Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes may be the face of the franchise, but he is impressed with the leadership of one of his teammates on the other side of the ball.
"He's one of the best leaders I've ever been around," Mahomes said of safety Tyrann Mathieu, per Domonique Foxworth of ESPN's The Undefeated. "The first day we were at camp, it was more than just his play on the field. It was putting people in positions like he had been in that defense for years, even though it was his first day."
Foxworth delved into Mathieu's leadership, noting the safety calls himself a "practice All-American" because of how hard he works when the cameras aren't present. Chiefs coaches and teammates voted him team MVP in large part because of that leadership and work ethic.
"That was cool, man," Mathieu said. "That was definitely gratifying. It's really everything I'd been working for. That had nothing to do with performance on the field. I feel like that award came from just who I've always been as a teammate."
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that it was Mathieu who gave an impassioned speech to the team before its Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The LSU product has demonstrated leadership off the field as well. In June, Dave Skretta of the Associated Press reported Mahomes and Mathieu were leading the Chiefs' voter registration drive in advance of November's election.
The pair also played a prominent role in a video NFL players put together calling for the league to take a stronger stance against systemic racism in support of recent Black Lives Matter protests:
Mathieu is in the midst of his second season with the Chiefs after spending the first five years of his career on the Arizona Cardinals and the 2018 campaign with the Houston Texans. He wasted no time making an impact in Kansas City in 2019, recording 75 tackles, 12 passes defended, four interceptions, an All-Pro selection and a Super Bowl win.
This season, he has already returned an interception for a touchdown in the win over the New England Patriots for the 4-1 Chiefs and will look to lead the team to another victory Monday against the Buffalo Bills.