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Tyrann Mathieu, free of knee brace, ready to be Honey Badger and 'just go out and play'

The third year player thought too much on the field in 2014.

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Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals had Tyrann Mathieu playing a limited role over the last half of the season in 2014. They didn't have the Honey Badger, though. As told by Kent Somers in an AZCentral article about Mathieu and his upcoming 2015 season, Mathieu thought too much when he was playing.

"You play scared because you don't want to give up a touchdown," Mathieu said, "or you play too aggressive because you don't want to be singled out as if you're not giving the effort. It's kind of like the worst of both worlds.

"I've never thought about it as hard as I did last year. I was always thinking about something, rather than just going out there to play."

This offseason, "it just feels good to be free."

Mathieu has shed the knee brace he wore all last season and is preparing to make an impact. He feels he has a lot to prove to his teammates that he can still be a playmaker.

While his exact role for this coming season is yet unknown, he might be the X-factor for the Cardinals as they try to contend for a Super Bowl this season.