The impact of Tyrann Mathieu on the Kansas City Chiefs defense: versatility


Brett Veach landed a big defensive fish on Monday – the signing of the security of the independent player, Tyrann Mathieu, for $ 42 million over three years. After a good year with the Houston Texans, Mathieu was coveted by his former team. would have lost an auction war with the chefs.

The 26-year-old security guard, called "Honey Badger," who is in his seventh year in the league, has been a game maker for the Arizona Cardinals and Texans. He has 49 defensive passes, 7 sacks, 33 defeat tackles and 13 career interceptions in six years, three of which ended prematurely due to injury.

He has been quite the leader on and off the field for both organizations of which he is a part. His most recent move to the Texans earned him praise as both a footballer and a leader, as this Houston Chronicle article states:

Just mention Mathieu to Bill O'Brien and the Texan coach recognizes that the sixth year defender "means the world to me".

"I just think the guy – besides being a very good hard football player – he's a very brilliant guy, he cares about his teammates, he's gone through a lot of things in his life" O'Brien said. "He's not scared. He brings a good attitude every day to the locker room and he has been a great asset to our team. "

In a few months, he went from a free agent looking for a one-year contract to a crucial part of a cloakroom and an exemplary defense leader whom JJ Watt already boasts of ( do not forget).

The Texans wanted him, but he wanted to play for a ring.

What does it bring to the field? Namely, the versatility, speed and aggression that were greatly missing for the Chiefs defense over the past two years. Let's see some of the things that Mathieu does well and how he can compete with Steve Spagnuolo's defense.

Run defense

One of the immediate issues that I noticed when announcing the signing was whether Mathieu had lost some of his athleticism due to injuries and his age. I am here to tell you that he did not decide.

With the 13 Indianapolis Colts, Mathieu immisces in a cracked and safe look as the Colts procure a lapel pin and block the outside area. After finding the depth on his pedal, Mathieu reads his keys and attacks downhill from 15 meters deep. The race goes on and when the back finally clears the defenders, Mathieu takes a wide angle with speed to join him at the line of scrimmage.

This defense was sorely lacking in the defense of the Chiefs in 2018, because all too often, security waited until the game came to them or looking for blocks. This mentality of attack and its range will be a boon for Mathieu.

Despite his size – 5 feet 9 inches, 190 pounds – Mathieu is a good safety box against the race. Its high IQ, speed and lateral agility allow it to slide blocks and attack the back at smart angles.

On the play above two years ago, Mathieu directs the traffic before capture and identifies the sweep immediately. He attacks upfield as a defender of the force and pushes the back half to try to get into the teeth of the defense. Mathieu shows the ability to stop with a penny and explode laterally to the half in search of a plating for loss.

He did not just force the return of the defense; he attack In the past, Spagnuolo opted for the safety of the box, which placed him in an ideal position to play and impact the game. In the race, Mathieu shows an exceptional ability to have this impact despite his atypical size. His ability to get to the scene and make life more difficult for the blockers will be an undeniable advantage for Spagnuolo's running race as he prepares the matches each week.


Given the poor security checks conducted by chiefs last year, everyone should be happy to know that Mathieu is a defender of coverage more than competent. Mathieu starts in the box with a quick trigger and good instinct.

After having first stolen the clearing of the tight end, Mathieu spots the scythe and moves laterally to darken in the dish. As the screen begins to grow, it clicks and closes to halfway – long before offensive linemen can disengage and exit in space as blockers. He hits the blocker on the spot and lights his back perfectly. This dislodges a loop, resulting in an unfinished one. It's a very physical reminder that Mathieu is not afraid to go down quickly to charge the running back.

Mathieu's physiognomy does not only manifest itself in descents. He will make you think twice before coming in the middle with him in a role of thief.

On the third run, the Texans are in a Robber Cover 1 look with a post-snap rotation in the thief by Mathieu. While the receiver of slot machines performs digging a little less than the stick, Mathieu sits down on the road, sees the pass come and rolls on the ball at the point of capture. He moves the receiver away from the path, forcing an unfinished and a physical game.

While Mathieu can his ability to jump allows him to play bigger than the indicated size. This is seen tremendously in this snapshot, with the Texans in a Cover 2 look and Mathieu playing at a low apogee on this fourth run.

It presents a low and fast backpedal to give depth to the sticks. Not identifying any road under the area, he flips his hips to fly the end stretched underneath. Baker Mayfield tries to drop a pass over the most defensive back, but Mathieu is up to the task and gets a hand to force a turnaround.

Mathieu is not only a zone defender, he is also a defender of quality man coverage. Against Eric Ebron, one of the best close-ups of the NFL in 2018, Mathieu highlights the speed and notoriety of his career to make this piece a reality.

Mathieu reads not only the trunk of Ebron, but also the receiver of delimitation of land and the releases of the half-bearer. Even before the close end of the road, Mathieu drives on. He remains in phase until the sideline, thus facilitating the separation of the passes at the border.

In terms of coverage, Mathieu demonstrates a fantastic ability to read the distribution of the route and react quickly. His speed and nose for the ball complement his ability to put himself in the right place. In addition, he has the agility to play in the surface, the footwork and instinct to play in the slot and range to play in depth. This makes him an advocate of the extremely versatile cover for Spagnuolo in 2019.


If you are a defender of Spagnuolo, you are going to blitz. It's just a fact of defense, and there will be regular pressure from unconventional terrain. Fortunately for the chefs, Mathieu is an exceptional blitzer.

With his rapid acceleration, he waits later in the clock to blitz. This limits the quarterback's ability to identify pre-attack protection and crew protection, as well as the offensive line and the running back can not fire him back to take on the blitz.

As often as Spagnuolo likes to use his defensive backs as blitzers, he has to salivate on occasion to implement Mathieu in his pressure packs next year.

NFL: Houston Texans in Washington Redskins

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY HUI Sports

The bottom line

The name of the game for Mathieu is versatility.

The opportunity to play throughout the high school of chefs will open Spagnuolo's playbook. Pattern matching blankets that require high IQ safety that can carry a receiver all over the field are at stake. Racing situations that require quick and agile security to help get in is definitely at stake.

And a tonist and a leader on and off the pitch? Oh yes, Mathieu corresponds to this mold.

If the Chiefs decide to retain Eric Berry, Mathieu has the opportunity to fit in the back of the vehicle as a free security and he can still play in the slot game by game. If the Chiefs decided to separate from Berry this dead season on June 1 to free up extra space in 2019, Mathieu would play admirably this role of game keeper. In any case, they could approach the opposite position in the repĂȘchage and know that they will have a leader and a mentor in Mathieu that they can entrust to a young player to develop behind or beside.

Whichever direction you choose in 2019 and beyond, she's in good hands versatile.

KC Draft Guide

Speaking of the security features in the project, we publish the first edition of the KC Draft Guide April 8! We will have more than 200 prospects writing, especially on the suitability of prospects to The Chiefs. There will be big boards, more than 300 player notes, simulations, positional rankings and leader-specific features. To celebrate the new number 32 of Chefs, you can get the guide for $ 3.20 off, or $ 6.79, by clicking here!


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