"I don't think you want to shy away from anything -- I just think you want to be real," Smith said of his budding relationship with Mahomes, via The Kansas City Star. "You want to be honest, almost even embrace [it]. Sometimes it can be awkward, and it is. But you just embrace that and be real, and I think everybody kind of appreciates that. I just kind of emphasized that to him, that any of that extracurricular stuff that goes on elsewhere just doesn't take place here. That's just kind of the environment we have."
Smith has seen this situation before. The 33-year-old quarterback was the starter in San Francisco when an early round draft pick with a cannon for an arm (Colin Kaepernick) was threatening to take his job.
Back then, in 2012, Smith was probably irked by the whole situation. But now? The Chiefs QB is at peace with it.
"I'm at a different place than the last time I dealt with something like this," Smith said. "I get it. If any of us were the GMs, this is, maybe the most important position in all of sports, and it would be crazy not to be stockpiling talent. You'd be nuts not to. So I get it, right? I'm going into year 13. But at the same time, that doesn't change my focus, right?"
Smith, who's thrown for more than 3,200 yards in each of the past four seasons and led the Chiefs to 11 or more wins in three of those years, doesn't seem concerned about the inevitability that's on the horizon. In his mind, it'll be a while before Mahomes -- or any other quarterback for that matter -- takes his spot regardless.
"I feel like I've got a lot of years left in me and still feel like I'm getting better," he said.