Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu joined Alex Gold of SB Nation Radio on Tuesday to discuss several different aspects of the team’s offseason. Mathieu is hosting his annual celebrity kickball game in New Orleans on May 18 (more information here).
Because it is the thick of the offseason, Mathieu became one of the first current Chiefs players available to the media in the wake of the situation involving Tyreek Hill. Mathieu was candid with Gold when asked about Hill, which was refreshing.
“I think it’s bad, man,” Mathieu told Gold. “Obviously, it’s very disappointing. Obviously, I came to the Chiefs with hopes that I could watch him play football and watch him run back punts and catch long bombs and outrun everybody. You know, it’s a very unfortunate situation. I haven’t been his teammate much, just basically two or three weeks. So it’s not really fair for me to comment on his character. I don’t think I really know him.
“But like I said just with everything that’s out right now and obviously the audio, it’s very disappointing, not only from a teammate standpoint but I’m a father as well. It’s very disappointing.”
When it came to his own offseason, Mathieu described his transition to Kansas City as smooth, and he is looking forward to getting to play in defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s new system.
“I’m overly excited,” he said. “I can’t wait for the world to see how coach [Steve Spagnuolo] is going to use me this year. I think it’s everything people want to see me [do]. This is how they want to see me play football. They want to see me blitzing, get close to the ball and wreak havoc. Like I said, I haven’t been this excited really since my early days in Arizona. It’ll be fun for me and I really just can’t wait to get back to doing the things I do well.”
During Mathieu’s introductory press conference, both general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid expressed how much they liked the character of Mathieu and his leadership ability.
Mathieu sees defensive end Frank Clark, who the Chiefs added last week via trade, as someone who can help him in that regard.
“It’s important to add, especially good pieces—guys that are [competitors], guys with leadership abilities,” Mathieu explained. “I think any time you can create a culture around a few guys and get guys to believe in themselves more than they believe in themselves, I think you always give yourself a really good chance at winning... I know, me and Frank, we don’t like being the little brother.”
“I think the last three years, the Chiefs have pretty much won the AFC West,” Mathieu said. “I think a lot of receivers feel that way. I think we should really get these guys a reality show, let them just talk about their feelings and emotions, they’re pretty much all over the place. He’ll have his chance to go against us and to play against us and quite honestly, we won’t forget things the he’s done, so it’s kind of easy for receivers to talk a lot of smack. They get 160 targets a year, so it’s easy to catch 90 balls. He’s a pretty good player, he does well for his offense, but yeah. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Gold also asked Mathieu about what he has seen thus far in Chiefs quarterback and reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes.
“He kind of reminds me of Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers,” Mathieu said. “He’s a guy that can make any throw. He definitely takes his chances and he can throw the ball sidearm...left-handed, right-handed, overhanded. The guy’s just special. I think he’s one of those unique talents—they don’t come by too often. He’s a great teammate as well—very easygoing, always smiling, he’s always the first one at work. I think he has a great effect, not only on the offense but really the entire team and especially the organization, so kudos to him, man.
“One of the youngest MVPs ever, and he still carries himself the right way. Definitely not a guy that is egotistical, so like I said, he’s very friendly, easy to approach. And I think any time a quarterback is like that, I think everybody in the locker room wants to play for that guy.”
Of course, Gold wondered if Mathieu had the opportunity to try any Kansas City barbecue yet.
“That’s like one of the first things I’ve done since I’ve been in Kansas City, almost 14 days now. I’ve basically hit every barbecue spot.
“I have my favorite, but I won’t share that.”
Listen to Gold’s full interview of Mathieu by clicking here.