As you would expect from a player who has been one of the team’s leaders since his arrival two years ago, Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu sought to shift the focus from himself when he spoke to reporters as the team opened its offseason program on Monday.
“It was just the day that we didn’t really play our best,” he acknowledged. “I don’t think anything went our way. We’ve got to find a way to kind of dig ourselves out of that kind of hole — [when] we can’t get anything going, when we can’t make a play.”
Pressed to name specific issues that had led to the loss, Mathieu said it was more about the team’s response to the problems it faced.
“The biggest thing I took from that game was really composure,” he explained. “When things aren’t going your way — or you can’t make a play — try your best to remain calm and keep your composure. That’s really what I see when I look back on that night.”
Still, Mathieu believes that his teammates will be up for the challenge of bouncing back.
“I think losses like that can kind of derail certain teams,” he said. “I think for us, if we kind of put it behind us and learn from it, it can be one of those games that can kind of build us going forward.”
And Mathieu — now entering the last year of his contract with the Chiefs — said he’d like to stick around for it.
“I would love to spend the rest of my time in Kansas City,” he declared. “Everybody’s embraced me here — it reminds me so much of a football town. For me, that’s everything. Waking up, seeing the family and then going to play football. It’s been a blessing to be here.”
Even though there’s been plenty of outside speculation about extending the three-time All-Pro’s contract, Mathieu claimed ignorance of any ongoing discussions with the team.
“I try my best to not get caught up into it,” he said. “I try to let my people that work for me really handle that — but obviously, you want to be locked in long term. For me, it’s all about each and every day, just trying to win my day. I don’t necessarily try to look four and five months down the road. I just try and put in enough work today that things like that are going to take care of themselves.”
In fact, Mathieu said he really doesn’t think about the money he’s making.
“I’m not too concerned about money. I think I’m kind of good on that part,” he chuckled. “But yeah... I don’t worry about that too much. The biggest thing for me is how can I continue to be the same guy each and every day for my teammates. When I’m able to be that person, I can bring out the best in my room. Money [and] personal goals are not really like number one or two on my list nowadays.”
Mathieu said that as he begins his ninth NFL season, he’s not bringing a personal focus to the game.
“To be honest, I have no personal goals. I think all of my goals really come from team [and] family-type things. I think the biggest thing for me this year is, ‘How can I continue to lift the guys around me?’ That’s like the only thing that really matters to me: can I get people to communicate, play and study — to be the best of themselves.”
That’s how Mathieu sees his role with the team.
“If you’re able to kind of give guys a nugget — to give guys something that they can kind of hang their hat on going forward — I think that’s the kind of position I’m in,” he said. “That’s what I want to do. I had two great years here — All-Pro seasons, whatever people want to call it — but until other guys in my room start making the Pro Bowl or being All-Pro, [that’s when] I’ll probably be satisfied.”