Rodney Hudson appears to be settling in to his new role as an NFL center just fine at the Kansas City Chiefs’ OTA practices.
This should come as a welcome relief to Chiefs fans who may have been feeling a little apprehensive about Hudson’s skills. After all, Hudson played guard in college and has only practiced at center since the team drafted him last offseason.
Head coach Romeo Crennel told reporters this week that it is so far so good for Hudson.
“One of the things we wanted to see was what kind of command he would take of the offensive line,” Crennel told reporters last week. “It looks like that he’s doing a nice job of it because he’s been asked to ID the mike and re-ID on fronts and he seems to handle that pretty good. I think that that group is working well together and I think that they’re developing, you know, that chemistry that you want on your offensive line and so he’s doing good.”
Crennel was also asked what he thought made Hudson the right fit at center.
“Rodney’s a smart kid and he’s a competitive kid and you know, they said they worked with him a little bit at center down there (Florida State) and we just felt like he had the tangibles or intangibles to do it,” Crennel said.
Hudson certainly had a good teacher last season. He was fortunate enough to play behind one of the NFL’s longest tenured centers in Casey Wiegmann. Thanks to Wiegmann’s unbroken snap streak, Hudson never saw the field at center in a regular season game but he certainly was able to watch and learn from Wiegmann.
Crennel weighed in with reporters on just what traits he thinks an NFL center must possess.
“He’s got to be tough, he’s got to be smart. He’s got to be able to hook and offset,” said Crennel. “He’s got to be able to block the guy on his nose. I think sometimes a 4-3 defense where he’s uncovered helps a center in this league. Looking at him (Hudson) we felt he had the body type, the center body type. Sometimes you say ‘We’ll try this guy’ and last year we were able to work him at center a little bit and guard a little bit and we felt like he could be a center and so he’s gonna do it full time now.”
The Chiefs had better hope their coaches are right about Hudson. With Wiegmann likely to retire, KC is pretty thin at the position. If Hudson doesn’t work out snapping the ball, the Chiefs could be in for a long season.
Think Rudy Niswanger.