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Cardinals Tyrann Mathieu says he is the best defender when healthy

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 27: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) during an NFL football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons on November 27, 2016, at Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-19. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)
Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire

The Arizona Cardinals endured quite the disappointing campaign as a result of the 2016-17 regular season. With that notion spanning across the entire Cardinals roster, defensive utility man Tyrann Mathieu was no different.

However, the up-and-coming defensive specialist still believes that he is one of the best players in the league today — when healthy, that is.

“I’m feeling great, it will be a great year for us,” Mathieu recently told Omnisport. “Any time I’m healthy, I feel like I’m the best defensive player in the NFL.”

The 25-year-old appeared in a single-season career-low 10 regular-season games for the Cardinals last season. In what became his fourth go-round atop the highest level, he registered 35 total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and four pass defenses.

“We didn’t quite have the season we wanted to last year, but all in all we’re going to have a great defense again,” Mathieu added. “We added a couple guys that could really help us out. We’ve got a few guys coming back from injuries, all in all it will be a great year for us.

“We’re a great football team, we were a top-10 offense last year and we were a top-five defense last year. I just didn’t think the ball bounced our way last year.”

Originally selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of LSU, Mathieu has since appeared in an even 50 regular-season games in the desert. During that same span, he has produced 229 total tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, nine interceptions and 34 pass defenses.

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