The Kansas City Chiefs’ starting right guard, Dr. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, spoke to media members Thursday after finally completing his medical degree earlier in the week.
Duvernay-Tardif has been interviewed about the subject dozens of times, but this was a little different since he was finally speaking as a doctor.
There was one moment of the press conference, in particular, that seemed to jump out, and it was when Tom Martin of KCTV5 asked Duvernay-Tardif what advice he’d give to someone looking to accomplish the same.
Few NFL coaches thought @LaurentDTardif - now a doctor - could play AND attend McGill med school.— Tom Martin (@TomKCTV5) May 31, 2018
Andy Reid encouraged it. His mother, Elizabeth, was one of the first women to graduate in medicine from McGill.
"I don't think it would've been possible if it was not for him." pic.twitter.com/bBBLTTOLoT
“You have to love both (medicine and football) if you want to succeed,” Duvernay-Tardif laughed. “It was kind of hard and also, I think you have to pick a good team.”
Duvernay-Tardif didn’t pick the Kansas City Chiefs, of course. They drafted him in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
But he explained:
“If I remember, back in 2014, I was doing all my pre-draft visits, and for a lot of coaches, medicine was kind of a question mark. Like, ‘How do we know you really want to play football if you have medicine?’ And I think for coach (Andy) Reid, it was the total opposite. He was like, ‘You know what? If you’re here and you still have medicine as a plan B, it’s because you really love to play football, and I’m going to help you to the best of my ability. And that’s what he’s been doing for the past four years. Every season, at the end of the season during our exit meeting, he’s been asking me, ‘All right, what’s next for you, doc?’ And we’ve been talking about different clinical rotations and stuff and his mother actually went to McGill University and was one of the first women to graduate in medicine, so there was a little bit of a connection, and I really think that he helped me through the process, and I don’t think it would have been possible if it was not for him, so thanks coach Reid as well for that.”
Reid gave Duvernay-Tardif special privileges when it came to missing a few workouts or practices over the past few seasons.
Argue whatever you wish when it comes to Reid and his coaching tendencies or statistics, but one thing that can’t really be disputed is how much his players generally love playing for him.
He cares about their interests as people, encourages them to show their personalities and will never publicly throw one of them under the bus (which can be maddening for media members).
It’s only times like these when these type of stories emerge that you get to hear about it.
The Chiefs have LDT signed through the 2022 season after his five-year deal last year.