While it’s not exactly how they’d like their seasons to end, former LSU stars Justin Jefferson, Devin White and Tyrann Mathieu are enjoying every moment of their 2022 Pro Bowl appearance.
Mathieu was named to his third professional bowl after another fantastic season as the leader of the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Meanwhile, Jefferson has been racking up the accolades and honors just two years into his NFL career, making his second straight pro bowl after a 1,616-yard season that included 10 touchdowns.
This week’s events, which take place in Las Vegas, were something of a family event for Mathieu, who brought his children. Mathieu is coming off a five-tackle performance in a tough loss to Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals in the AFC Championship.
Mathieu is entering a contract year with the Chiefs and would like to return, but also sparked the interest of LSU fans with a social media post about the future of recruiting in Louisiana.
“I hope. Since I’ve been here, I just try to be the right kind of teammate. I try to play my part. It’s always that feeling that you could make more plays for your team, but I hope it will work,” said Mathieu. “I have no control over that. I feel like everything under my control, I’ve done my best to handle it and do it with a smile. I love this team. I love this dressing room. There are a lot of coaches I have a great relationship with. I hope.”
As for Jefferson, the Minnesota Vikings’ sophomore star receiver helped the NFC win the Skills Showdown with an impressive one-handed Dodgeball catch to cap off the pre-game festivities.
Minnesota just hired a new coach by tapping Kevin O’Connell to lead the organization, which is currently with the Los Angeles Rams in preparation for the Super Bowl.
“I’ve been watching the Rams offense for a minute now,” Jefferson said this week. “They give the ball to their playmakers. They have great plays, Cooper Kupp wide open all the time. So I’m excited for that. He’s my first head coach who will be on the offensive side instead of the defensive side, so I’m happy.
White is also coming off another fantastic season, winning his first trip to the Pro Bowl as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are now on the hunt for a new quarterback with the recent retirement of Tom Brady, although White feels confident of finding a replacement.
The pro bowl is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. on ESPN with Jefferson and White representing the NFC and Mathieu representing the AFC.