A Tale of Two Passions: The Life of Chiefs Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif | Chiefs.com

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A Tale of Two Passions

The Life of Chiefs Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

By Pete Sweeney

Chiefs Reporter

Hip-hop music blares on a team charter plane as 52 very large grown men celebrate and dance without restraint.

After dropping five of their first six games to start the NFL season, the Kansas City Chiefs have won their second game in a row in dominating fashion—a 35-point victory in London, England, on United States national television.

A nine-hour flight to Kansas City provides the perfect excuse to let loose, and to only top their feeling of jubilance, it is officially the bye week. They won't be reporting to practice the next seven days.

Surrounded by upright, smiling, energetic players, one player stays seated, noticeably closed to this world of triumph.

It is the Canadian-born Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. He is wearing headphones and is engrossed in a textbook. His American teammates call him "Larry," a nickname much easier to pronounce than the French-based alternative.

"There's Larry, looking like hell on Earth," a teammate, Mitch Morse, laughed as he recalled the scene. "He is just miserable. He just played a game. He's out of fluids, and the guy is just reading this book about the same size as his head."

Morse is joking, of course, but the truth of the matter is that is Larry.

Having to study for the entirety of a nine-hour flight while his fellow teammates celebrate around him is part of the double-life he chose, one in which he continues to pursue a medical degree while simultaneously starting at right guard in the NFL.

Larry didn't sleep on the charter back to Kansas City, and after a 4:00 a.m. Monday morning team meeting, he drove back to the airport to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight.

He was headed back home to Montreal, Quebec, where in two days he would take a surgery exam as part of his medical degree requirements. While some of his teammates were off to a relaxing vacation, Larry would begin his bye week by studying for the next 48 hours straight.

''you have to make a choice''

There is nothing about Laurent Duvernay-Tardif that could be considered normal, and that is genuinely the way he likes it. Ask him why he puts himself through the rigor of medical school and the time demands of professional football, and a smile will come to his face.

He is a man with two passions, a man who would not feel complete without both occupations.

There are many players in the National Football League who consider themselves at home on the football field. Larry shares that quality, sure, but put him in a white coat in the middle of the emergency room, and he is just as at peace.

To an onlooker, it may seem odd. How could he possibly do both? How could he possibly be both?

It is not ordinary, but nothing about him is.

Today, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif stands at a towering 6 feet 5 and 321 pounds. One of the first things you notice about Larry, besides his overall height and thickness, is the size of his hands. A shake hello with Larry is kind of humbling in a way. This is a human startlingly bigger than most.

Larry grew up on the south shore of Montreal in a small town called Mont-Saint-Hilaire. According to a 2011 Census, the town has a population of a little less than 20,000 people.

Mont-Saint-Hilaire skyline

Mont-Saint-Hilaire skyline

When Larry was a child, he was always very curious. That is the one quality that stands out as his father, François, thinks about his son growing up. Although too young to be into that sort of thing, Larry loved taking on "projects," as François describes— any task he could complete.

Larry, who is now 25, grew up the oldest of three siblings—he has two younger sisters—on a vineyard. François originally entered the wine business when his father, Guy Tardif, opened the property after a prestigious career in Canadian politics.

François joked that Larry was perhaps the youngest sales prodigy in all of Canada.

"Laurent, he was able to sell wine at 8 years old and [give wine tastings] to the guests," François said. "He never tasted the wine, but he was good at describing the wine, and sometimes he gave very good tips, which helped sales."

In 1999, François and Larry's mother, Guylaine, decided to leave the vineyard for a year to take Larry and his two sisters on a sailing trip. With only the clothes on their back, the family bought a boat, rented out their home and travelled down to Florida and the Caribbean.

It was on the boat trip where François believes an 8-year-old Larry took a step ahead of his peers as far as self-reliance and belief in the fact that he could do anything.

