Tyrann Mathieu is the newest Chief. After watching tape, it became obvious why the Chiefs were all in on him. His versatility is among the best in the NFL.
After a day of wondering whether we would hear any Chiefs news, we heard some very exciting news in the afternoon. Tyrann Mathieu, or “Honey Badger” is coming to Kansas City.
After a day of negotiations, the Chiefs were able to pull Mathieu away from the Houston Texans, who he played for last season. The Texans were, according to Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports, also trying to sign him to an extension.
Chiefs players and fans alike took to Twitter in their celebration of the newest Chief. Patrick Mahomes posted a GIF of a Honey Badger and fans celebrated this move as a “contender” move. The question now is, “What exactly is Brett Veach paying for in Mathieu?” The answer is simple. Versatility and very few weaknesses. Here is what I saw on film.
Mathieu’s physicality and break on the ball
On tape, it became clear almost immediately: Tyrann Mathieu will be one of the most physical players on the Kansas City defense. He does not show hesitation and he does not slow down when he makes tackles. What sticks out more than anything is how well he reads and attacks. He attacks quickly and shows no mercy.
On this play, the New York Giants try to get the Texans defense to flow to the wrong side of the field. They use misdirection on a fake handoff and try to dump off a screen pass to Mathieu’s side of the field. This proves to be a mistake. With great instinct and no hesitation, Mathieu breaks on the ball and flattens the running back, knocking the ball out of his reach for an incompletion.
This kind ferocity and aggression was sorely lacking on the field for Kansas City last season. Not only do the Chiefs get an aggressor, they get a playmaker. For a team that has Super Bowl aspirations, this is vital.
Not only do the Chiefs now have an athletic play maker, they also have added a defensive back who has some ability to rush the quarterback. For Steve Spagnuolo’s aggressive scheme, Mathieu is an incredible new weapon in this part of the game.
On this play, Mathieu reads the snap perfectly. He has it timed and is attacking immediately. I was taken aback by how easily he seemed to run by the offensive linemen. He has a very good burst and I expect the Chiefs to use him as a blitzer more than the Texans did. I would argue that this may be one of his most underrated skills.