Bucs coach Bruce Arians raved Wednesday about Tyrann Mathieu, reflecting on the professional success and personal growth the Chiefs safety has shown since the two were together with the Arizona Cardinals.
Arians, who took over as Cardinals head coach in 2013, went as far as to call Mathieu, a third-round pick out of LSU, “my favorite draft choice of all time,” citing “the man he has become” above all else.
Mathieu appreciated the love.
“Obviously, it makes you feel good when any coach tells you they appreciate you or they respect you. That’s why you play the game. Obviously, for your teammates’ respect and the fans’ respect, but mostly I think you want your coach to trust you.
“... Me and Coach Bruce, we’ve got a great relationship. He was one of the first people in the NFL that really believed in me and the things I can do on the football field and gave me a chance to kind of showcase that.
“Any time he tells me I’m his favorite draft pick, it always makes me smile. This is a guy that coached Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning and now he’s coaching Tom Brady, and somehow I’m still one of his favorite players. That’s just a good feeling.”
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