Chiefs Focus had the video on Twitter via Harold Kuntz of FOX 4 Kansas City.
This morning on October 18, the emotional talent addressed the media and gave his side of the story.
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Mathieu Clears up Viral Moment
Here’s what Mathieu attributed the latest moment of rage to:
It’s high expectations, I feel like obviously we could be a championship defense, we’ve been to the championship the last two years and after a while you have to play a certain way. Obviously anytime it’s third and long you’ve got to get off the football field.
When pushed on it, the defensive playmaker voiced that on third and long “it doesn’t matter what play the coach calls,” explaining that “as players, you have to execute.”
“I feel like we put in a lot of good work this week,” Mathieu added later, “and I thought the goal was to hold those guys to 10 points or under, so I think any time you don’t reach your goals, yeah it kind of pissed me off a little bit.”
In terms of defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the safety expressed that the two have a “great relationship,” noting that Spags “knows [he’s] never mad at [his] teammates or him,” but rather the “expectations.” Mathieu concluded: “I want us to play how we practice.”
At the end of the day, the defensive leader’s outburst may have actually acted as motivation for the second-half shutout. “They love it when I go crazy,” Mathieu joked to reporters, “I don’t know why, but they love it.”
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Mathieu Passes on Opportunity to Blame Teammate
The sideline eruption wasn’t the only time that the safety has been noticeably frustrated of late. There have been multiple times where he’s shown that anger on the field, raising his arms in confusion on big play after big play.
Generally, those moments have involved blown coverages by teammate Daniel Sorensen. In Week 6, the fellow safety was benched in favor of Juan Thornhill and the results speak for themselves with a season-low 13 points allowed. Mathieu chose not to blame anyone in his presser though.
“I think our scheme is our scheme, so I don’t necessarily think if it’s Dan or Juan, I think our defense is built for 11 guys to be on the same page,” he answered.
Later on, Mathieu added: “I think defensively you have to stay hungry, you can’t expect anybody to give you anything or put you in a great situation, and I thought we took the field today with that attitude — not necessarily worrying about what the offense did [or] what the media was saying, we really just took the field like all 11 of us, 12 of us, 13 of us that played, we’re going to stick together no matter what.”
The safety had the opportunity to thrown Sorensen straight under the bus for his string of poor play but chose not to. That’s the sign of a strong leader. Even when tempers boil over on the field you should always keep things inside the locker room, and Mathieu did.
Now that Thornhill is back up to speed, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be starting alongside the Honey Badger for the foreseeable future.