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Honey Badger ready to shed nickname, become a force for the Cardinals as Tyrann Mathieu

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    Arizona Cardinals third-round draft pick Tyrann Mathieu smiles during an NFL football news conference, Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the teams' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Associated Press

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    Arizona Cardinals third-round draft pick Tyrann Mathieu speaks during an NFL football news conference, Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the teams' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Associated Press

  • d104d2b4969a650f310f6a706700a1bd.jpg

    Arizona Cardinals second-round draft pick Kevin Minter speaks during an NFL football news conference, Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the teams' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Associated Press

  • 1ea3e049969b650f310f6a70670037a3.jpg

    Arizona Cardinals second-round draft pick Kevin Minter pauses during an NFL football news conference, Thursday, May 9, 2013, at the teams' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)The Associated Press

Tyrann Mathieu doesn't want to be known as the Honey Badger anymore.

The nickname once meant as a compliment to the former LSU star has too many negative connotations after a string of off-the-field problems.

Mathieu was kicked off LSU's team before last season for failing repeated drug tests and was later arrested on marijuana charges.

He spent the past six months trying to rehabilitate his image and the Arizona Cardinals took a chance on the former Heisman Trophy finalist by using a third-round draft pick to select him.

Mathieu should have a good support group around him. Teammate Kevin Minter was drafted by Arizona the round before him and cornerback Patrick Peterson is a former teammate and one of his closest friends.