Coming off a pair of surgeries Kansas City Chiefs Left Tackle, Eric Fisher, was expected to be rusty heading into the pre-season. In two games this summer, he’s been unable to stretch out his game long enough on the field time to get into the flow of either contest.
Head Coach, Andy Reid, was asked on Monday about his thoughts on Fisher. He made a good case for his up and down performance so far when eh stated over the course of the game, when he flexes his surgically repaired shoulder play after play, he eventually gets tired and his mechanics fall off.
Still Fisher isn’t ready to accept that as an excuse. He understands there is a lot of pressure to deliver the goods after being the top overall draft selection a year ago. But so far, he’s not ready to use the shoulder as an excuse for his erratic play.
“I’m not out here using that as an excuse. I am out here working,” Fisher stated. “When I have the strength, I feel like I’m using it, and obviously after a major surgery your body is going to get fatigued. It was a long rehab. I stayed on top of everything, did everything I could. But right now it is just a rebuilding process and getting through the tail end of it here.”
It’s that tail end that has Chiefs fans worried. How much longer will his rehab derail his ability to play at the highest level? Well it’s impossible to answer that question because at some point, Fisher has to block out the physical pain, the rehab, the expectations and become that smash mouth tackle that he was in college.
The big issue with Fisher isn’t the fact he’s coming off an injury. Instead, he suffers from inconsistency with his every down technique on the field. It’s something he’s aware of and I’m sure his coaching staff does as well. But thanks to the new CBA coaches are limited to the one-on-one time they can spend with players on the field. That means Fisher has to do some it on his own.
“Obviously there is a lot of time in practice for individual work and we take advantage of that but we are doing things on our own. Studying film is huge, getting out there early is big and just doing the little things on your own that you can do,” Fisher stated after practice on Monday.
Further, we can make excuses that Fisher is still a work in progress considering he is making the jump from right to left tackle at the NFL level.
Perhaps the real issue for Fisher lies within his patience and understanding of the path it’s taken to go from college football to the NFL.
“Yeah, it is a transition. Especially with me coming out of a MAC school, I was used to going against very smaller ends and when you get to the NFL you are seeing the best of the best every single week. Every team has got a rush end now. It is something you go out there, you learn from your mistakes, you keep your head up, you get back in there, and just keep fighting and that is what I am trying to do,” Fisher said.
If there is a silver lining right now for Fisher, it's clear he understands that he's in a dog fight with himself. In fact, it appears he has a clear understanding on the issues a young high profile draft pick goes through at this stage of his NFL career. With that, he’s beginning to display some of the fire that gave the Chiefs hope he would develop into a premier left tackle.
“Hey, that is a never-ending battle. I don’t care who you are, you can be All-Pro, Pro Bowl. You always have things to work on, always,” he said.
Photos of Eric Fisher: (1) Denny Medley, (2) Chuck Cook USA Today Sports
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