Rashee Rice discusses learning curve from KC Chiefs veterans

Rice spoke highly of the veterans on the Chiefs for helping him learn the ropes in his first season.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

For all of the ink spilled predicting good or at least hopeful things from Kadarius Toney or Skyy Moore or other young wide receivers on the Kansas City Chiefs roster, much of it was spared from Rashee Rice for one reason: He was a first-year wideout under Andy Reid.

As we all know by now, the circumstances have been moving in reverse trajectories all season as every other young wide receiver on the Chiefs has slowly and steadily been slipping down the depth chart in a series of disappointing performances one after another. Meanwhile Rice has found his way forward to the top of the heap and he's averaged over 80 yards per game in the last month with 3 scores in his last four games.

Rice has a very real chance to set the Chiefs' all-time single-season record for most receiving yards by a rookie, currently held by Dwayne Bowe at 995.

As the Chiefs practiced this week to face the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas Day, they also made Rice available for reporters on Thursday for questions. The SMU product spoke about various aspects of his season, including his growth as a rookie. What became clear is how much he leans on his older teammates and that he's focused on getting things right in practice.

"Just like I embrace every week, not letting the outside stuff get to me and knowing that if I’m handling what I have to handle in practice, it’ll take care of itself in the games," said Rice.

As for helping him through those hard times or areas where many rookies hit a wall—such as with the length of the NFL season versus the college ranks—Rice said he's relying on the veterans around him.

"The vets on the team in general. We’ve got guys who’ve been the physical part, the running part, the mental part, so I have a lot of vets I can ask a lot of questions about that, depending on what I’m feeling like," said Rice.

"I’m young and I feel like every time I’m out there, there’s vets on the field all the time, so every time I’m out there I’m looking to learn something from all those guys, so if it’s the smallest thing or the biggest thing, I’m going to try to put it into my game as soon as possible."

So far it's working wonders as he's elevated his game far beyond a one-note route runner. He's blossomed into a much savvier receiver with the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes is learning to trust him more and more as the team's star quarterback. Even more, he's overcome some of the same mistakes his teammates have made (drops, miscues) by showing steady improvement in those weaker areas.

So far this season, Rice has 68 catches for 754 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.