Less than 24 hours before the Kansas City Chiefs took the field for their Week 8 game against the New York Jets, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo presented his unit with a well-known mentality to carry into the matchup.
Spagnuolo showed the defense a video of the late Kobe Bryant that focused on continuing to develop as a team, something safety Tyrann Mathieu wants to put into practice as the Chiefs begin the home stretch of the 2020 season.
“Obviously Kobe Bryant was a well-accomplished player,” Mathieu said. “All Kobe Bryant talked about was getting better at something. I think that’s really the mindset for us as a defense, to really pick apart the film, find what it is so we can get better at then continue to move forward.”
Following last week’s win over the Denver Broncos, Mathieu suggested the Chiefs were beginning to recapture the championship swagger it had a year ago. The Chiefs seemed to continue the trend against the Jets.
None of the Jets’ points were scored on touchdowns, and they recorded just two first downs in the second half.
“I think all of us were committed, all of us were focused throughout the whole game, throughout the course of the game,” Mathieu said. “I thought Coach Spags did a great job too of staying on top of us and reminding us even after the big plays, that this game isn’t over, we got another whole half to play. I thought our guys took it seriously the whole way through. That’s what you want.”
As the Chiefs move into November and December football, Mathieu said the goal is to continue the success they've seen since losing to the Las Vegas Raiders on October 11.
In some ways, that concept correlates directly with the "Mamba Mentality" Spagnuolo presented Mathieu and his teammates before meeting the Jets.
“I think at this point in the season, we are who we are as a team,” Mathieu said. “It’s all about playing with swagger, it’s all about playing with emotions, controlled emotion and just going out there and playing for your brothers. Like I told the team, it’s all about us. It’s all about our standards, it’s about the way we live, the way we practice, what we’re capable of doing.”