Tyrann Mathieu is one of the best safeties in the league. And according to him, Julio Jones is a different beast to cover.
Tyrann Mathieu has cemented himself as a leader on the Chiefs’ defense. And has been instrumental in their success over the last few years. His back-to-back All-Pro tags are a testament to the same.
Tyrann Mathieu INTs since joining KC:
🔺 2019 – 4
🔺 2020 – 7
Honey Badger has led all safeties in each of the last two seasons 🥇 💪 pic.twitter.com/Q1rb4ZGr9g
— PFF (@PFF) February 1, 2021
But even the best of the best have their toughest assignments. And for the Honey Badger, it’s unsurprisingly 7 time Pro Bowl WR Julio Jones.
Tyrann Mathieu thinks Julio Jones is built like a wall.
In an interview with the Player Tribune, Mathieu opened up about Julio Jones and his gazelle-like speed and strength:
“Julio is special. And his game is deceiving.
One thing you know going in is that he’s 6′ 3″ and he’s super long. So he has a huge catch radius and he’s great at pulling down jump balls. But typically, when you get a guy who’s long and rangy like Julio, if you put a hat on him he’ll go down. The taller receivers are usually a little skinnier, not so big-bodied.
But I remember the first time I tackled Julio … it felt like I had run into a wall. He was rock solid, so much stronger than I had expected.
He’s deceptively fast, too. When you watch him on film, he looks really smooth because he’s so long that when he runs, his stride seems effortless. So even though it looks like he’s moving just like everybody else, he’s really playing a completely different speed. He covers so much ground with his long strides. He’s like a gazelle.
And he can stop on a dime.
had a front-row seat when I was with the Cardinals and he dropped 189 yards on us. There was one play where he ran a deep-seven route, and Pat Peterson was all over it — right in his pocket, stride-for-stride down the field. Then, out of nowhere, without slowing down, Julio put his foot in the ground, broke off toward the sideline and made a leaping catch, tapping both feet in before going out of bounds.
I’m telling you, Pat was in perfect coverage.
Julio was just more perfect.
There aren’t many guys with that kind of speed and the ability to stop on a dime. Odell is really the only other one in the league right now who comes to mind. Between that and the fact that Julio is big-bodied, very skilled, deceptively fast and super athletic … he probably has the best overall package of any receiver in the league right now.”