Arizona Cardinals rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu has been one of the most intriguing stories of training camp. The buzz keeps going with him. Now, it appears that he has taken another step towards making a big contribution on defense.
He has apparently overtaken some veteran players to move up to the team's nickel corner.
Mike Jurecki tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Mathieu was in with the first team nickel unit.
Cards #1 nickel defense Abraham, Dockett, Campbell, Shaughnessy, Dansby, Brinkley, Peterson, Bell, Johnson, Powers, Mathieu. @foxsports910— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) August 21, 2013
Now, we have seen him in some nickel packages, but none was the number one guy. It had been veteran cornerback Antoine Cason who would come in on passing downs. He would line up on the outside and send Jerraud Powers to the slot. Javier Arenas was behind Cason on the depth chart.
It wasn't a case on injury on Wednesday.
Although Arenas is wearing a cast on one hand, he was on the field practicing, as was Cason.
Essentially, the young Mathieu has simply moved past them.
Since the defense tends to run a lot out of the nickel (as teams run a third receiver on the field very often), this means that Mathieu will have many opportunities, which means chances to make plays, which is what Mathieu does best.
Mathieu was one of the biggest stories coming out of this year's NFL Draft. That story appears to be far from done. Another chapter is about to be written.
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