reportedly failing a drug test. He then entered a rehab center in Houston and later returned to LSU to resume classes with hopes of playing football somewhere in 2013.

That place likely won't be LSU now.

Remember when coach Les Miles said he expected there to be a happy ending for Mathieu in all of this? Well, this certainly isn't what he meant. Mathieu appeared to be doing all the right things. He was getting help and getting back to school without focusing on football. While it looked like he wanted to return to LSU's football team in the future, he knew it was going to be a tough road back.

He had to stay clean -- and he had to show he was ready to put his team first. Thursday's incident proved that Mathieu wasn't ready for that, and it really is sad to see someone with all that ability waste it again and again.

The Honey Badger was such an iconic figure in college football. As the original YouTube video claimed, Mathieu really did take what he wanted when he stepped out onto the playing field. Wherever the ball went, he was sure to follow. If LSU needed a spark or a big play, the Honey Badger was there to provide it.

Now, it looks like LSU can kiss any hope of that returning in the future goodbye. If Mathieu wants another shot at football, it might be best at this point if he and LSU officially part ways. His name was already muddied after a Sports Illustrated story revealed that Mathieu might have violated NCAA rules by promoting a nightclub while he was still a member of the team, and this arrest all but shuts the door on the Honey Badger's return to LSU's football team.

It wasn't the ending he was looking for, but here's to hoping he eventually finds one that makes him happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Its amazing that he still smokes weed after everything that it cost him. If I was to do something and it cost me thousands of dollars you better believe that I will not be doing that in the future. I could some how understand if it was a drug with addictive qualities, but its weed, really weed? He pretty much gave up a chance to play in the NFL for weed.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:12 pm 
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Oh he'll still get a shot. What will end up happening is he'll wind up being a late round pick, probably 5th round or so, lose a lot of money. He'll get put into the program. If he gets serious and stays clean, then he'll go on and have a solid NFL career, and the GM that drafted him will look like a genius for getting such production from a 5th round pick, or he won't and get bounced out of the league in 2-3 years and the GM will still look like a genius because he barely invested anything in him.

The people that are killing the NFL future of Mathieu is an overreaction. What will hurt his NFL career more than anything is a bad Combine workout or slow 40 time. People didn't really care that Vontaze Burfict was an undisciplined player. But they did care when he ran a 5.2 40.

If Mathieu puts in the work from now on, then he'll wind up being OK. At this point, I'd have no problem "taking a chance" on him in the 3rd/4th round.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:18 pm 
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Looks like he'll play for the Raiders or Bengals at this pace.

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 Post subject: Re: Tyrann Mathieu Gets Stung
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:16 pm 
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https://twitter.com/schadjoe/status/274164233757933568

Former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu plans to announce today he is entering the next NFL draft, a source said

- Joe Schad (@schadjoe)

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