The Super Bowl will feature some of the most dynamic players in today’s NFL. In addition, players from these two teams work strenuously to be prepared for everything. The smartness and football IQ is what each player is regarded for. However, both Tyrann Mathieu and Richard Sherman still struggle to receive the appreciation they have earned.
Smartness is not just brought out in play on the field. In can be brought to other players through teaching and leadership, as well. Moreover, these two players are both highly respected captains. Mathieu and Sherman are not afraid to boast about being too smart either.
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Tired Of Excuses
People may not like to hear Sherman boast about certain things in press conferences. But off the field, his smartness is just as ignored. Here is what Sherman had to say following the Divisional Round win over the Minnesota Vikings: https://youtu.be/emjJxgvmxD4
Other than suffering a torn Achilles with the Seattle Seahawks, Sherman has been one of the best cover men in the NFL. He is able to thrive in any system or any coverage. Above all else, Sherman makes everyone around him better on a defense. Look at where Seattle is now without him. Besides Bobby Wagner in the middle, that defensive unit has fallen back to earth. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers have built one of the best defenses in the league, at all three levels. The smartness is not as much of a necessity for Sherman in this environment. But without it, would the 49ers still have won the NFC? Once players understand exactly what Sherman is preaching, making the plays becomes that much simpler.
There has been a lot of people or reasons as to why the Kansas City Chiefs has improved so much this year. The attitude and leadership of Mathieu has to be near the top though. Where his smartness shines comes in an array of ways. First off, Mathieu’s instincts jump off the page. His hit in the AFC title game on Corey Davis is one major example of that. He learned from a similar play the New England Patriots ran in the regular season. The Patriots completed a pass to N’Keal Harry on this exact look. This time, Mathieu knew exactly what was coming and ran through Davis to force a negative play.
In this run to the Super Bowl, Frank Clark, Chris Jones and others realize they do not have to be perfect. Furthermore, they just have to make a play. You never know who is going to change the momentum in the course of a game. How about Dirty Dan Sorensen? His play this season, especially in the playoffs, has involved many game changing plays. Were many people expecting this kind of season for Sorensen? Probably not. Mathieu’s smartness and teaching has gone a long way in turning his game around.
Match Made In Heaven
Both Sherman and Mathieu have gained a new found smartness from their defensive coordinators. Both Steve Spagnuolo and Robert Saleh love to throw everything at opposing offenses. Most of all, these two coordinators have the faith and belief in all of their players. For the Chiefs side of things, it took a while to get this defense to look exactly the way they were envisioning. Now, they have earned to be talked about amongst the best. That is still not always the case. But that is okay. Mathieu talked about receiving belief from Spagnuolo since day one, after the AFC title game: https://twitter.com/AlyTrost/status/1219296478562258945
Both of these fanbases cannot wait to see the smartness that both guys will bring to the table for the Super Bowl. To boot, these to are good friends: https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1220330373474852865
Mathieu and Sherman are going to be loud and boisterous. Nevertheless, it is all about reaching their biggest goal and joining others in winning a championship. In the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the smartness will be carried out in preparation. Instead, these two will strike to slow down the opposing offense in the only way they know how. Maybe they will finally get the load of respect that they are unable to fully gain.
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– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.