The Chiefs approached veteran offensive lineman Ryan Lilja about returning for the 2013 season, the Kansas City Star reported Tuesday.
Lilja, 31, indicated after last season that he would retire, but was receptive to the idea of returning, according to the Star.
The eight-year pro played the last three seasons on the interior of the Chiefs line. In 2012 he moved from guard to center after Rodney Hudson broke his leg during the third game of the season.
Lilja is rehabbing from surgeries on his knee and toe and no deal is imminent, the Star reported.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Acquired Alex Smith from San Francisco; signed free agent Chase Daniel.
Matt Cassel, acquired in a 2009 trade from the New England Patriots, enjoyed his finest season in 2010. Leading Kansas City to an AFC West Division crown, he threw for 27 touchdowns against just seven interceptions.
Although he was regarded as a game manager, Cassel’s 2010 performance had the Chiefs believing they were capable of taking over the AFC West for the foreseeable future. After all, the quarterback was just 28 and heading into his prime, they figured.
If history is indicative of the future, Reid’s West Coast offense is a far cry from the traditional run-first-ask-questions-later mentality that had consumed the Chiefs franchise—a conventional mentality that bred an archaic offense within a progressive league.
Reid’s West Coast makeover will bring the Chiefs up to speed.
With the exception of a few wrinkles, Kansas City’s offense should more or less mirror that of Reid’s past Philadelphia Eagles teams.
However, in regards to the West Coast system, there will be one major philosophical difference between tomorrow’s Chiefs and yesterday’s Eagles.
With the release of Eric Winston we know we will have at least one new starting tackle. Who that ends up being will be reliant on whether or not the Chiefs trade current starting left tackle Branden Albert, something that seems more and more likely as the odds of the Chiefs being able to trade out of the number one overall spot decrease. It wouldn’t be surprising if Kansas City is looking at two new starting tackles to open up the season.
Many have also speculated that Geoff Schwartz will be the new starting left guard this season to replace Jeff Allen. Allen was okay last season filling in for Ryan Lilja who had to move to center because of an injury to Rodney Hudson. There are those that think Schwartz could be a Pro Bowler at the guard position and would represent an upgrade along the interior offensive line. This would mean Kansas City has a strong possibility of having three new starting offensive linemen for next season.
Even ahead of the two highly rated offensive tackles, Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M and Eric Fisher of Central Michigan.
“I don’t care whether it’s Warmack or Joeckel,” said NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. “People will tell me I’m crazy, that a guard can’t go No. 1. I think he’s the best player in the draft …
“Chance Warmack is the best football player I saw on tape this year. And Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina is just a tiny notch behind him. As a matter of fact, Cooper’s probably a better athlete.”
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