HOUSTON – He’s simply known in football circles as the “Honey Badger,” but to these Texans, he’s Tyrann Mathieu.
He was brought to Houston via free agency to bolster a secondary that struggled a year ago.
"I just want to bring some energy and make as many plays as possible," said Mathieu after a camp workout. "I just want to be a leader back there. Obviously, stepping into a new role, I have some teammates. All those guys have been doing a great job of really supporting me and embracing me. I just want to be the ultimate leader for those guys and just show those guys that I’m going to show up every day.”
The former LSU Tiger is set to begin his 6th season. He’s always smiling, but don’t mistake that for his on-field presence. The hard-hitting safety is here to make plays and get the Texans back to the playoffs.
"I think it's really just by following the right guys," said Mathieu. "I’ve been leaning on J.J. (Watt) and J-Jo (Johnathan Joseph) a lot. Those guys have been helping me out a lot so I’ll continue to lean on those guys and I’ll do my part trying to push the younger guys along."
Leading by example is the Honey Badger’s way. He’s disruptive and can rush the passer -- rare for a defensive back. Now it’s all about staying healthy like he did last year in Arizona.
“I think it just adds to my confidence level," he said. "Obviously, I know what kind of player I am. It’s a violent league. You’re going to have setbacks. You’re going to get hurt. I’m just very fortunate that I have a group of guys that believe in me, that are continuously pushing me along. I think I have a lot of guys around me that believe that I am who I used to be.”