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Super Bowl 2021: Tyrann Mathieu, Tom Brady give mutual praise ahead of showdown

Kansas City's Tyrann Mathieu reacts during the second

Kansas City's Tyrann Mathieu reacts during the second half of the AFC Championship game against the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City. Credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall

Kansas City is showing Tom Brady plenty of love leading up to Sunday’s big game.

Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu touted Brady as the best quarterback of all time. Mathieu also said Brady is "still setting the standard for excellence" and that he’s awestruck when he studies film of him.

"Half of it is me being in awe of really just the art, it’s almost like poetry in motion," Mathieu said on Monday. "The other half is me as a defender, like ‘How do I stop this? How do I prepare for this?’"

Mathieu, of course, will be prepared to face Brady in Super Bowl LV. But Mathieu can’t help but be impressed by Brady’s body of work. He said he’s been a fan of Brady’s for a long time.

 

It turns out the feeling is mutual.

Brady was very complementary of Mathieu on Monday, saying he has to be aware of him at all times, "or else he’ll change the game." Mathieu had six interceptions in the regular season and one in the playoffs. He picked off Brady in Kansas City’s Week 12 win over Tampa

"I really love him as a player," Brady said. "I think he’s got great ball-hawking ability. He seems like he’s always coming up with the biggest plays in the biggest moments."

Those words meant something to Mathieu.

"I think that’s why you play the game," he said. "You play the game for respect from your coaches, your teammates and then also your opponents. I’m a big fan of Tom. I follow him. I’ve always been a fan of him. To have somebody that I idolize in a sense even recognize me, that’s a proud moment.

"But once we step on the field, it’s all about competing at a high level. It’s all about trying to make the most of each opportunity, each play."

Chiefs place two on COVID list

Kansas City placed wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and center Daniel Kilgore on the reserve/COVID-19 list. They didn’t test positive for the coronavirus but were deemed close contacts. If they continue to test negative, they should be available to play Sunday. Kansas City coach Andy Reid said, ""They'll work through it."

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