"We started with a baby of 9 months and the other one at 3 years old (Larry's sisters), so my wife was almost all the time with the babies," François said. "I was sailing the boat with Laurent there most of the time, so he was able to read a map, interpret tide charts and use the radar."

François, Larry and the rest of the family had no major expenses. For a year, they fished for all their food and bought fruits and vegetables in markets off the coast.

When you watch film, when you watch your opponent, it's really strategic. It's like a chess match. That's what kind of got me into football and that's one of the reasons why I chose this sport over other sports."

- Larry on why he chose football

The family returned to Mont-Saint-Hilaire in July of 2000.

In Mont-Saint-Hilaire, everything is oriented towards the sport of hockey, so the fact that the city produced a starting right guard in the National Football League is somewhat fascinating in itself.

Larry originally played hockey as a 200-pound defenseman during his early teenage years, but he never seriously committed to the sport as he grew heavier and heavier.

Larry began playing football in Mont-Saint-Hilaire at the age of 14. He said he quickly took to the game because of the balance between strategy and action.

"I think even now, it's still the same thing for me," Larry recently said. "When you're on the field, it's reaction, it's explosion, but at the same time you need to be able to analyze the front that the defense is presenting you and know what to expect. This requires a lot work and film study off the field. You need to be athletic. During your off time, or at night, during the meeting, you really need to be a smart guy to understand football and that's what I noticed about it when I was 14.

"When you watch film, when you watch your opponent, it's really strategic. It's like a chess match. That's what kind of got me into football and that's one of the reasons why I chose this sport over other sports."

Larry played football throughout high school, only breaking for another family sailing trip in 2008. This time around, he was 16 and remembers the trip vividly.

"We left from Montreal and we sailed down to Boston, New York, Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay, all the way down to Miami," Larry said. "Then we hit the Gulf Stream and went down to the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos for a year. That was amazing, a really great experience. I think that's one of the reasons why I'm so close to my sisters, my father and my mother."

Larry reading on the 2008 sailing trip

Larry reading on the 2008 sailing trip

On the boat, Larry's father taught him science and math, while his mother taught him social sciences and English. There were aspects of the trip that made it difficult, but Larry believes he couldn't replace the lessons it taught him.

"You get to meet a different culture and a different way of living," he said. "The whole speed of life is slower. You don't have a cell phone; you don't have the Internet. It's a great experience and it helped me both in football, but also especially in medicine, because it opened my mind to different cultures and [today] helps me understand and treat people from different backgrounds."

Upon returning in 2008, the Duvernay-Tardif family, now with no vineyard, decided to get into the baking business. Though they seem vastly different, the vineyard and baking businesses share the commonality of fermentation, so the transition was easier than one would expect.

"It's really close because they both work with yeast," Larry explained. "Fermentation in wine uses yeast and fermentation is also used in bread to make the dough. It was not that different and my dad was a specialist in that domain so he just started the bakery when we came back."

They called the bakery, "Le Pain dans les Voiles," which is French for "Bread in the Sails."

Over the years, Larry has actually worked for his parents inside the bakery.

"I like to sell my bread," he said with a laugh. "I just like to be behind the counter, to meet people, serve people. It's kind of a cool shift, when you go to work at like 3 in the morning, the whole city is quiet. You wake up, you go there, you start to make the dough, you start to bake the bread and then slowly customers start to arrive around 6 o'clock. It's just a nice rhythm."

After completing high school in Canada, students are required to attend the "CEGEP." CEGEP stands for "collège d'enseignement général et professionnel," a two-year school that serves as a buffer for Canadian citizens between high school and college.

Everybody was telling me, 'You know what? Laurent, if you want to get into med school, you have to make a choice. You cannot do both at the same time. Because both are very demanding.'"

- Larry on choosing between football and med school

Because he loved the game of football so much, Larry continued to play during CEGEP.

At the time, with a dream of medical school on the horizon, he figured his years playing in the CEGEP would be his last, as those around him felt there was no possible way he could do both.

