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Chiefs’ Joe Thuney wants to ‘lead by example’ in 2023

As he begins his eighth NFL season, Kansas City’s starting left guard is focused on leadership.

NFL: AFC Divisional Round-Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After winning two Super Bowls in four seasons, the Kansas City Chiefs have the league’s attention — and that’s something with which starting left guard Joe Thuney is familiar. He now owns three championship rings — the first two from his four seasons with the New England Patriots. But the seven-year pro knows that’s all in the past.

“It was a great celebration,” Thuney said of Super Bowl LVII after Friday’s training camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, “but we’re 0-0 this year and everyone’s starting at the same spot.

“I’m sure everyone’s excited to play us — and we’re excited to play them, too.”

Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles
Guard Joe Thuney (#62) is ready at the line against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

During the offseason, the Chiefs added veterans Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor to replace Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie as their starting tackles. They’re already making a positive impression on their teammates. For his part, Thuney said that Smith “knows the game inside and out.”

“[He’s] strong, smart, athletic [and has] great technique,” Thuney said of the player who is now holding down the spot to his left on the offensive line. “There’s so many great things to say about him. It’s been fun just each day — growing [a] day at a time — but it’s great to play with him.”

Thuney believes both of his new teammates have been excellent additions.

“Jawaan and Donovan are great,” he said “They’re really hard workers — [and they’re] getting the playbook. It’s been a great group to be a part of — and the coaching staff’s done a great job, just getting on the details.”

When it comes to blocking for quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Thuney’s advice for the newcomers is pretty simple.

“Just play through the echo of the whistle,” he said. “You never know what’s gonna happen back there when you’re blocking and Pat’s got the ball. He can make a lot of great plays happen.”

Speaking for himself, Thuney just wants to continue to can pass along some of what he has learned through his long career.

“I’m trying to lead by example,” he said, “[trying to] work hard [and] do the right things on the field and off. I’m just trying to be there for the guys if they ever want to bounce ideas off me.”

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