Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu believes he is the best defensive player in the NFL when healthy.
Mathieu was enjoying a dominant season in 2015 but suffered a torn ACL in the Cardinals' win over the Philadelphia Eagles that December, missing out on their subsequent run to the NFC Championship game.
Arizona slumped back down to earth in 2016 as they went 7-8-1 and missed the playoffs, with Mathieu limited to 10 games as he was hampered by a shoulder problem.
A first-team All-Pro in 2015, Mathieu is regarded as the cornerstone of the Cardinals' defense and he feels there is no player better when he is 100 per cent.
"I'm feeling great, it will be a great year for us. Any time I'm healthy I feel like I'm the best defensive player in the NFL," Mathieu - speaking at a promotional event for 2017's International Series games in London - told Omnisport.
And he expects the Cardinals to enjoy a bounce-back year and make another deep postseason run in 2017.
"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," he 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 and that was indicated in our record.
"If we can just correct a few small things we'll be a dominant team again.
"It'll be five or six teams that definitely have a shot to win a Super Bowl and I do believe the Cardinals are one of those teams."
20 de febrero 2018
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