Cardinals take calculated risk on emotional Mathieu
Apr 26, 2013 at 7:08p ET
Peterson said the Cardinals have asked him to continue to serve as a mentor for Mathieu, but Keim confirmed the organization is taking more steps than that, including placing several stipulations in Mathieu’s contract, one of which requires a weekly drug test.
“They want to be able to trust me. They want to be able to know that I’ve crossed that bridge,” Mathieu said. “If it’s a drug test on a weekly basis, that’s what I have to do. If it’s meeting with counselors, therapists and sports psychologists, those are things I’m going to have to meet. It doesn’t matter what they put in my contract. I’m happy that they gave me the second chance.”
If Mathieu can take advantage of the opportunity, the Cardinals have the potential for a dynamic secondary. Arians said Friday that he expects Mathieu to play safety, but he also envisions a scenario in which both Peterson and Mathieu — two electric players with the ball — are back to return punts.
“Who are you going to kick it to?” Arians asked. “You can have a lot of fun with that one. They are both great athletes. They can throw. We can have all kinds of trick plays. We’ll have a lot of fun with that. We have probably the two most premier punt returners to come out of college football in a long time.”
On the flip side, if Mathieu stumbles again, in what feels like his 50th opportunity to shape up, all those Keim statements about character will feel like hollow lies.
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