Originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Laurent-Duvernay Tardif signed a contract extension with the club this offseason.
Over the past three seasons, Duvernay-Tardif has become a staple for the Chiefs along the offensive line at the right guard spot, and he actually posted the third-highest Pro Football Focus score in the Chiefs' divisional-round playoff game last season.
As is now widely known, Duvernay-Tardif, while playing on the O-line for the Chiefs, is pursuing a medical degree at McGill University in Montreal, and he is set to complete his degree next offseason.
Duvernay-Tardif compared playing O-line to working in the emergency room, his personal preference as a doctor, this offseason.
"There's a few similarities," he explained. "The ER department is also a place where you make split-second decisions while also having different possibilities of what [the problem] could be, what could be happening and planning on what to do in certain situations. It's kind of similar to what's going on when we're on the field as an offensive lineman. You may see a different front and you have to know what the play is and what could result of it. 'This' could happen, 'that' could happen and what am I going to do if 'this and that' happen? What could possibly go wrong and what are the red flags? You need to have a little bit of the same mindset and that's the way I like it."
*Duvernay-Tardif this offseason on NFL Network's Good Morning Football: *"For me, if you're passionate about what you're doing, you won't count the hours, you're just going to do it," Duvernay-Tardif said. "I love playing football, I love being in the ER, I love studying in medical school, and I just don't count the hours. I just do it. That's something I'm really proud of is to be able to continue doing those two passions at the same time at the highest level. So many people told me when I was younger—you're going to have to choose. You cannot do medicine and play in the NFL at the same time.
"If you want to play football, you cannot do medicine at the same time. [But you can] and that's what I want to prove. For me, the past contract was huge, and of course, I'm really happy, but when I'll be the proudest is to step on the field in 2018 with the doctor degree at the same time."
2016 Season Review:
The fourth-year offensive lineman started in all but two regular-season games in 2016, missing Weeks 2 and 3 due to a high-ankle sprain.
According to Pro Football Focus, Duvernay-Tardif allowed just a single sack and two quarterback hits in 2016 and received his best game ratings down the stretch and into the playoffs. The Chiefs, as a team, threw for more than 3,900 yards and rushed for more than 1,700 yards on the season.
This past offseason, Duvernay-Tardif's fellow lineman, right tackle Mitch Schwartz noted how important getting reps with each other will be for next season—stating that they now don't need to communicate much to know what to do on certain plays.
With center and right side of the Chiefs O-line all but set, that should help everyone's production heading into 2017.