As we stated over the weekend, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, shook up his offensive line. So much so, the new look line created a bit of stir within the fan base. Yet for the man who has to call the plays behind the line, Quarterback Alex Smith, he likes the changes.
“I think the pieces are here right now, whereas last year, I don’t think that was necessarily the case at this point,” Smith told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s a matter of figuring out the best five and what that’s going to be.”
Smith of course was being politically correct describing last years starting offensive line. In a word, they were terrible. However, when Reid replaced third year center Eric Kush with KC’s 2015 second round pick, Mitch Morse, then shifted Guard Jeff Allen to right tackle, the only issue remained - who would be the teams starting right guard?
A year ago Zach Fulton did an admirable job at right guard for Kansas City but the Chiefs (as of Wednesday afternoon) remained in the hunt for veteran free agent tackle, Evan Mathis.
Regardless of the five that start Saturday night against the Arizona Cardinals, or opening day against the Houston Texans, Smith should be in better hands up front with these five, that also include, Left Tackle Eric Fisher and Guard Ben Grubbs.
”I think those guys are doing a great job, they get great work in practice – we go against such a good front, so they get tested every single day, every play. They’ve been doing a great job. For me, I’ve got enough on my own plate to worry about,” Smith said.
Yet Smith is only one part of the equation that needs a solid offensive line for this offense to achieve a high level of success in 2015. Wide Receiver Jeremy Maclin, who returned to practice after two days on the sidelines, believes Reid has the right formula in front of his new quarterback.
”I think those guys are all capable of holding their own and doing what’s asked of them to do,” Maclin said. “I think we’ve had numerous opportunities, even throughout training camp, to get the ball deep. Me and Alex have hit a couple times. So yeah, no question about it.”
Still not convinced that Smith and Maclin are being anything but politically correct about the new offensive line? How about the thoughts of KC’s best defender?
(Photo: Chuck Cook USA Today Sports)
“I like it. I don’t know what Coach is planning on doing, but I think I like this lineup,” Chiefs Linebacker Justin Houston told the media after practice today. “I think it’s a great lineup for them. They got it good understanding with each other and they play well with each other.”
Listen it’s no stretch all three of KC’s potential pro bowl players are daft enough engaging the media and delivering what they want to hear, but lets just assume for the moment, they’re correct.
The five that Reid has put forth to start the first preseason game certainly has some risk. I actually believe the Chiefs are in trouble at center. I can live with the fact they may not sign Mathis, and instead might rely on Fulton to improve his play of a year ago, but if I’m Smith, I’d still be worried about the rookie Morse.
Then again, perhaps Reid, a brilliant offensive line coach in his day, has found the secret formula that will deliver a high-powered offense that challenged the AFC’s elite.
If not, there is good news in this regard. After all it’s only August and there’s plenty of time before the season opener to tinker with the offensive line – inside or outside the organization.
Photos Courtesy of Denny Medley USA Today Sports