As you can imagine after a 45-10 victory, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had quite a lot to say. The Monday afternoon presser is the media’s opportunity to get in all their questions regarding the game on the previous Sunday. Today was no different.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock and are completely ignoring what’s happening on the football field, you’ve noticed that the Chiefs offensive line is playing significantly better. As with the rest of the Chiefs team, they made a statement on Sunday as well against the Washington Redskins by springing their running backs for a total of 193 yards and not letting a single defender sack their quarterback. That’s pretty significant in and of itself, but the fact that they did it without their leader, left tackle Branden Albert, is even more impressive. Andy Reid was asked what he thought of the play of Albert’s backup, Donald Stephenson.
He’s gotten better every chance that he has had to play. You forget that he’s a second year player. You’re going to have some ups and downs with him. We understand that, (he’s a) young guy. He’s talented. He’s trying every day to get better, which is important, as I tell you the other young guys are doing. He’s a tremendous athlete. You saw him down the field yesterday on Jamaal’s run. He led the pack down there. He has a great athletic ability, and he can play either side. He can play guard for you, remember we did that a little bit with him at camp and I bet he could do that in games if you needed that. It’s just a matter of him just continuing to play and getting reps under his belt and develop.”
Stephenson had previously gotten the nod to start over No. 1 overall draft pick, Eric Fisher who didn’t start last week, even though he was healthy and recovered from a shoulder injury. Many in the league — and in the comment sections of online blogs — have already begun calling Fisher a “draft bust” though the season isn’t over yet.
When asked about Fisher’s play, Reid had this to say:
“I thought he was very similar to what I just said there about Donald. It
was good to get him back in there. I thought he did some nice things. This kind of a game is kind of a lineman’s game. You had a little snow and a little ice and you’re running the football. You’re muddy, that’s kind of what linemen dream about is games like that. Both of those two got right in the mud and got after it. They enjoyed it.”
However, the questions weren’t finished in regards to Fisher. When you’re the very person player picked in the draft, people expect you to perform. When you don’t, people start throwing around labels. So, when you have a good game, it only makes sense that people are going to have questions about that game. Reid was happy to answer, though.
“Yeah the quick screen. He did that well. He’s another one, he’s a very good athlete. He’s long and he can run. The play you’re talking was a quick screen to Jamaal for the five or right around that area. He got out there and was able to block a secondary player. You feel comfortable with him getting up on linebackers. You saw all of the backside cut-off blocks, both of those two (Donald Stephenson and Eric Fisher), but we’re talking about Fisher. Obviously, the backside cut-off blocks with the inside technique from the defensive linemen, he’s able to make that block the first play of the game and several after that.”
Through the ups and downs with this team this season, the offensive line has been the biggest question mark. It’s seemed at times that they weren’t able to block anyone. Many have said that the O-line will be the last unit on a football team to gel, and it appears that’s happening now. Good thing. The playoffs are just four weeks away.