From Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez to future Hall of Famer Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs have been blessed with two of the greatest tight ends in NFL history. While not everyone can live up to those lofty expectations, players like Kansas City tight end Noah Gray understand they can still find plenty of success.
“I’m just going to keep working hard and be the best teammate that I can possibly be,” Gray revealed to reporters after Thursday’s training-camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. “That’s all that I think the coaches and my teammates ask of me. I’m not going to try to do too much — just do my job.”
Though he downplays it, Gray has quietly been getting plenty of attention during this training camp, which comes after a 2022 season in which he appeared in all 17 games, recording 299 yards and a touchdown on 28 receptions.
“[Noah Gray] has been doing really, really well,” said offensive coordinator Matt Nagy on Thursday. “With me being here last year for my first time [with him] — and getting to know who he was and how he works — he’s a great blend of two positions in our offense: the Y and the U position.
“He’s having a really good camp, just making plays when the calls were for him. [He’s] doing well in the run game — and I think he’s in a really good place.”
Now heading into his third year in the offense, Gray says he’s able to retain more information and play much faster on the field. But despite the praise from his coaches, he credits his fellow tight ends for his recent success in camp.
“I think all of us are having a really awesome camp,” he observed. “It’s been a lot of fun. We have a great tight end group in there. We’re always helping each other out schematically, [with] things we can do better out there... and, you know, keeping each other up when it’s hot and humid out here and the practices are long. It’s a huge benefit to that — and a huge credit out to all the guys.”
As far as Gray is concerned, that credit especially extends to Kelce.
“I [have] learned a lot from him — because I think he’s the greatest tight end to ever play the game,” declared Gray. “He’s an excellent mentor. He’s an even better friend, too. So watching him out here and picking his brain is always good.”
While Gray does everything he can to follow Kelce’s example, he knows very well that the tight end’s unique abilities are not so easily emulated. “Travis Kelce is Travis Kelce for a reason,” he said.
Still, Kelce’s impact on Gray is undeniable — and the young tight end knows that the opportunity to learn from a player like him it is not something to take for granted.
“[Kelce] is just very intelligent and knowledgeable,” he said. “He’s been in the league for 10-plus years, so a guy like that sees the defenses differently. It’s just really cool to see him talk through how he looks at defenses, safeties and corners — and what he’s thinking mid-route. So getting the first-hand take [on] that every day in the meeting room [has] been absolutely incredible the past three years.”