"Everybody was telling me, 'You know what? Laurent, if you want to get into med school, you have to make a choice. You cannot do both at the same time,'" he said, "because both are very demanding."

Based upon his grades and background, Larry was accepted into the medical program at McGill University, one of the most prestigious schools in the country. Some have even nicknamed McGill the "Harvard of Canada."

While the school curriculum itself would be a challenge for Larry, what made things even more difficult was the fact that McGill is an English-speaking school, and he was not fluent at the time.

Considering those steep obstacles ahead, Larry quit the game of football in 2010.

"He decided not to play football and just go to school," Matthieu Quiviger, the O-line coach with the McGill program, said.

But before long, Larry began to have second thoughts. It only took him two Saturdays as a spectator before he realized he had made a grave mistake.

"I was regretting my decision," Larry said. "When you're a football player and you're not on the field on Saturday, it's hard. After two weeks I was just not able to deal with that, and I went to see the coach the Monday after the game and I was like, 'Coach, please give me a chance,' and he agreed. I told him I was a little reluctant because I was not speaking English, and because of med school and everything, and he kind of understood."

Larry playing at McGill University

Larry playing at McGill University

Larry joined the McGill Redmen as a defensive lineman for the remainder of the 2010 season, and he geared up for what he knew would be the most difficult year of his life. Now a medical student on the football team, time management would be critical, and he needed to get his English straight.

''it's a lot of sacrifice''

Sometimes you meet the most important people in your life when you are going through the toughest of times. When Larry could not speak English during that first year, the classes taught solely in the language were a struggle.

Rather than attending them in person, he would watch the classes on a streaming service in a restaurant across the street from his parents' bakery.

And in that restaurant, there was a girl—a pretty brunette named Florence. She was one of the waitresses and an art history student at the University of Quebec.

Florence and Larry

Florence and Larry

"His English wasn't on point," she said of the time. "Instead [of going to class], he would come into the restaurant with his French-English pocket dictionary."

Larry attended his first year of classes by Florence's side, and what began as a friendship eventually blossomed into a relationship. Six years later, they are still dating, and it is something that he believes to this day is critical to his success.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover KC over the last two years. It is a very welcoming city. I'm a big fan of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Belger Arts Centre."

- Florence on visiting Kansas City

"I think it's essential actually," he said. "I don't think I would be here and still doing both if I did not have somebody to talk to and have somebody I can relate to that motivates me to accomplish what I'm trying to accomplish. Even though we are in two very different fields, we are both overachievers and we are striving for greatness. We both know that being at the top of our field is going to require travel and work and study in different places.

"Last year, Florence was working in Italy for one of the biggest art fairs in the world while I was back at McGill during the offseason. Of course, long-distance relationships are hard but I will always push her to try to achieve her goal and she is doing the same for me."

During Larry's past three years with the Chiefs, Florence has been able to visit him in Kansas City, attending Chiefs games at Arrowhead. While in Kansas City, she has also had an opportunity to take in some of the things that pique her own interests.

"I was pleasantly surprised to discover KC over the last two years," she said. "It is a very welcoming city. I'm a big fan of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Belger Arts Centre."

Florence said one of her fondest memories with Larry was at the Belger Arts Center. It was there he found out he made the final cut on the Chiefs 2014 roster.

But that may have never happened had she not helped Larry get through his first four years of college, where he had to balance both football and medical school at the same time.

"It was all about time management," Larry said. "That first year, I was kind of learning the process, learning how to study and be efficient. You get to know your habit, what time of the day you're able to perform better in your study, what time of the day you can perform better with your weightlifting and training. That was a bit of a transition for me, but afterwards, you start to get into a rhythm and of course, it's a lot of sacrifice."

the ''light bulb'' moment

In the winter of 2010 after Larry's first season, the McGill football team needed to make some personnel changes in order to fill out both sides of the line.

