NFL scouts, coaches and executives waited a full calendar year to finally see Tyrann Mathieu work out on a football field. However, when that chance finally arrived, the Honey Badger was no where to be found.
Or at least, so it seemed.
Mathieu was famously kicked off LSU by coach Les Miles after failing multiple drug tests, less than a year after finishing out his true sophomore season as a Heisman Trophy finalist. In that season, the short, undersized and comparatively slow Mathieu forced a school-record 11 fumbles. It was his tenacity that left the tough-guy types at the professional level drooling, daydreaming over the possibilities of moving such an aggressive player all over the field schematically.
The Honey Badger had originally wanted to remain enrolled at LSU, taking classes as a normal student in his junior year. The hope was to stay clean for a year and then return to the team as a senior, earning the redemption he told the sports media he so desperately yearned for.
It would not quite work out that way, however.
Mathieu was arrested for marijuana possession along with three other friends, and spent time in jail — not a good sign in terms of turning around his behavior. From there, Mathieu was kicked off campus, forced out of school altogether. There was no where else to go but home and then rehab, and so that’s where he went. Upon his release, the tortured young man realized he could not even go home. Sports Illustrated allegedly harassed his family for interviews for months, until finally he moved into the house of the family of former teammate Patrick Peterson.
The hope was that Mathieu would train down in the new, South Florida location. When Peterson’s season with Arizona was finished, he headed back to his family’s home and helped train his friend in preparation for the NFL Combine. The hope was to stay clean and blow the field away, earning the redemption he told sports media outlets he so desperately yearned for.
It would not quite work out that way either, however.
On Monday, Mathieu only managed to press bench 225 pounds a mere four times.
The effort sincerely disappointed all involved. Worse than that, it showed scouts and coaches that Mathieu did not put in the time in the weight room necessary to achieve greatness.
He is supposed to be known for making big plays in the very biggest of games. However, that simply will not happen if he is not committed to perfecting his craft.
He has had several chances to prove to those watching that he can succeed in the NFL — and he has yet to grasp them.