Much weeping and gnashing of teeth filled Chiefs fans’ dialogue last weekend with the performance of Eric Fisher and his offensive line teammates. It was indeed a very poor showing and highlighted some of the concerns many have with the Chiefs’ ability to withstand the tests teams like Seattle and San Francisco are going to give them.
But it would seem most of the heat went toward last year’s number one overall pick when it came to placing blame on the offensive line’s performance. For their part, the Chiefs seem to fine with Fisher when it comes to their public statements. They’ve noted the health issues he has been coming off of and some of the different physical hurdles he’s been having to clear when it comes to strength and endurance.
This isn’t to say there are not things Fisher needs to work on. Fisher definitely has some technique issues to figure out when it comes to power rushers, and he could afford to show a bit more quickness. In two preseason games (51 snaps) he has allow a sack, a quarterback hit, and a quarterback hurry, and has amassed a less than stellar -2.5 PFF overall grade.
But Fisher has actually been one of the better starting linemen so far this preseason.
A good performance would go a long way toward showing he has the ability to handle the left side of the offensive line. He’s going to also need some help from his teammates. Left guard Jeff Allen has a -2.3 overall PFF grade and right tackle Donald Stephenson has a -1.5 overall PFF grade so far this preseason. Rookie right guard Zach Fulton has a disastrous -5.3 over grade that is heavily influence by his poor performance against Carolina. Rodney Hudson is the only offensive lineman we could call average at this stage.
It may not be fair to put all the weight of the offensive line’s performance on Fisher but that’s what’s going to happen anyway. Here’s hoping a good game from him gets Fisher out of the spotlight for at least a week.