Across his five seasons in the NFL, offensive lineman Austin Blythe has never suited up in red and white, but joining the Kansas City Chiefs is still something of a homecoming for him.
“I was actually born in Kansas City,” Blythe said. “My parents moved up to Iowa shortly after I was born and just continued to root for the Chiefs, so kind of coming full circle here being able to come play for the Chiefs.”
Blythe signed to join the Chiefs Monday, and he says returning to his city of birth gives him the opportunity to up his game to another level.
“Obviously, I mentioned the team has been in a great spot the last several years,” Blythe said. “Really excited to get to work.”
Blythe was a seventh round pick out of the University of Iowa in the 2016 NFL Draft. Following his rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts, in which he played in eight games, Blythe was waived and picked up by the Los Angeles Rams.
Blythe started all 16 regular season games last season for the Rams at center. The two previous seasons, he was the team’s regular right guard, starting 31 of 32 regular season games in 2018 and 2019.
Having moved around different spots on the line in both his college and professional career, Blythe says that versatility will be valuable as he moves to a new challenge with the Chiefs.
“I played guard and center in college and here I am in the NFL playing guard and center,” Blythe said, “so any spot that the team thinks that I can help the most is the spot that I’ll be eager to play.”
As he looks to establish a role in Kansas City, Blythe said he’s already becoming comfortable with his new teammates and fellow offensive linemen.
“Continuity and communication and friendship and all that stuff is an important part for playing well together,” Blythe said. “I don’t foresee any problems, I’ve gotten in contact with a couple guys already and I know I’m just really excited to get to work with everybody here.”
Coming back to Kansas City gives Blythe and the Chiefs an opportunity to have continued success on the field in the upcoming season, but Blythe said he’s only hoping to give all he can for the team.
“My mindset is I just wanted to be here and come and play for a great organization, a great team and come in a play offensive line wherever my piece may fit,” Blythe said. “That’s what I’m going to do.”