“I wanted to come to a team that had great talent, great core players, a lot of their core players are still young, closer to my age,” Mathieu told reporters on Thursday regarding his decision to join the Chiefs on a three-year, $42 million deal. “I think that had a lot to do with the decision as well. Anytime you can play for an organization that has a great history. Obviously, a great quarterback that’s really going to take this league over, really by storm. Really this was a no-brainer for me and my family.”
Mathieu hopes to help a team that almost made it to the Super Bowl get over the top.
“My biggest job is to come here, be a leader, try to make plays on and off the football field and put my hand in the pile and help us win some games,” Mathieu said. “I think we all know what the offense can do. I think it’ll be my job to come in here, try to get some direction, try to give guys some motivation, some inspiration, and then be an every-day factor. I want to be the same guy I am in the weight room that I am on the football field. That’s what I’m really looking forward to bringing to this team and, like I said, I’m going to try my best to do that every single day.”
Mathieu said he’s not planning to step on any toes, but that he plans to lead by example and to do whatever the coaches ask him to do.
“I love doing it all,” Mathieu said. “I’m a football player. My coach gives me a job, I just try my best to do it, but I think anytime I can get around the football, close to it, I just feel super powers. Anytime I’m away from the football I just feel like my powers are diminishing.”
Coach Andy Reid plans to take advantage of those super powers in every way possible.
“He can play anywhere,” Reid said regarding Mathieu. “You can move him out and he can play corner if you need him to play corner. He’s played inside in the nickel. He has played up on the ball. He has played back off the ball. He is a phenomenal blitzer. . . . [H]e isn’t the biggest guy in the world, but he plays that way. He plays such a physical game and he is so good toward the line of scrimmage. But on the same hand, he’s great on the back end making plays on the ball in the back.”
And the best may be ahead of Mathieu, who has gotten — and stayed — healthy.
“I went through a couple rough seasons, struggling with injuries, playing with knee braces on,” Mathieu said. “To be able to put together two consecutive healthy seasons playing every game, I do feel like I’m getting back to who I am. Then playing in this scheme will really allow me to do what I do best and that’s be a hunter.”
That’s exactly what the Chiefs need, as they hope to put on the field a defense that best complements one of the best offenses in football. They’re not far away from being where they need to be, and Mathieu gives them a major boost in that direction.