Wide receiver Rashee Rice and cornerback Trent McDuffie are likely going to learn a lot from each other in the next few years. They're already two great performers in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs and both are still under contract for years to come.
In a way, it's almost funny to think that McDuffie could currently sit in an elder role talking about the growth of another player, but that's just how young and impressive both him and the Chiefs roster currently are.
NFL reporter James Palmer recently sat down with McDuffie for an interview before the Chiefs play in the Divisional Round on the road at Buffalo. When Palmer asked about the development of Rashee Rice in recent weeks and his overall rookie campaign, McDuffie had a glowing review for the SMU product.
The Chiefs are loaded with young playmakers on both sides of the ball.
"I’m really proud to see the progress he’s made. Rookie year, I know last year, it can be tough, especially in Andy Reid’s offense, you gotta learn a lot of things to play the position. Man, he comes in week in and week out and is consistent," said
"That’s my favorite thing about this dude is his consistency on the field. That’s been huge and now he’s making big plays for us, which you’ve gotta love."
According to McDuffie, Rice, who was the Chiefs' second-round pick last spring, displayed his big-play ability as early as training camp as the two "battled" for the first time, but it took a few months for Rice to develop the sort of trust and knowledge of the Chiefs' offense that he has today.
"[If] you look back at training camp, I know we battled for sure multiple times in training camp and he definitely caught a few passes where I was like, ‘Woah, I know those aren’t easy catches to make.’ And he was doing it right out of the gate," said McDuffie.
One trait that such great young players share in common on this current Chiefs' roster is a penchant for allowing their work to do the talking for them. Other teams will give K.C. plenty of bulletin board material in a given week, but so many of the Chiefs' younger stars are simply going about their business before, during, and after game day. McDuffie says Rice is one such performer.
He’s one of those dudes that… like I said, this team has a lot of guys that’s going out there and just working. They ain’t gotta say much. They ain’t gotta come up with excuses. They just put their head down and work. He’s one of those guys."
Rice has averaged 101 yards per game in the last four games, including 130 yards receiving against the Miami Dolphins in the Chiefs' Wild Card win last week.