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In search of Super Bowl, Cardinals add championship experience

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Chandler Jones and Evan Mathis are quite different.

Jones is an outside linebacker. Mathis is an offensive guard. Jones has his hair cropped short. Mathis has flowing locks. Jones is trim and muscular. Mathis is built like a brick.

But what the two have in common aside from being 6-foot-5 is that they've both recently won Super Bowls with future Hall of Famers at quarterback. Jones was a teammate of Tom Brady with the New England Patriots when they won Super Bowl XLIX here in Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mathis just won Super Bowl 50 in February blocking for Peyton Manning.

And now they're taking that championship experience and lessons learned from winning championships with two of this era's greatest quarterbacks to the Arizona Cardinals.

"I feel that having been around him and having been on that ride right there, that I've been through it, and I can share my experience and my information and hopefully I can bring that here," Mathis said.

The Cardinals came within one win of facing the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 last year with a roster that featured just three players (DT Red Bryant, OLB LaMarr Woodley and OLB Dwight Freeney) with Super Bowl rings. Thus far, one of those three -- Bryant -- has re-signed.

Adding Jones and Mathis gives Arizona's locker room two more players with rings who'll have significant roles on offense and defense.

The lessons that Jones and Mathis took away from Brady and Manning, respectively, were specific.

Even though Jones played across the ball from Brady, he watched and studied the 38-year-old from afar, He also credited former Patriots Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo with teaching him how to win.

"I'm a learner by just watching a lot," Jones said. "I watched those guys in the locker room. I watched them in the film room, and there are a lot of things I picked up from them that I'll definitely try to bring along with me for sure."

In just one season on Manning's offensive line, Mathis had a front-row seat to his well-documented work ethic.

"The thing that I got from Peyton was that guy had been through it all before -- being able to be around that experience from someone who had done it all before, someone who wouldn't get caught up in the moment," Mathis said.

"Peyton's a bright guy with just so much to learn from, just so much experience he has to share."

Now Mathis has an opportunity to pass that along.