There’s something to the whole “game recognize game” thing.
It’s the highest compliment that one player can hear when another elite player pays tribute to their talent or the way they played. It was that way when Chase Young, now of the Washington Football Team, stated that K.C. Chiefs right tackle Lucas Niang was the toughest player he ever went up against in the college ranks when both players were at Ohio State and Texas Christian, respectively.
To receive praise from fans is one thing. To be voted as most popular is another. But for one exemplary performer to tip his hat to another, it’s arguably the greatest honor a player can get. Which is why it was probably so meaningful for former Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz to hear what Denver Broncos pass rushing legend Von Miller stated on Thursday.
In a recent interview with Skip Bayless, Miller discussed a number of topics about his career, the Broncos, facing Patrick Mahomes, and so on. However at one point near the end of the interview, Bayless asks him about the toughest matchup. Miller had plenty of great things to say about Schwartz.
Von Miller called former Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz his toughest opponent.
“I think the toughest challenge for me was Mitchell Schwartz,” said Miller. “You wouldn’t expect it. I think Mitchell Schwartz having a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes that could really play to his angles… I had the toughest time with Mitchell Schwartz.”
A bit later on in the exchange, Bayless asked him what it was about Schwartz that made the matchup so tough. Miller went in-depth on his frustrations at having to play K.C. twice a year—and specifically having to match up with a technician like Schwartz.
“He was a smaller offensive lineman. Maybe I was in my own head, but I always had the toughest time with Mitchell Schwartz,” said Miller. “I would see other guys have success versus Mitchell Schwartz, but whenever I went against him, it would be the weirdest thing for me.
“Any move I would try, he would be sitting on it. Any good rush I would have, Patrick Mahomes would trump that or scramble or throw the ball away. But playing Mitchell Schwartz and the Kansas City Chiefs was always tough for me. And it’s shocking to me that Mitchell Schwartz is not on a team right now, because I know he still has some good football left.”
None of this comes as a surprise to us, in Chiefs Kingdom, who’ve been watching Schwartz dominate the edge for years. All-Pro honors found him every year even when the Pro Bowl somehow overlooked him as the best right tackle in the game. He’s easily the single greatest free agent signing of the Andy Reid era of the Chiefs and helped the offense become as dangerous as it did by being an elite pillar on one side for a half decade.
We’re also not surprised to hear Miller say that Schwartz likely has some good football left. We couldn’t agree more. While no one is sure when or if Schwartz’s back will heal enough to let him play again, we’re pretty sure that if he were ever available, half the NFL would come calling. And despite the solid play of Lucas Niang so far, it would make sense for the Chiefs to check back in, just in case, because Schwartz was that great for so long.
For now, while we all miss seeing Schwartz on the field—even for someone else—it’s nice to know that he was so highly regarded by one of the very best pass rushers of a generation. You can see the full interview below.