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Will Tyrann Mathieu Improve by Being “Just” A Safety?

Tyrann Mathieu will play safety for the Texans, and nothing else. Will this help him become one of the best safeties in the NFL?

Houston Texans v Arizona Cardinals
Will having a defined role improve his play?

Recently, the fine writers over at wrote about how Tyrann Mathieu’s development was potentially hindered by previous coaches’ decisions to play him in multiple roles, essentially arguing that because Mathieu was asked to handle multiple responsibilities, he was never able to master any one of those responsibilities up to the level his raw talent should have made possible.

Mathieu’s statement said, while with the Cardinals:

“I had a lot on my plate. I couldn’t really focus on really one position. I think a lot of times coaches may ask me to strictly rely on my instincts, but am I really getting better at football? I think those were questions I needed to answer, and I think Romeo [Crennel] answered those questions for me.”

Analyst Bucky Brooks writes, “The veteran certainly makes solid points about being unable to fully develop his game due to constantly bouncing around from safety to cornerback to nickel corner to linebacker during his Cardinals career,” but that Mathieu’s production and performance at his various roles is still something to be amazed by.

For now, the Texans reportedly plan to play Mathieu exclusively at safety, something the player is looking forward to:

“I think right now, for me, it’s just committing to safety, playing safety the best way. From there, like I said, the game plan kind of dictates, too, where I’ll line up.”

How do you feel about what Mathieu showed while he was a Cardinal? How do you think he’ll play when he’s got one main responsibility to focus on and develop? We know he’ll be an asset in a troubling secondary, but how much improvement do you expect to see coming from having him back there and having him focused on that role and no other?