On Wednesday, May 4, safety Tyrann Mathieu was introduced as the newest member of the New Orleans Saints. The Louisiana native has played nine seasons in the NFL after playing at St. Augustine High School and then spending two years playing for LSU. He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals before becoming a member of the Houston Texans, and he would later go on to win a Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mathieu was all smiles as he watched his dream become a reality during his first interview as a member of his hometown team. Below are some of the best quotes during Mathieu's opening press conference.
"It's most definitely a dream. I think having the opportunity to represent this team, and to be a part of this locker room. I have always been a fan of the way the Saints play football, and just to have an opportunity means a lot to me, and more than anything I just want to take advantage of it and make the most of it."
The "Honey Badger" knew where he wanted to go from the start, not even visiting with any other teams. In his press conference, he had this to say:
"The Saints were really the only visit that I went on. I think from the get-go I knew where I wanted to be. From there, it is all about everything coming together and aligning, and so like I said I am sure there were a lot of people that were praying for me and rooting for me, and it just feels good to see it all kind of come together. I've kind of been manifesting this for awhile now. A lot of former teammates know this, but just to have this opportunity means a lot to me."
But it's not just playing for his hometown team that first drew Tyrann to want to return home to New Orleans. He was brought in by the fan base, and he was also impressed with the defensive unit already in place.
"I think this is probably the most exciting fan base in all of football. And then defensively, I think this defense has an identity that whenever they take the field they will hit anything that moves and are going to try to play team ball. I think that's why they've been a really successful unit over the past five years or so. I'm just hoping that I can add to that. I'm just hoping that I can come in and be a leader and make other guy's jobs easier."
Mathieu was also asked about the public efforts of C.J. Gardner-Johnson to recruit him to come back and play for his home team through his Twitter page. Gardner-Johnson shared banter and excitement over the app with his new teammate in the defensive backfield multiple times during the offseason, and Mathieu had this to say:
"Like I said, when I watch these guys play defense, they pop off the screen just with energy and passion and all the different handshakes that they do. It's fun and it's exciting, so (C.J. Gardner-Johnson) didn't have to sell me too much, I was already sold. I just needed a couple of people to kind of give me the 'yeah it's cool, we will take you over here.'"
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