Sept. 16, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Donald Stephenson (79) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Chiefs 35 to 17. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs' Donald Stephenson On How To Improve

The Kansas City Chiefs selected T Donald Stephenson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft to help solidify the depth along the team’s offensive line. Stephenson was able to see a fair few snaps in 2012 and though Stephenson was not terrible, he wasn’t great either.

In short, he played like a rookie third round pick.

Stephenson played 329 snaps as a rookie for the Chiefs. Pro Football Focus graded him at a -6.6 on the season. Stephenson was slightly above average as a run blocker at +2.5 but struggled in pass defense with a -7.2 mark. He was responsible for nine QB hurries, seven QB hits and five sacks.

Stephenson recently stopped by The Drive 610 Sports Radio to talk about the upcoming season. He was asked about what he wanted to improve upon from 2012 to 2013.

“With me, it was knowing my place on the team,” said Stephenson. “Last year, I kind of struggled with that a little bit. I did some things right but that was one of those things I felt I needed to work on after last season. This year during the offseason, I’ve stayed in my notes and my playbook.That way, when I’m on the field, there’s no doubt about what I’m doing. Play a lot faster. I guess that’s the main thing, is playing faster. Getting used to the speed in the NFL. It’s a lot faster than college. That should help me out this year, too.”

Stephenson could be a very important swing man for the Chiefs’ offensive line. With Branden Albert at LT and Eric Fisher set to start at RT, Stephenson will likely serve as the primary backup to both spots. Should there be an injury or should one of the starters need a break, it will be Stephenson that has to step up.

Andy Reid highlighted just how useful he thought Stephenson would be during OTA practices earlier this summer.

We’re lucky we have Donald Stephenson here to be able to swing back and forth, and he can also play guard for us,” said Reid. “So he got reps everywhere. You need all of them, that’s an important position. But it was good to see those two, that was a good thing.”

“We’ve got some flexibility,” Reid said. “Donald gives us a little flexibility. (Chiefs OL Geoff) Schwartz gives you flexibility inside. The guys that are in there are doing a nice job with what they’re presented with. That seems like a close knit group, and they have to be. You’ve seen that they have that in them. They’ve welcomed the new guys in. It seems like they’re working hard there.”

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  • Chris Tarrants

    How do oline guys bond?have dinners together at the local buffet? I really like Charles chances of having a huge year, he should be able to turn the corner on the left and right side plus it looks like up the gut might be easier this year also

    • steve james

      By practicing & working out together? Seeing each other every day working as hard as they can for a common goal? Charles will run less up the gut this year. Easy prediction but I think it will prove to be accurate.

      • Joe Myers

        I dub jc the 80 yard monster !!! . Goiing off the left and right with success will open ul the middle of that field oh man I can’t wait . Thats te and dex territory . Ill see you all opening day vs the cowgirls !!!

    • Kisersosay

      Thursday nite bowling….

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Stephenson’s probably the favorite to be Kansas City’s new right tackle in 2014.

    • micah stephenson


    • Troy Utt

      Depending on the outcome of a deal with Albert, unless Stephenson really hit the weight room in the off-season I would think Schwartz the better option as the right tackle. Providing he has turned the corner from his injury…everyone seems to be very high on him, even naming him to start at LG this season…

      • Stacy D. Smith

        1. I tend to agree, but I also think Schwartz is a better guard than he is tackle.
        2. He’s only on a one year deal. They’ll have to re-sign him first.
        3. If he’s moved…Who plays left guard? There aren’t any clear cut options currently on the roster.

        • Troy Utt

          I absolutely agree! I believe when NFL.Com did their division All-Pro Teams that is exactly why they listed him as a starting G… Obviously having been thru a couple of teams, & thru injury we would have to re-sign him…But w/Schwartz I would not think that to be a problem if he works out??? As to replacing him? I don’t know that we have the answer on our roster… Truth be told, with pads finally going on this next Friday I would be surprised if Schwartz was not our starting LG if Reid holds true to starting the “Best-5!” Stephenson no doubt has the speed but hopefully will have bulked up some in the off-season to help stave off the rush if he is to be a full-time gamer!

          • Stacy D. Smith

            I think Schwartz is going to win that left guard spot outright. He’s probably the 3rd most talented offensive lineman we have.

  • paul pace

    Changing the subject a little but has anyone heard when they might sign Fisher?? Training camp is right around the corner so I think there is a little sense of urgency to get this boy signed up so he can get on the field when camp starts.

    • jim

      I’m getting a little concerned too, GEAUX CHIEFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Troy Utt

      Was wondering the same myself??? I was just reading a piece this morning on showing 18 of 32 1st rd picks had yet to sign… As far as signing Fisher, or any FA the Chiefs may want they have approx $3.54mil in cap space to work with according to the NFLPA…

  • jim

    It’s nice to see the Chiefs have some decent backup in the Oline & really across the board, GEAUX CHIEFS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • paul pace

      Here, here! I think this is the best the team has been in many years when it comes to backups.