During the course of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, starting left guard Joe Thuney has only ever known working alongside Orlando Brown Jr. at left tackle.
Entering the 2023 NFL season, Thuney will have a new running mate at left tackle for the first time in the past two seasons. The player who is expected to get the nod is former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LT Donovan Smith, who brings 124 games of starting experience over eight seasons and plants it right next to the team’s most veteran lineman in Thuney.
Speaking to reporters last Wednesday, Thuney provided some insight into Smith’s progress and how the two are meshing on the left side of the offensive line.
“Donovan (Smith) has been great. (He’s) getting the playbook,” Thuney said. “And just when you come to a new team, just learning the playbook. But we’re just communicating a ton, talking, seeing how we (both) see the game and stuff like that. You know, just working together, day by day. But he’s done a great job.”
At this juncture of the offseason, the best thing that a new player can do is stack building blocks for when the tough work comes during training camp and the preseason. It starts with learning the playbook, but it’s also about learning the strengths and weaknesses of your new teammates.
With each passing repetition this offseason, Thuney and Smith should get a better feel for what it will be like to play with each other. The hope seems to be that the veteran cunning between the two will help lock down the left side of the offensive line.