Quarterback Alex Smith has been around this league for a while – 12 years now – and he's well aware that success in the NFL doesn't come easy.
It's the result of a tenacious persistence, from the film room to the practice field, coupled with the ability to learn the tendencies of the rest of the offense all the while trying to stay two steps ahead of the opposition.
Many players simply can't handle that responsibility, and few are able to actually improve after a decade in the league already.
That's what makes Smith's 2017 campaign so special.
Kansas City's quarterback set personal bests in passing yards (4,042) and touchdowns (26) this season, leading the NFL in passer rating (104.7) in the process.
He finished second in the league in yards per attempt (8.00), third in completion percentage (67.5 percent) and fourth in deep passes of at least 25 yards (38), all while throwing just five interceptions on the year.
In fact, Smith became just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards with five or fewer interceptions in a season, joining Packers' signal caller Aaron Rodgers (2014).
It was a performance that garnered MVP consideration at one point during the year, and for a third time in his five seasons in Kansas City, Smith earned a spot in the Pro Bowl.
But as usual, Smith isn't taking any of the credit.
"There's so many good players in this league…so many deserving players," Smith said. "A lot of us have relied on a lot of people to get here. We owe a lot of the people around us, our teammates and coaches, that have all helped us along the way. None of us are here by ourselves."
That support system includes Smith's family, who joined him for a week in the sun.
"For anyone that has kids, and for the little kid in all of us, there's just so much to do here between Universal and Disney," Smith said. "It's been a ton of fun."
Also in Orlando this week are teammates Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill, with the trio's presence serving as a fitting tribute to a Kansas City offense that hummed for much of the year.
"It's so special to share this with those guys," Smith said." "It's fun to see them interact with the whole league and to see what guys think of Kareem and Ty."
That ability to meet and talk with players from other teams is what makes the Pro Bowl so different from the isolation of the regular season.
"The coolest thing about the Pro Bowl is you never really get the opportunity to spend this kind of time with guys that you play against all year and to learn how they operate," Smith said. "It's just such a unique opportunity."
Smith, Hunt and Hill will all be back on the field this Sunday as the Pro Bowl kicks off at Camping World Stadium at 2:00 p.m. CT.
Photos from the AFC team photo shoot and practice at the Pro Bowl in Orlando