Hardly anyone realized it at the time, but this moment would be one of the most important in Larry's development and football career.

It took five seconds. After one practice, I went to the head coach and said, 'If you retransfer that guy to the defensive line, I'm never talking to you again.'"

- Quiviger on Larry's offensive line play

Quiviger, the team's O-line coach, had been a five-year starter at offensive tackle for McGill from 1990 to 1994. During that span, he earned all-conference honors twice in addition to capturing all-Canadian honors in 1992 and 1994.

"We were lacking some offensive linemen and some big bodies, so they transferred a couple different linemen that winter," Quiviger explained. "At that time, [Larry] had played some offensive line in high school before, but 99 percent of it, he played on the defensive line."

It didn't take long for Quiviger to realize Larry was special.

"It took five seconds," he laughed. "After one practice, I went to the head coach and said, 'If you retransfer that guy to the defensive line, I'm never talking to you again.'"

Quiviger was historically one of the best offensive linemen to ever play at McGill and is a member of its Hall of Fame.That is why his 2010 affirmation mattered more coming from him than it did from most.

"I could just see that he was better than me at everything," he said. "This kid was just faster, stronger, quicker. He understood faster. He had coordination. He had extremely good dexterity in his hips and ankles. Right away, I could see he was going to be very special."

So special, that Quiviger offered Larry something that meant more than anything to him.

"He had a defensive lineman's number. He was wearing 92," Quiviger said. "I said, 'Look. No one is wearing my old number, which is 66.' I said, 'Would you please wear it if you don't mind?'"

Larry during his play at McGill University

Larry during his play at McGill University

Larry wore the number 66 and played at the offensive tackle position for the remainder of his college career.

Throughout his time at medical school and a football player at McGill, Larry was among the best in both realms. At offensive tackle, he quickly became one of the best players on his team, all the while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the classroom.

"As smart as you think he is, he's smarter than that," one of his mentors and the research director in the department of emergency medicine at McGill, Dr. J. Scott Delaney, said. "Going to medical school is like learning a lot of new information, but also learning a second language at the same time. Then to pick up as an offensive lineman and the different schemes he was using at the university, I'm sure it took every waking minute and hour that he had during the day."

In order for Larry to manage his obligations, it more or less did. During his first two seasons at McGill, he could attend every practice, but during his third season, which coincided with him beginning to do rotations in the hospital, that had to change.

It happened multiple times where I was finishing my rotation in medicine and I was going to sleep in the locker room for a couple of hours and I was there still the next day for the morning practice."

- Larry on balancing football and school

"That's where it got a little more tricky," he said. "I was basically making sure that during the football season, I was getting rotations close to the stadium in sport medicine and specialties that were a little bit more flexible. I was able to go do my rotation during the day, come back for one or two practices a week, and then study and be there for games."

Sometimes, there were hours of sleep lost to the night.

"It happened multiple times where I was finishing my rotation in medicine and I was going to sleep in the locker room for a couple of hours and I was there still the next day for the morning practice," he said. "The guys were just kicking me in the locker room saying, 'Hey Laurent, come on for the meetings.'"

In 2013, Larry was practicing less and likely sleeping less than every player in the country, yet he still managed to win the J.P. Metras Trophy, the award given to the most outstanding offensive lineman in Canada.

This became Larry's light bulb moment. He knew he was good; that was obvious. But maybe, just maybe, he was NFL good.

"The thing in Canada is that you don't necessarily play against all the teams," he said. "You play mostly against teams in Quebec, which is our province, but you don't play against the teams in the west. So to get that award, I was like, 'OK, I'm not only good in Quebec, I'm also good across Canada,' and it kind of motivated me to train even harder and to approach the fourth year, my last year at McGill, like a challenge and an opportunity to prove myself to everybody and to put good film up there."

Larry called a close friend who he knew he could trust. His name was Sasha Ghavami, who was attending law school at the University of Montreal.

