The Chiefs won the AFC West and advanced to the AFC title game last year thanks in large part to the most prolific offense in the league, but their defense didn’t hit the same highs and the team used January’s overtime loss to the Patriots as a precursor for big changes to the unit.
Steve Spagnuolo is now the coordinator and they brought in players like safety Tyrann Mathieu, defensive end Frank Clark, cornerback Bashaud Breeland, defensive end Alex Okafor, linebacker Darron Lee and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah to help craft a new look on that side of the ball.
Mathieu said during an appearance on FS1 last week that he thinks the result will be a better unit, although he acknowledged that there’s a lot of work to do to make good on that prediction.
“I think we’ve got a great challenge ahead,” Mathieu said, via the Kansas City Star. “I told our group, ‘This is going to be a tough hill to climb, especially where those guys were last year.’ They brought myself and Frank Clark in, and I think anytime you can bring two guys in that really have a chip on their shoulders, an edge, a certain personality, you can rub off on a lot of guys in a positive way. I think that’s why they brought me in, Kansas City, for one was to really kind of raise the tide of everybody around me, and so it’s going to be a fun season.”
Mathieu said he’s not used to being a “little brother” to his team’s offense, but that’s certainly what the defense is in Kansas City these days. If the age gap is a little closer than it was last year, the fun season that Mathieu is looking for will be likelier to unfold come the fall.