On Thursday, Kansas City Chiefs rookie guard Trey Smith spoke to the media. Smith — who has played every offensive snap through his first seven games — spoke repeatedly about his need to continue improving.
“The main thing for me,” he began, “is not getting overaggressive a lot of times in my set — and just being patient. And then playing subdued like Mike Remmers — just before the play even starts.”
For the past two games, Remmers has manned right tackle next to Smith after Lucas Niang made the first five starts. Smith credited Remmers — along with other veterans, offensive line coach Andy Heck and his assistant Corey Matthaei — with helping in his development.
“Yeah, we’re doing well,” Smith said of his communication with Remmers. “Obviously, I’ve been around Mike a long time here so far — so ultimately, it’s just coach Matthaei and coach Heck, their coaching abilities — and just coming out to practice every day and doing our job to the best of our abilities.
“It’s been great having him — and a lot of veterans on the team — just teaching me different nuances of the game. Just understanding everything’s not going to be in front of you — you have to look around and anticipate things.”
Selecting Smith in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft was one of several moves the team made in the offseason to fortify the offensive line. Unfortunately, the remade line was not able to prevent a frightening hit on quarterback Patrick Mahomes late in Sunday’s 27-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Mahomes did not return to the game — a decision head coach Andy Reid called a coach’s decision.
“I wasn’t fully aware of it until after the fact,” Smith said of the hit. “Obviously, it’s not what you want to see. We want to keep our quarterback clean. We want to keep Patrick clean, safe, and allow him to do what he does best — make plays.”
With his reliable play from Day 1, Smith has made it easy to overlook his rookie status. He continues to stress that he is not satisfied with his early success — and will continue to work on improving his game.
“I definitely feel I’ve come a long way,” he noted. “But in the same breath, you never want to pat your back and think you’re satisfied with where you’re at. There’s a ton of things I’ve got to improve on ... I have great coaches around me, great veterans around me, great people around me. [I’m] just coming to work every day and trying to improve.
“It’s a constant battle every day. Obviously, in this league, people are going to move; people are extremely athletic. As an offensive lineman, I’m not as athletic as some of the [defensive] linemen I play. For me, it’s a challenge just to play within my frame, play within myself [and] not get overextended; just do the [things] that coach Heck teaches me.
“It’s just something that as a player, my mentality, I’m going to have to keep combating that and fighting that and ultimately get better at it. That’s something I’m definitely still working on entirely right now.”