Tyrann Mathieu and Bruce Arians will be on opposing sides of Super Bowl LV on Sunday, but the Chiefs defensive back still has fond feelings for the Buccaneers’ head coach.
Mathieu played for Arians with the Arizona Cardinals from 2013-17. Arians drafted the versatile LSU product in the third round despite Mathieu’s issues coming out of college.
On Monday, Mathieu shared his appreciation for Arians and what the coach did for him earlier in his career.
“Me and coach BA, we’ve had a great relationship,” Mathieu said, via Pro Football Talk. “Ever since my time in Arizona, and even beyond that, he’s always been somebody [whose] opinions and what he says meant a lot to me. You’ve got to remember, he was one of the first people in the National Football League that really believed in me and my abilities, and really allowed me to really flourish at a young age in this league. And he’s still been a guy that I keep in touch with to this day.”
Both Arians and Mathieu were done in Arizona after the 2017 season. Arians retired while the Cardinals released Mathieu, who later caught on with the Houston Texans.
After spending the 2018 season in Houston, Mathieu signed with the Chiefs in 2019. He’s been a key contributor for Kansas City the last three seasons.
Arians spent the 2018 campaign out of the league, but returned to the NFL when Tampa Bay hired him to be its head coach the following year. Now in his second season with the Bucs, Arians is one win away from a world championship.