Chiefs rookie RG Trey Smith evaluates his performance through Week 3

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The Kansas City Chiefs’ re-tooled offensive line has had its ups and downs in recent performances, but their development is still in its infancy ahead of the Week 3 matchup in Philadelphia. With five new starters, fresh faces at every starting spot, expectations remain sky-high, but it is understood that it’ll take some time for the unit to fully gel into an elite force to protect and push for Kansas City in the playoffs this season.

Rookie right guard Trey Smith is one of the more intriguing pieces of the new lineup, given his sixth-round selection, college accolades, and starting role so soon in his career. Smith has shown glimpses of brilliance in his first three games for the Chiefs in 2021, but he still has room for growth as the schedule wears on.

Speaking to reporters before practice on Wednesday, Smith pointed out that there are facets of his game he knows can improve in the coming weeks. He knows that there is work to be done between the ears to help Kansas City get back on track.

“[To be] quite frank with you, I’ve got a lot that I need to work on from like a mental standpoint,” Smith explained. “Especially just being on the same page from a scheme standpoint. From a consistency factor, just being the same player I am, even when I’m at my most dominant and getting rid of the negative plays.”

Smith isn’t alone in his need to continue taking steps forward, and he pointed out that the reps he gets in practice against the Chiefs’ star defenders have helped him acclimate to the pro game as a rookie. Speaking on the advantage he has preparing for edge rushers like Myles Garrett and Joey Bosa, Smith credited newly-minted defensive end, Chris Jones, for getting him comfortable blocking against the league’s top talent.

“It’s priceless,” He said of the chance to work on his game against Jones in practice. “I can’t really put a dollar amount on it. Chris [Jones] is such an elite talent. Faced with that task in camp, walking in here, understanding what type of player he was coming into this organization, having to go against it every day, it really preps you, it really teaches you that some of the habits you’ve built won’t work against elite talent. It sort of makes you have to go back and reinforce different coaching techniques like coach [Andy] Heck gives you and refine those and get a lot better at it.”

Smith has played admirably given this is his first season in the NFL, but as the Chiefs have found themselves at 1-2 to start the season, he emphasized that there is more to learn. There are lessons not only for himself, but also lessons for the team as a whole.

“There’s so much [to learn],” Smith admitted. “Just trying to put it all together, but just like being organized, not only on the field but in life. There’s a lot of stuff coming at you, just make sure you’re prepared from that standpoint. I would just say touching on the consistency standpoint, you got to bring it every week in the game, but you’ve got to bring it every day in practice, and that’s something I’ve got to do a better job of. I went from not practicing and now I’m practicing every day. Bringing that at a high level, that’s something I have to learn, transition to do.”

Kansas City has a big opportunity to bounce back against a Philadelphia team that should be beatable for a squad of the Chiefs’ caliber. The Eagles have more talent on the defensive line for Smith to prove himself against in the matchup. With a bit of a chip on his shoulder, it could be a breakout game for the rookie in just his fourth career start.

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