The Kansas City Chiefs said they plan to play No. 1 overall draft pick Eric Fisher at RT if LT Branden Albert decides to report to practice. Some people have called that strategy foolish, claiming that it doesn’t make sense to take a LT so high in the draft only to start him on the right side.
Will Shields is not one of those people.
The former Chief guard knows a thing or two about offensive line play. Shields was a Chief his entire career. He was drafted in the third-round of the 1993 NFL Draft and played until 2006. Shields racked up 12 Pro Bowls, eight All-Pro nods, the Ed Block Courage Award and threw in the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award for good measure. One day soon, a bust of Shields will sit in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
With those credentials, when Shields talks about line play, people listen.
And Shields says Fisher is good enough to play anywhere, so long as he works hard at it.
“It just depends on how good you are as an athlete,” said Shields in comments printed in the Kansas City Star. “How are you going to work at it to make yourself work on both sides. In high school, I played left. Then, all through college, I played right. It depends on your mental makeup of ‘Hey, can I switch sides …’ What are you going to do win a job, that’s what it comes down to.”
To his credit, Fisher has had a great attitude so far. Whenever he’s ben asked, Fisher has responded that he will play anywhere the Chiefs need him to, so long as he can help the team.
It may be that where the Chiefs need Fisher, at least in 2013, is at RT.
And if the rookie is half as talented as Shields, he should do just fine.