Offensive linemen often go unnoticed in all of the action on game day, but not Trey Smith. The Kansas City Chiefs’ second-year right guard has developed a reputation of sorts — one that has become a source of joy and inspiration for his teammates and coaches.
Smith has become known for his pancake blocks — often flattening defensive players and taking them out of the play entirely. He’s the team’s resident pancake specialist if you will.
It has become so prevalent in his play that everyone looks forward to Tuesday when the team goes through the offensive line film, just to watch Smith do work in the run game.
“(I) probably can’t get too excited here, right now and put it on full display, but I’m old school,” Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy said on Thursday. “Any time you see something like that you can’t help but get excited. This game was created and played that way a long time ago and so when you see things like that taking place, you can’t help but just get fired up and excited and you’re looking for the next one.”
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) December 29, 2022
Smith’s play doesn’t just get the coaching staff fired up. It’s also something that his teammates strive to emulate. Even Creed Humphrey — selected for his first Pro Bowl this season — says that seeing Smith bury defenders motivates him to want to go out and play with a great level of physicality.
“I think everyone is trying to catch up with Trey (Smith) right now,” Humphrey said. “It has been fun, for sure. Seeing things that happen, whether it’s Trey, Joe (Thuney), Orlando (Brown Jr.), or (Andrew) Wylie, that makes me want to do even better. That makes me want to do the same thing. So, I definitely think it gets everybody playing better and more physical and things like that because we all get excited about it.”
— Creed Humphrey (@creed_humphrey) December 12, 2022
For Smith’s position coach Andy Heck, seeing him execute these pancake blocks is a great source of pride and joy. A former NFL offensive lineman himself, Heck knows exactly how gratifying it is to execute these blocks as a player.
“It’s a great feeling,” Heck said. “That’s about as good as it gets for an O-Lineman. You take a guy, you drive him against his will and you put him on his back. To put two guys down and spring your back and then see that guy go through for the score? That’s a great feeling. For me, to watch our guys execute in a moment like that, I feel great for them. It brings me great joy — that’s why I love coaching.”
Smith obviously has a reputation among his team and teammates, but his reputation is starting to precede him in league circles too. Opponents are becoming increasingly aware of his pancake blocks, but it seems there’s little they can do to stop him.
“I just think that Trey (Smith) has done a heck of a job,” Bieniemy said. “He plays hard and he’s always looking to find work. When you’re putting that stuff on tape, it’s making those other guys on the other side of the ball be very aware and making sure that they’re staying on their toes.”