Nobody is going to feel sorry for the Kansas City Chiefs depleted offensive line. If the season began today, Donald Stephenson, Ben Grubbs, Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff and Paul Fanaika would be the teams opening day staring offensive line.
Ironically those five might still be better than the 2014 class but it’s nowhere good enough to win the AFC West this season. Head Coach, Andy Reid has to be wondering if his offensive line carries the Babe Ruth curse. Injuries, suspensions and poor play have forced him to use the Cliff Notes version of his playbook since he arrived in Kansas City over two years ago.
It’s been an eternity in NFL years since the Philadelphia Eagles released Pro Bowl Guard, Evan Mathis. Kansas City has reportedly been in the mix to sign him, but so far the two sides haven’t been able to strike a deal because his agent, Drew Rosenhaus insists on a larger than life guarantee for his aging but still viable NFL client.
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With injuries to both Eric Fisher and Jeff Allen, who may not been seen on the field again until the season opener, its apparent that Kansas City must sign Mathis. If both tackles get back on the field before then, the Chiefs have some experienced back-ups at their disposal. If Mathis joins the healthy bunch, KC's offensive line is the class of the division.
My concern, if the Chiefs take the status quo approach, remains at center with the unproven but talented Morris. If the Chiefs can surround him with Grubbs and Mathis, he’ll be learning from two of the games best. They would also cover up any mistakes he's going to make until his feet are dry playing center for Kansas City.
However with training camp nearing completion, the Chiefs must prioritize the now at the forefront of their football decisions. They must continue to put their foot on the throttle in the AFC West, especially since they’ve become the trendy pick to dethrone the Denver Broncos this summer.
If Fisher and Allen aren’t ready by the season opener, does Reid want his opening day starting lineup to consist of Stephenson, Grubbs, Morse, Duvernay-Tardiff and Fanaika?
I think not!