Ghavami received the call in Australia, where he was completing his final semester of law school in a study abroad program.

"[Larry] said, 'A lot of agents have contacted me, but I don't trust them,'" Ghavami explained. "'I trust you. I know you know the difference in football, and I know you always wanted to do this, and I feel that with your hunger and with what you want to do, you could help me get to the next level.' He said, 'Quite frankly, I don't know anything about pro football and I need help with this whole thing.'"

Ghavami changed his flight so that he could come home from Australia as quickly as he possibly could.

"He went to do the [agency] classes, and we signed a contract together," Larry said.

Weeks prior to this phone call and contract, Ghavami had already been researching his friend. The 2013 Canadian collegiate all-star game had a combine tied to it, and he had crunched the numbers.

"I compared [Larry's numbers] to some statistics that I had researched on combine numbers from draftees in the NFL, and he was competing with the top end of the prospects," he said. "I was like, 'Wow. Granted, he hasn't played in Division I football, but he's got all of the physical tools to get there.'"

Larry was projected to be the number one prospect in the 2014 CFL Draft.

The Draft Process Begins

Once Ghavami realized the NFL potential, Larry knew he had to alter his medical school program at McGill. There was no way he could train for the NFL Combine and study medicine at the same time.

"What I decided to do was to go see the dean of medicine and I told him, 'Sir, here's my plan. Here's what I want to do: I want to get drafted in the class of 2014. In order for that to happen, I need to potentially train in the states for a couple of months, do a pro day or a combine and have good results. And for that, I need four months off.'"

The dean accepted Larry's plan, and Ghavami connected with an American agent, Chad Speck, the president of the Allegiant Athletic Agency who also represents Chiefs safety Eric Berry. Ghavami was not NFL certified, whereas Speck was, so the two partnered up as a team to represent Larry.

Larry flew down to Tennessee and trained for four months, but he did not get an invite to the NFL Combine. This was a roadblock.

What do you do when you're a Canadian NFL prospect who missed an invite to the Scouting Combine?

For Ghavami and Larry, the answer was to host one of the first ever pro days in the history of Canada.

Larry during his pro day

Larry during his pro day

"It was kind of a gamble," Larry said. "To host that pro day was kind of my only chance to put both CFL scouts and NFL scouts in the same place, at the same time for me to perform my tests."

Nine NFL teams showed up to the pro day—the Bears, the Bills, the Cardinals, the Eagles, the 49ers, the Jets, the Packers, the Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs.

"It was amazing. To be honest, I didn't know the impact of that until it took place," Ghavami, who organized the event near McGill, said. "You see these NFL personnel people come in one after another, and you're like, 'Wow, they're coming all the way here.'

"For them to come to us and say this was the best pro day they had ever been to, it's very good. So I was very happy about that."

Larry's numbers at the pro day were among the best of the 2014 draft class.

"Duvernay-Tardif was not at the combine," NFL media analyst Gil Brandt later wrote, "but those numbers were as good as any offensive lineman there, including Taylor Lewan."

"I did well," Larry said. "That gave me a lot of confidence throughout the process."

''Holy crap, he can do both of them.''

There is a bit of risk involved with drafting a Canadian prospect to the NFL, the first of which is as rudimentary as the rule differences.

For an offensive lineman in particular, the rules are vastly different. In Canadian football, there is an entire additional yard between the ball and the defensive line. This skews statistics and even film when evaluating for the NFL.

When I think you do your research, you want to see, is he mature enough to handle both loads? Is he strong enough mentally to handle both? And I think he can do that."

- John Dorsey on Larry's medical degree

Combine that with the fact that Larry wanted to continue to pursue his medical degree, and no matter his pro-day numbers, this had to alarm some teams.

But not so much the Chiefs.

"When I think you do your research, you want to see, is he mature enough to handle both loads?" Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said. "Is he strong enough mentally to handle both? And I think he can do that. Then you marvel and you watch him grow. You marvel his athleticism and you see his true innate strength, and you go, 'Holy crap, he can do both of them.'

