Tyrann Matthieu is still the Honey Badger.

Always will be.

He knows he couldn't get rid of the name even if he wanted to.

"I don't think most of these kids know my first name, " Matthieu said. "They just know me by the Honey Badger. It'll be hard to put that to bed."

But while the name might stick, the image associated with that name is long gone.

Remember the whole "Honey Badger don't care" thing?

Well, Honey Badger cares now.

It's why he was back in his hometown  Sunday, hosting his camp at the Saints training facility.

The last words he spoke to the 400 or so campers before the camp began summed it all up.

"It's not about messing up," Mathieu said. "We are all going to mess up. What's important is that we get up when we mess up, and we correct it. So have fun and don't worry about mistakes. ... The only reason to have this camp is to see you smile."

It's the second year of the camp for the former St. Augustine and LSU standout now entering his fifth NFL season with the Arizona Cardinals.

He knows how important the camp is for his hometown, so he plans to be back next year, and the year after that and the year after that.

He remembers growing up in this very same city and all the activities he was involved in as a kid, going from football to basketball to baseball.

"It seems like over time that has declined," he said. "I think it's important for guys in my position to come back and give back."

Mathieu didn't just host a camp that has his name on it. He actually participated, giving campers a chance to go one-on-one with him. He knows that for some of these kids, he's the only role model that they'll ever get to see.

"You're able to point out certain kids who are going through some things at home just by the way they talk or the way they may act," he said. "I think it's important to put your arms around those kind of kids and try to motivate and inspire them to be the best you can."

Mathieu knows he wasn't always the best he could be. The off-field troubles that eventually led to his dismissal from the LSU football team are far in his rearview mirror. At 25, he's matured from those days.

"The most important thing is I'm very mindful of myself," he said. "I know myself a little bit better. I try to stay away from situations that may affect me. I try to keep great people around me, and I think that's what really has helped me out a lot."

He's still a die-hard LSU fan and says the team is headed in the right direction. He'll be keeping an eye on the Tigers this fall, while he also tries to have a great season as well. He'd like to return to the form of the season he was having in 2015 that ended abruptly after he tore is ACL for a second time. Last season was cut short too when he suffered a shoulder injury that forced him out of the last six games.

So his goals this season are pretty obvious: just to stay healthy.

"The best way to help my team is to be available," he said. "I don't necessarily have any goals, any set number of interceptions. I think if I'm able to get through a healthy season I'll have a pretty good season."

Mathieu is living in Arizona in the offseason.

New Orleans though, despite some of its flaws, is still near and dear to him. But he also knows the dangers of his hometown.

"I think a lot of times, we get around people that we used to grow up with and they may still doing the same things," he said. "That's not a bad thing for them, but it may not be a good thing for you. You have to be comfortable with yourself to be able to come back and be humble and respect yourself mostly and just put yourself in the right position and not make the wrong decisions."

He's seen it too many times. He spoke out last year about the city's problems with violence last year when former Saints defensive end Will Smith was shot and killed. It bothered him when NFL running back Joe McKnight was murdered in December. And just as recently as early June, former St. Aug kicker Zach Nelson was gunned down at a party.

"It's sad," he said. "It's a tragedy, and it seems like something like that happens every other day out here. All killings are pretty much senseless. Most of them are avoidable. I think New Orleans as a whole we have a lot of work to do. I think it really starts with the youth, just trying to inspire them and really shift their direction."

And that's why the Honey Badger was back home on Sunday, giving back.

"That's my sole motivation," he said.

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.