Steelers supporters are hoping to sign Tyrann Mathieu to make up for a bad draft day
Ike Taylor, a former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback, said he and Ryan Clark had been watching Tyrann Mathieu since the 2013 NFL Draft.
Although a return to New Orleans might make sense for Tyrann Mathieu, the Pittsburgh Steelers had another New Orleans homecoming planned for him in 2013. Mathieu was drafted in the secondary by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Because cornerback Ike Taylor was from Gretna and free safety Ryan Clark was from Marrero, there was a strong link between New Orleans and the Steelers at the time. Mathieu is from New Orleans, and St. Augustine’s, his high school, has long been a competitor of Clark’s Shaw.
But it’s not like Mathieu’s New Orleans ties were the only thing that helped him stand out at the time. LSU’s “Honey Badger” was a well-known player at the time, renowned for his aggression on the field, hence his amusing moniker.
Taylor and Clark apparently felt that he would have been an excellent addition to the Steelers’ secondary, allowing them to compete with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.
With chatter about Tyrann Mathieu still being out there and the Steelers still needing a safety, I just realized I still have this audio from last April when @Ike_SwagginU joined me on the @PGSportsNow Pod of Steel. Not even sure Ike remembers telling me this, but take a listen… pic.twitter.com/MOsoVXIafG
— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) March 22, 2022
“For Honey Badger, he had a few off-the-field concerns coming out of college,” Taylor added. “‘Coach, if you get Honey Badger, we have him,’ we said. Plus, we’ve got Troy, so this isn’t going to be simple! “
“We pleaded to get him,” Taylor remarked, referring to himself and Ryan Clark. I begged you to find him.I pleaded with you to get him. He’s one of us, after all. He’s a Steeler from Pittsburgh. “
Steelers speculation about Tyrann Mathieu: Ike Taylor believes Honey Badger is a Steeler
Instead of listening to Taylor and Clark, the Steelers selected OLB Jarvis Jones and RB Le’Veon Bell ahead of Mathieu, who was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round with the No. 69 pick.
Mathieu was seen as the star of the third round, even though his former teammate Travis Kelce went a few places ahead of him at No. 63.
Taylor was referring to a string of failed drug tests that caused Mathieu’s stock to plummet.
Given that Mathieu has had no disciplinary concerns in his nine-year NFL career, and that the league now allows players to smoke marijuana in the offseason, the Steelers may have looked into the disciplinary issues when they scouted Mathieu.
In 2013, Joe Tordy of Bleacher Report made a case for Mathieu, saying, “For a team like Pittsburgh that is in desperate need of splash plays, a player like Mathieu must be on the radar.”
Taking edge rusher Jarvis Jones in the first round was an obvious blunder, whereas Le’Veon Bell worked out well until it didn’t. In his career, Jones had 6.0 sacks, 130 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hits, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions, and nine pass defenses.
Honey Badger would have adored being in black and yellow for the past decade, given how dedicated Taylor, Clark, and Troy Polamalu were to the franchise — and it’s unlikely he’d be on the free agency market if the Steelers had taken him at the time.