If a quarterback is going to be successful in the NFL, he needs to be able to trust his offensive line, and that starts with the center position.
The quarterback places trust in the center to correctly make calls, snap the ball cleanly and then provide immediate protection up the middle.
According to Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, former University of Missouri standout and second-year center Mitch Morse checks off all of those boxes.
"I can't say enough at how far a second-year guy like Mitch Morse has come," Smith told the media Saturday. "I don't even consider him a second-year guy with how talented he is and how far he's come. His attention to detail and how he carries himself, the guy is a real pro and that helps."
In Andy Reid's West Coast system, the center can be called upon to do many different things, from simple pocket protections to getting out in space on screens and rushing plays. That's why with the Chiefs, the center position could even be regarded with a higher importance than elsewhere.
"We put a lot on the center in this offense," Smith added. "For [Morse] to come in and handle it like he has, has made my job a lot easier."
At his press conference Monday morning, Morse actually seemed awestruck that Smith had shared such kind words.
"It means everything," Morse said. "I look up to Alex, as does this entire offensive line and offensive unit. He's an incredible competitor. I was very fortunate to have him as a rookie when I made mistakes or had a question. He was gracious with his time and the patience he had for me was uncanny. I will never forget that, and I'm forever grateful of that."
Smith had one of the best seasons of his career in 2015, when he threw for 3,486 yards, 20 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions.
Some of that credit has to go to Morse and the O-line, but Morse explained that even with last year's success, there is still ample room to improve.
"For me individually this year, it's just working on getting better each day regardless of what that may be. I can't get 'destination disease.' It's never acceptable to stay where you are and for me, the great thing is I have so much to improve on.
"That's exciting for me and at the same time it's taxing physically."