Tag Archives: Jason Cole

Tyrann Mathieu has a bumpy road ahead of him

I can’t see this working out at all

For all the drama that went with Mathieu crying on television after being selected and then giving an emotional interview to ESPN afterward, execs weren’t buying it.

To most, the question came down to this: Why does he keep drawing so much attention to himself? Why was he on television at all? Why was he tipping off the network to the possibility that San Francisco might take him with the No. 31 overall pick? Why was he on the cover of ESPN the Magazine? Why was he lending his name to some party promoters, even if it was some misunderstanding?

“Every time you turn around, it’s something else,” another NFC exec said. “There’s a certain point where you just tune it all out.”
Before the draft it was reported that Mathieu was a no-show for visits to Houston and Seattle for interviews. He unnerved other teams by talking about how he is still chewing tobacco to “take the edge off.” While he has left behind some of the bad influences in his life, he still is hanging out with something of an entourage of people from a troubled past that includes him getting kicked off of LSU’s football team last year.

Sure, Mathieu has been seeking guidance from a pastor in Baton Rouge and from his high school coach. Sure, he’s not a malevolent kid. He’s just smoking marijuana, not assaulting people. But he’s also the kid who worked out, admitted he had a problem and seemed to think everything was fixed. It’s as if Mathieu put a Band-Aid on an open gash and thought, “All better.”

It’s almost as if getting kicked off the team wasn’t quite enough for Mathieu to get the concept of rejection. Hard lessons fade like a bad dye job when you have people like ESPN’s Jon Gruden calling you the best cornerback in the draft (even though Arizona and most teams saw him as a safety if he’s going to start) and when you’re fully armed with the notion that rules don’t apply (Mathieu admitted to failing at least 10 drug tests at LSU).

You have a kid that doesn’t listen to anyone, has a drug addiction, surrounded by bad influences and is now being paid about a million dollars a year.  He’ll be cut by this time next year, signed by the Raiders or Bengals, cut, and in the CFL by 2014 where he will play about 6 games.

Memo to ESPN

From Yahoo! Sports’ Jason Cole

Not only do you need to put a leash on Gruden’s constant fawning over anybody who has ever worn a jockstrap, please put an end to the insipid pregame interviews that he does before Monday night games. Having Gruden sit there and pal around with guys like Romo would be great if Gruden actually got some information out of them or asked a decent question. Asking things like, “This Cowboys-Redskins rivalry is real, huh?” does not qualify as a question nor did it illicit a good response. Gruden is best when he’s reacting to a situation as if he were still standing on the sideline coaching a game. When he’s in a programmed setting trying to convey a message, he’s terrible.