"I think that's a credit to those regional scouts doing their homework and really digging and kind of getting to know him and maybe sitting and taking him out to lunch or dinner and just finding out what makes him tick."

On January 18, 2014, Larry was one of only two players in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) to be represented in the East-West Shrine Game held in St. Petersburg, Florida, and his performance there stood out in particular to Dorsey.

"Where it began to finish and flash, you go back to the East-West Game, because he held his own," Dorsey said. "Then you watch him play against junior college teams. What you always saw was the athleticism and the lateral agility and the strength with the hands. Those were the things you saw, and if you could dominate at a lower level, then you have a chance."

Dorsey and the Chiefs felt Larry had "enough of a chance" that they selected him with the 200th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Five days later, he was selected in the third round of the CFL Draft, his Canadian draft stock having slipped due to his selection in the NFL Draft.

Larry on the phone with the Chiefs after being drafted

Larry on the phone with the Chiefs after being drafted

But despite his selection to both leagues, Larry knew where he was headed. He never gave it a second thought.

"My goal was always the NFL because it's the biggest league," he said. "But at the same time, football is my passion, and wherever you get drafted, whatever rank, whatever round, as long as you get drafted to a team, then it's your job to go on the field and prove yourself. So I was not impressed and I was not scared about where I was going to come out, I just wanted to have a team and to be able to prove myself."

"I guess it was meant to be"

On day three of the 2014 NFL Draft, a former Kansas City Chiefs long snapper named J.P. Darche was not watching. He was at one of his sons' baseball games when he picked up his cell phone.

J.P. Darche

J.P. Darche

Coach Quiviger, his former teammate at McGill, was on other the line.

"Hey, you won't believe it," Quiviger said. "Larry got drafted to the Chiefs."

Darche grew up in the greater area of Montreal, attended medical school at McGill, played on the football team and was drafted to the CFL in 1999. In 2000, he moved onto the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks, where he would spend the next seven years, before moving onto the Chiefs in 2007.

When his career ended in Kansas City in 2008, he decided to raise his children there, later restarting med school at Kansas University in 2010.

Of the 32 possible locations, Larry, who Darche had met through Quiviger, was heading right for him.

"I guess it was meant to be," Darche later said.

Rather than coming to America with no guidance, Larry was drafted to Kansas City, where Darche took him under his wing in the summer of 2014.

"Shortly after he got here, I invited him over," Darche said. "I had him over to the house for a home-cooked meal, and we kind of got away from the whole football thing. It was cool because we're both French-speaking. We're kind of the same background."

Darche would serve as a mentor for Larry, something he needed especially in 2014, when everything was new and he did not play in a single game for the Chiefs.

For any player, that could be frustrating, but it was that year in which Larry said he learned "everything" about the NFL game.

"I think for me, coming from a small school football-wise in Canada and getting drafted in the NFL, that was a big step and there were a lot of things I had to learn," Larry said. "That first year, for me, was really, really critical. Even though I didn't get to play, I learned the whole playbook. I learned new rules … You learn how to deal with a real bull rush from a 340-pound defensive lineman. There was really a learning curve for me."

I really trained with the mindset that next year is my year. When I presented myself to training camp [in 2015], I was really focusing on that goal to be a starter."

- Larry on the 2014 season

Larry put that year to good use, and then parlayed his knowledge of the playbook with a strong offseason workout regimen.

"I really trained with the mindset that next year is my year," Larry said. "When I presented myself to training camp [in 2015], I was really focusing on that goal to be a starter."

The difference in Larry showed something to head coach Andy Reid, who named him just that to open the 2015 regular season.

"When I played my first snap in Houston in 2015, I was confident," he said. "I felt good about myself. But I realized there were a lot of things that I needed to work on and I was way far from being perfect, but I was feeling good about it."

After just three games, however, Larry was benched.

