He's healthier than he's been in a long time.
He's much closer to home.
He's eager to prove doubters wrong.
But most importantly, Tyrann Mathieu's only having to worry about playing the safety position.
Mathieu signed with the Texans in March, and one of the attractive parts of joining Houston's defense was the plan coordinator Romeo Crennel had for the 2015 All-Pro.
During his first five NFL seasons, the Arizona Cardinals relied on Mathieu to play safety, nickel cornerback and other spots along their defense. But with the Texans, Mathieu's early focus has been solely on the safety position, which is cool with him.
"Yeah, it definitely helps me slow things down," Mathieu said last Tuesday after practice. "Just focusing on one position, trying to be the best at that, rather than just being good at everything. So, I think it's important for me to just embrace it like I have been and just trying to continue to grow as a safety."
Mathieu's versatility served him well with the Cardinals. But getting to narrow that focus is something that excites the LSU product.
He and the Texans are in the midst of organized team activities (OTAs) and will practice this week at the Houston Methodist Training Center.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 7/29/2021)