In the era of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs have made sure to have experienced centers.
In 2018 — his fourth season as a starter— Mitch Morse snapped the ball to Mahomes. Following Morse was Austin Reiter, who had played two seasons with the Cleveland Browns before being thrown into the fire as a starter in Kansas City. Last season, veteran Dan Kilgore had a few starts as well.
But this season — even if they’ll sacrifice experience in the short term — the Chiefs are hoping to start a long-term, more continuous relationship between Mahomes and his center. During the offseason, rookie Creed Humphrey has been taking the majority of the first-team repetitions. In Week 1, he’ll likely be the starter — and on Friday, he said he feels good about the early stages of his relationship with Mahomes.
“We’re very comfortable right now,” Humphrey told reporters in a Zoom press conference. “We got a lot of good work in during OTA’s and everything. So yeah, I feel very comfortable right now. I think we have a lot of comfortability between each other — so excited to get to work.”
One way Humphrey can fast-track his career is by learning from the veterans around him. He’ll be lining up beside sixth-year left guard Joe Thuney — a former second-team All-Pro — and if he’s able to return from injury, possibly right guard Kyle Long.
“There’s a reason why those two guys are just exceptional players,” Humphrey said of the two veterans. “They come into work every day with a mentality of getting better every single day — and that was kind of the thing I saw from them that I want to really take advantage of: just go in and improve every single day.”
Over the summer, Humphrey attended the annual OL Masterminds summit, where he also received tips and advice from various offensive linemen around the league. At the event, he was able to chop it up with a former Chiefs lineman — one who may know the offensive system and the culture in Kansas City as much as any lineman now on the team.
“There’s a ton of good NFL players that go to that, so when I got the invite I was excited,” recalled Humphrey. “I worked with Duke Manyweather — he’s the one that puts it on — during draft prep, so he let me come in. It was great to hear from everyone. Mitchell Schwartz was there. It was good to hear from him and kind of pick his brain a little bit. It was a really good experience.”
Humphrey said that Schwartz advised him on a number of subjects.
“Just different techniques that he used,” he said. “How he took care of his body throughout the season — things like that. Really just things to help me through my first year.”
So while Humphrey acclimates at the professional level, he already has perspective. He understands the importance of the situation he’s in — and is excited to live up to the level of play to which his new team has held itself over the last few seasons.
“I’m entering the best organization in the league right now,” he marveled. “So the expectations are high, team standards are high. I’m ready to get in, get to work, and meet those standards.”