Although a handful of players for the Kansas City Chiefs were on the winning teams for both Super Bowl LIV in 2020 and LVII in February, guard Joe Thuney stands alone on the roster as a three-time champion.
Thuney won a pair of rings with the New England Patriots before joining the Chiefs in 2021. As such, he is accustomed to the truncated offseason schedule that results from a title win.
“The offseason gets squeezed a little bit,” the left guard explained to reporters after Wednesday’s minicamp practice, “but it’s always a good thing when you’re playing in February. It’s kind of take a little time off of the season — and then get back into football shape. Now we’ve got another a little break before camp. It’s just maintain that and come into camp ready to go.”
Though the Patriots were unable to repeat as champions in either of his opportunities, Thuney believes Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes are taking the right approach for a title defense.
“It is a special group,” he said of his teammates. “What a special season it was. I give credit to coach Reid and Pat. Everyone’s came out focused and ready to go each day and realizing it’s a new season. It’s 2023 — and we haven’t really done anything yet. So, we’ve got to prepare. Everyone is 0-0 at this point. It’s just a credit to the guys. Everyone’s coming to work hard.”
The seven-year veteran realizes the ever-present reality of change in the NFL. The Chiefs replaced both starting tackles this offseason. Thuney’s short time lining up next to new left tackle Donovan Smith has given him confidence.
“Donovan’s been great getting the playbook,” he confirmed. “When you come to a new team, [it’s] just learning the playbook. But we just communicate a ton...seeing how we see the game and stuff like that. And just working together day by day. He’s done a great job.”
Thuney also weighed in on a topic the tackles addressed in recent media appearances. Smith predicted he would have no difficulty with Reid’s notoriously difficult training camp — while new right Tackle Jawaan Taylor took a more cautious approach.
“The structure of training camp practices is not that different,” he said of comparing Reid’s practices to those of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. “It’s very productive — but taxing and tiring — practices. You get a lot of out them — but they’re hard and prepare you really well for the season. But there wasn’t a ton of differences [between the teams]. It was however long we could be out there — we’re out there and working hard. So, there was not a lot of difference that I noticed.”
Though he already has Super Bowl jewelry from New England, Thuney is uninterested in comparing his different wins, preferring to live in the moment. The Chiefs will reportedly receive their Super Bowl rings on Thursday night following the last day of minicamp.
“I’m just focused on this year and this ring ceremony,” he stressed. “I can’t wait to celebrate with the guys. Like I said — it was just such a special group this past season. It will be good to see some of the guys. You appreciate the Chiefs organization for putting it together, and I’m excited to partake in it.”