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Mathieu: Chiefs' 'family atmosphere' inspired SB run

A lot goes into winning a Super Bowl. Talent, coaching, playmaking, and a dash of luck is a potent concoction for a brew needed to be the last team standing in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu believes another aspect aided K.C. as they lifted the Lombardi Trophy earlier this month: The culture created by coach Andy Reid.

"He made it feel like a family atmosphere. He made everybody feel like they were a part of it, and I could feel that even when I was recruited by these people," Mathieu said on the "At Home with Linda and Drew Scott" podcast, via the Kansas City Star. "Once I got in the building, it was the same thing. I think from top to bottom, they make it feel like family. I think it's kind of understated. You're dealing with a lot of alpha males and you expect them to come to work and be ready to work. But if you're able to create a certain environment for these players, you're able to get the best out of them and family environments tend to get the best out of alpha males and different guys like that."

Mathieu was key for the Chiefs both on and off the field in fostering that atmosphere. The dynamic safety led the secondary, buzzing after the ball and flustering quarterbacks in coverage. His leadership also played a massive role en route to the Super Bowl.

"I tried to get together with the defense every Thursday, because a lot of us this was our first time playing together," Mathieu said. "It was an entirely new defense. I wasn't the only new guy. I think in order for us to be able to win the Super Bowl or play good defense, we've got to be cool with each other. We've got to get along."

Get along they did.

The Chiefs defense gelled down the stretch under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

"Around November, we really started to click defensively," Mathieu said. "At that point we could tell that everything we were doing was starting to pay off: all the Thursdays getting together, and grabbing dinner on the road before the game, all the defense sitting on one part of the plane so we were able to talk and communicate. I think the more and more you're able to do that and be around a person, I think naturally you want to do well for that person. I think that's really what we were able to do."

All teams try to create a certain atmosphere that will enable players to focus on the game at hand. The Chiefs were able to find that perfect balance in 2019.

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