Come Sunday, there will be two cheetahs stalking the field at Arrowhead Stadium.
Not only will Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill be there for the home opener, but the 49ers (1-1) will bring running back Matt Breida, nicknamed “Breida the Cheetah,” to Kansas City (2-0).
But if you ask Hill, there’s only one true cheetah.
“Man, I’ve only gotta say one thing: Who got the social media name and all of that?,” said Hill, whose Twitter handle is @Cheetah. “There’s only one cheetah in the league, just know that. You can’t be a cheetah and run a 4.48, or whatever you run.”
For what it’s worth, Breida actually ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day in 2017, but it’s still slower than Hill’s 4.24 at West Alabama’s pro day a year earlier. Breida showed off some of his quickness in the win against the Lions with a 66-yard touchdown in Week 2.
Breida, who joined the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2017, leads in the NFL with 184 rushing yards this season.
“I mean, he’s a great player,” Hill said. “He’s a good player, though. I’ve been watching him. He’s from Georgia. He went to Georgia Southern. He cold. But there’s only one cheetah. Just know that.”
Hill, a former track runner, built his reputation on game-changing speed — what he calls ‘Cheetah speed’ — since being drafted by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2016 draft.
Hill’s speed was on full display in the season-opening win in Los Angeles, when he raced past the Chargers’ punt coverage unit on a 91-yard touchdown just a few minutes into the game.
He finished that game with seven receptions for 169 yards and three total touchdowns.
But in the most recent win against the Steelers, Hill’s game looked a little different. He had a much quieter afternoon by comparison, catching five passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. His longest catch was 36 yards — a bit shorter than his 58-yard catch-and-run score against the Chargers.
But with tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Sammy Watkins having big days against the Steelers, Hill wasn’t too concerned with his own stat line.
“I just enjoy winning, man,” said Hill, who was promoting the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on Tuesday. “Whether I have 200 yards a game or zero yards a game. I just enjoy winning. I’m going to do something right in the game, whether it’s going to be a killer block, a killer catch, whatever it’s going to be. I’m going to make an impact on the game. It don’t matter to me. I’m just happy to be in the league, for real. Most people can’t even say that. So I’m blessed.”
After the win in Pittsburgh, Hill exited the locker room wearing cheetah print shorts.
But even if he believes himself to be the league’s lone cheetah, don’t expect a cat fight between the two on Sunday to settle the owner of the title.
“Look, I don’t be doing all that talking,” Hill said. “I just let my play show who the real cheetah is. Know what I’m saying? I just go out on the field, out run people. I make it look good.”