Tyrann Mathieu: 'I try to play as if no one believed in me'

In a profile by Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, Mathieu appears to be a man in the process of true personal growth, as he attempts to regain his edge.

Kahron Spearman

Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne published an illuminating profile on newly signed Houston Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu, going through his struggles, understand fatherhood without having had a father present, and his hopeful resurgence as a dominant defensive back.

Dunne details a 25-year-old man still "searching," for people, for answers.

"I always embrace these moments in life," says the former LSU standout, "because they kind of define us. I've had a few of these moments in my life where my back was against the wall and I've had to prove myself again. I've always come out on the opposite side."

Softened by fatherhood, life's incessant blows, and injuries, Mathieu believes he has to regain his edge, acknowledging to Dunne that he lacked the necessary aggression last season.

But he's aiming to get it back.

I have to get back to that mindset to where, Cool, I don't even care. Give me a helmet. Give me some cleats. I'm about to f--k this up. I'm about to go in here and do what I do. That's the mindset that I'm at right now.

Tyrann Mathieu
Safety, Houston Texans

Full aware that the upcoming season will likely define the remainder of his career, after being cut by the Arizona Cardinals - principally for his already-dense injury history - Mathieu sees a recurrent story.

"I get an opportunity to go to LSU and f--k it up," he explains honestly. "Completely f--k it up. I get into the NFL and I walk in a straight lineand get injured. This is my test. Not too many people have my story. And this is my story: A guy goes from unknown to a Heisman Trophy finalist. He gets kicked out of school. He absolutely rebounds himself. He becomes a millionaire. He's taking care of his family. And then he's getting injured."

"How can he get back to the top of that mountain? People never do it. You've seen guys go, and then drop off. They never returned. I will, though."