KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – It’s official - the safety known as the “Honey Badger” will be defending the secondary at Arrowhead next season for the Chiefs.
Kansas City announced Thursday that the club had officially signed Tyrann Mathieu, welcoming the former Houston Texan with a news conference at the team’s training complex.
In a release Chief’s General Manager Brett Veach described the six-year veteran as “versatile and tough.”
“Tyrann’s a player we’ve had our eyes on for a while now, and we’re excited about him joining our team,” Brett Veach said in the statement. “He’s versatile and tough, with a lot of playmaking ability. He’ll be a great addition to our secondary.”
Mathieu tied a career-high with 89 tackles last season for Houston, also racking up three sacks and two interceptions. His ability to hit like a safety and cover like a corner has Chiefs head coach Andy Reid excited.
“Brett and his staff did a tremendous job working to get Tyrann here in Kansas City,” Reid said. “He’s a talented player and very physical on the football field. We are excited to get started working with him this offseason.”
The move to Kansas City will put Mathieu into close proximity to his college football coach. He played for two seasons at Louisiana State under now University of Kansas head coach Les Miles, and the two are already reconnecting via social media.
Looks like I’ll be there! https://t.co/JeBzcDxLyX— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) March 14, 2019
Mathieu will be a big part of a very different Chiefs defense going into next season. The team released safety Eric Berry and linebacker Justin Houston and traded linebacker Dee Ford to San Francisco in the last few days.
Mathieu knows he has some big shoes to fill coming into the defense as Berry leaves. However, when you watch the way he plays and the way he leads, you can see some similarities.
He's the kind of safety that can play anywhere; he's great at sniffing out pass plays to get a pick, but he can also tackle and blitz.
Reid called Mathieu a difficult player to scheme against, because he can move all over the field.
The chiefs see him as a potential leader on defense.
In his introductory press conference, Mathieu called this move to KC a no-brainer.
“My job is to come here, be a leader, make plays on the football field, put my hand in the pile, and help us win some games,” he said.
Of course, many Kansas Citians will miss watching Berry, but they're glad to see the team rebuilding on defense and bringing in fresh talent like Mathieu.
“I like the acquisition,” Richard Davis said. “I'm glad they're going through a different mindset right now.”
“I believe he's going to add to the secondary,” said Greg Carlsen.
“I hope we get some more defensive help,” Terry McCrary said. “We got a lot of offense but no defense.”