More Movement On KC's Line

The offensive line is still arguably where the burden of Kansas City's success this season ultimately lies, and there were developments Wednesday at Chiefs' practice. Over the last week, Damion McIntosh has seen his role slip from starting right tackle to backup. Wednesday, he moved again, this time back to the left side as Branden Albert's backup.

This move comes two days after Ike Ndukwe, who took over McIntosh's role as second-team right tackle Wednesday, came to Kansas City from Miami in a trade. Head Coach Todd Haley seemed reluctant to put too much weight on McIntosh's move back to the left side.

"Number one, it's to get guys reps," he said. "Number two, it's to get some guys reps without necessarily taking away reps from other guys, so it's a balancing act of trying to put guys where you think they get the most chance to get the most action for us to evaluate, as opposed to standing behind somebody and watching."

Did McIntosh's preference for the left side of the line or his experience protecting the quarterback's blind side have anything to do with the move?

"I wouldn't speculate on that as much as just trying to move guys around and give them the best chance to make the team or to help us," Haley said.

As for the play of Ndukwe and his fellow new arrival, Andy Alleman, Haley was pleased with their work thus far.

"For coming in the first day and getting as many snaps as they did, and then today, again without looking at the tape, I saw some positive at least during the live action," he said. "I feel that they should only get better as they get to knowing what's going on a little bit."

Elsewhere on the offensive line, Rudy Niswanger received all the first-team reps at center Wednesday, and Wade Smith snapped for the second team. Perhaps Smith, like McIntosh, is moving back to an old position to better his chances of making the team.

So far, it seems like the only certainties along the offensive line are Branden Albert at left tackle and Brian Waters at left guard. Mike Goff hasn't been pushed for his starting spot yet, but Alleman also moved up to the second team Wednesday at the right guard position. Perhaps Alleman's presence will light a fire under the 33-year-old Goff.

Though Mizzou fans are holding out hope that Colin Brown will make the team, it seems rather unlikely at this point. Brown was drafted as a tackle, and on draft day general manager Scott Pioli said he viewed him as a right tackle, specifically. Since then, Brown has been moved to right guard, where he's split time with Tavares Washington and Smith. The Chiefs may waive him and try to sneak him onto the practice squad in coming weeks.

The Chiefs are seeing true competition along the offensive line. At this time last season, Adrian Jones and McIntosh received all the first-team reps at right guard and right tackle, respectively. Former coach Herm Edwards thought his offensive line would benefit from continuity, but that approach didn't pan out. The philosophy of having the best player play, regardless of their time with the team or experience at another position, may benefit the Chiefs more.


Practice notes:

Wide receiver Ashely Lelie played well, as did the bulk of the receiving corps. Lelie hauled in a well-placed bomb thrown by Matt Cassel for a 30-plus yard gain, and made another nice catch by coming back to an under-thrown ball. The receivers caught the ball well in 11-on-11 drills.

Linebacker Zach Thomas did not practice or work out today. He was nowhere to be found. Haley declined to talk about players who did not practice, which also included running back Kolby Smith and tight end Jake O'Connell.

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