"I was not playing good football, especially against the Packers," he said. "I really took those three weeks to go back to the basics. Now I knew what it was like to play on the field—let's think about what I can do better. Why am I doing all those drills? And when you get some reps on the field, you can relate it to practice … I think during those three weeks I really went back to the fundamentals. After that, when I got my other chance, I was a more mature, more confident player."

Larry was reinserted back into the lineup at right guard four weeks later, and he would remain there the rest of the regular season.

The only game he could not play in after that was against the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round after suffering a concussion in the Wild Card Round against the Houston Texans.

"That's something that's difficult with football," he said. "You never know when your last snap is going to be. For me to play that last snap in the second quarter of the Texans game, it kind of left me hungry and I'm really looking forward to 2016."

the switching of mentalities is the most difficult

Larry temporarily switched his focus back to medical school this past offseason.

When NFL players are encouraged to take a break from training right after the season, he began his internal medicine rotations, which can keep students on the medical floor up to 16 straight hours at a time.

He figured the beginning of the offseason was the perfect time for such a schedule because he didn't need to be in the gym as frequently.

His emergency rotations later on in the summer were only eight hours apiece, allowing him to follow the Chiefs training schedule during off hours.

Doing both is "not that hard," so he says. It is the switching of mentalities that is the most difficult.

"You go from really, really high emotional states, like when you're on the field winning, to the week after—you're waking up at 6 in the morning, you're on the floor at 6:45 and you're dealing with all kinds of different medical issues and personalities," he said.

That considered, he managed to seamlessly do both once again this offseason, as he arrived to training camp in St. Joseph the team's starter at right guard and did not miss a beat this preseason.

Dorsey recently weighed in as to how far Larry has come on the football field since his rookie year in 2014.

"I think he's got every combination to succeed in the National Football League," he said. "I think one, he's got toughness. I think his hands are better. I think he is strong. I think he could hold up and lock guys. I think what he's done by playing [in 2015], what gives all rookies fits is that. When stunts begin to flash in front of you, he's actually begun to have more patience and sit in there and he can only get better now."

The precision that made Larry a 4.0 medical student has translated to his play.

Many try, but few are able

No one really knows how far Larry will go in the game of professional football, as in each of his first two seasons, he has only continued to get better and better.

The thing is, though, that this phenomenon is not new. It is a trend that started at McGill and has only continued in Kansas City.

Dr. Delaney

Dr. Delaney

Reid has said a countless number of times that he will always play his team's best five offensive linemen, so when you multiply that across the 32-team league, that makes Larry one of the 160 best players at his position in the entire world.

Many try, but few are able to accomplish it.

"To have the opportunity to play pro sports at the highest level, which is the NFL, is something an incredibly small percentage of people get to do," his mentor, Dr. Delaney, said. "It's a little fraternity and club that he'll always have."

But to Delaney, that pales in comparison to what Larry will truly be remembered for—and that is, in his own words, "touching people and affecting them" in a positive way as a medical doctor.

"I hope [him being a doctor] is, in retrospect, more valuable than his NFL career," he said. "It may or may not be, but I think it will be because it probably will come to define him. He will be the doctor who played in the NFL. At some point, he will not be the NFL guy who is also learning to be a doctor. I see 30 years from now, obviously he'll always be a big guy right? So he'll get people's attention. But the NFL stories will fade a bit.

"'Well, you know Dr. Duvernay-Tardif played in the NFL.'

"[His patients] won't know him as that. They'll know him as a really good doctor and a really good teacher. Who they'll remember—someone will tell the story of when he played in the NFL—but they'll be more impressed with the person and the physician they're dealing with."

In 2016, Larry will play his third season in the league, and that will follow with four more months of medical school before he will officially be "Dr. Duvernay-Tardif."

And who knows?

Larry is already teasing the idea of putting "Duvernay-Tardif, MD." on the back of his game jersey for 2017.

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