While many observers believe that the Kansas City Chiefs’ first-round rookie defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah is making an immediate impact, the former Kansas State standout is much harder on himself.
“People say that, but I don’t agree with them,” smiled the Lee’s Summit High School alumnus in the team’s locker room on Wednesday.
Through Kansas City’s first two games, the 31st overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft has been a force, racking up two quarterback hits, four total tackles, a forced fumble and a half a sack.
“There’s still a couple of mistakes I’ve made,” he added. “People don’t see the other side. There [were] some rushes [where] I could’ve made a sack — some rushes I could’ve won, some tackles I could’ve made.
“There’s still room for improvement.”
Anudike-Uzomah’s teammates say they see a player who is gaining confidence early in the year.
“As a pass rusher, it takes some time,” second-year defensive lineman George Karlaftis said of the of the team’s young core — and its impact on the defensive unit’s fast start.
“[I] definitely see some stuff with Felix that I went through,” Karlaftis continued, “and I empathize with it and try to help him out. As a rookie you have so many guys telling you what to do… [your] head kind of explodes sometimes.”
His ultimate advice for the first-year players?
“Just take a deep breath,” said Karlaftis, “and listen to your coaching.”
Now that the team’s defensive superstar Chris Jones is back on the field, the game is moving more slowly for the young players who are still searching for their NFL footing.
“He’s a humongous leader,” observed Anudike-Uzomah. “He just motivates everybody to do their best. When he when he does his best? That’s when everybody else does their best.”