Size Does Matter For The Chiefs
By Ben Nielsen
When it comes to offensive linemen, size does matter for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Wall Street Journal had a feature on the Chiefs today, pointing out one of the more unique aspects of the team and why the offensive line may be playing better than initially expected. In the article it is noted the Chiefs linemen have exceptionally long arms, which helps jive with their creed of winning the ‘first step’ on every play.
Here’s a snip from the article and a quote from John Dorsey:
"Monday night, looking like a Super Bowl contender in the process, it starts with the Chiefs quietly emphasizing the first half-second of a given play—the so-called first step—and building their team around it. And that all starts with fixating on a physical attribute that has long been more associated with basketball: long arms.…“Length has always been huge, but when you pay attention to the way offense has evolved, with offensive linemen, you are darn right you have to have arm length,” Dorsey said."
What may be even more interesting is the little anecdote the article gave about the process Dorsey goes through to identify the various key traits he is looking for. In a discussion about ‘explosiveness’ for defensive pass rushers, Dorsey explains part of the process that goes into developing the formula to help identify players who can fill the role they are looking for in a pass rusher. Needless to say, it is intense.
"Dorsey said that he evaluates linemen on both sides of the ball with a clear plan in mind. After figuring out how to quantify explosion, he studies 20 years worth of explosive players at the same position. “Once you understand those basic measurements of explosion, what you can do is go back and look at correlation with the data you have at hand,” he said."
Only 20 years worth of film, eh? Slacker.