Tyrann Mathieu’s time at LSU was tumultuous to say the least.
He had 77 tackles in 2011 with 1.5 sacks, two interceptions, nine passes defended and five fumble recoveries. He was suspended for one game that season but then named the MVP of the 2011 SEC Championship Game. He went on to win the Bednarik Award and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.
It all came crashing down in 2012 when he was dismissed from the program and then entered drug rehab. He came out but then got arrested in October of that year for marijuana possession.
The rocky relationship with the university clearly didn’t have an impact on the friendship with his former coach. He was asked Tuesday on the Rich Eisen Show about Les Miles’ firing:
“I was heartbroken, Mathieu said. “Obviously, me and coach Miles have a pretty good relationship. We have stayed in contact through the years. Just talking, keeping up with each other.”
“It’s tough to see it happen to him. A guy who has won so many games, that was so dependable in a sense. A guy that had such great relationship with all of his players.”
“But it’s a business. These universities want to win championships and if you continue to fall short, you have to pay the price.”
“At the end of the day, it was heartbreaking for all of his former players and current players. “
Mathieu has since gone on to a successful NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals totaling nine interceptions in four NFL seasons. Given his comments on Miles, however, it’s clear he knows where he came from and isn’t interested in burning bridges that have helped him get to where he is in his career.