Oct 20, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Fisher (72) walks out of the tunnel before the start of the game against the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Coach Andy Reid Happy With O-Line Play

Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City head coach Andy Reid on the sidelines against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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Tags: Andy Reid Donald Stephenson Eric Fisher Kansas City Chiefs

  • Trent Taylor

    Dont forget big #74 at RG. Schwartz has been great!

  • Davé

    Good to see the O-Line get some well deserved attention. Fisher is in no way a bust, he is a unpolished rookie. I think I have seen enough of him to know he will become a terrific all pro tackle at some point in his career. Man are we going to be a dangerous playoff team. So excited.

    • Jason Seibel

      You change your mind on Smith?

      • Davé

        I changed my mind on Smith a while ago when I did some thorough research on his years in San Fran. He is a very good QB, not elite. Elite can perform regardless of who is around, very good can perform with a decent cast around him. That is where Alex is. He has performed so well these past three weeks. And I have always defended the choice to bring him on because he was the best option in free agency.

      • micah stephenson

        I havnt. Alex reminds me of Cassel meaning, everybody has to play a perfect game just for him to look avg. The Oline can’t give up any sacks at all, the wrs can’t drop one single pass, the playcalling has to b perfect, special teams needs to give them good field position, and defense needs to play really good, all that just for Alex to look respectable. Alex is a sweet guy, tries hard, and was the only guy available, but by no means is he the long term solution.

        • Jason Seibel

          He’s not the long term solution, but he’s better than what you give him credit for.

        • T.Hagen

          Alex is a good quarterback and I think he only gets better. As for your one comment on wide receiver’s can’t drop one single pass is irrelevant to AS being a good quarterback. You watch your so called elite quarterbacks such as Andrew luck and without Marvin Harrison he is just a regular olé quarterback. Shit even egghead throws a few bad passes every game. Receivers are important to making your quarterback good.

  • Arrowhead Magic

    It’s no small coincidence that our offense has gotten better at the same time the o-line play has picked up.

    • sidibeke

      Smith has more time to throw the deep ball. I hope it keeps up.

  • Andy

    All good comments. One other observation is that Smith seems confident in the pocket now, not worrying about the pass rush instead able to go through his progressions. I am not as optimistic as some of my fellow fans. Until we play better against a good qb… on the other hand the AFC is up for grabs with the ticket to the SB going through Denver. I wouldn’t mind playing the donkey’s again.