Kansas City Chiefs Offense: 2014 vs. 2015

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Now that the NFL Monopoly board game called, The NFL Draft, has passed “Go,” and each team has received $200 dollars, everyone is looking forward to training camp.

You know what that’s all about right? Fans want to know if their team this year is any better than their team last year. In the Chiefs’ case, that progress will mostly be defined by what’s changed on a certain side of the football: the Kansas City Chiefs offense: 2014 vs. 2015. Progress? Will it be Park Place or Baltic Ave? Let’s have a look-see.

Below you’ll find several graphics showing a spectrum for comparison. The first is about a subject matter that represents the Chiefs’ biggest bugaboo last season, the offensive line. That’s followed by the wide receivers, the second biggest hole in the Chiefs 2014 season.

The black circle with white in the middle targets the most likely to be expected point of progress (or regress) along the spectrum in 2015. The black circle with grey in the middle is less likely but the next most possible expected outcome. Circles to the right (purple and red) represent the most progress. Circles to the left (green and blue) represent less progress.

2014 Offensive Line vs. 2015 Offensive Line

Left Tackle

Eric Fisher is about to begin his third season. His first two seasons were sub-par, especially considering he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2013. His surgeries during last offseason, plus the position change from the right to the left side, kept him from showing any clear progress. However, he’s had a good offseason so far, “converting fat to muscle” and incorporating a boxing program which should give his game an edgy side in 2015.

With the improvements the Chiefs have made at the wide receiver position — this group of wide receivers has elevated team speed overall giving them an increased ability to get open faster — so the Chiefs offensive linemen will be required to hold their blocks for shorter periods of time, thereby assisting Eric Fisher in having his best season to date. Add to that the positive influences that new veteran left guard Ben Grubbs should have on Fisher and he looks to not only improve this year but has a chance to make a major leap as reflected by the spectrum shown above.

 Eric Fisher passes Go and collects $200.

Left Guard

Ben Grubbs at left guard will easily be the most improved position this year. Mike McGlynn was the worst guard in the league and Ben Grubbs is one of the best, and has been for many years now. Grubbs will not only help to stabilize the middle of the Chiefs offensive line, he will be a tremendous help to whoever the Chiefs have playing the center position for them this year, be it Eric Kush (one game experience) or Mitch Morse (a rookie with limited experience at center). The spectrum above reflects the greatest amount of improvement that can be shown at a given position. It also shows that if the improvement isn’t at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, then it’s right next to it.

With Eric Fisher offering greater pop via his new found boxing background, and Ben Grubbs’ superior run blocking skills, running back Jamaal Charles will enjoy running left behind the pair with great frequency.

Ben Grubbs buys Park Place and gives Eric Fisher a Chance card.


Mitch Morse or Eric Kush playing center for the Chiefs in 2015 will not be as good as what could have been had Rodney Hudson been re-signed in 2015. This is the only position where I believe the Chiefs will be worse this year. Although I’m a fan of Eric Kush, I’m also hoping that Mitch Morse wins the position outright because it will not only show that Morse can become what Hudson once was for the Chiefs but it will justify a second round pick. If not, then the Chiefs just spent a top pick on a backup, which goes against the standards the Chiefs should have for their top draft picks: expecting their first and second round selections to start right away for them.

I was impressed with Eric Kush’s start against the Chargers in the final game of the 2013 season and surprised by the growth and muscle mass he had coming back to training camp in his second season. If Mitch Morse wins the starting center job, then Kush should be given the chance to start at guard because he’s athletic enough to not only stop the bull rush of most nose tackles and defensive ends, but also is able to get to the second level to block linebackers effectively in the running game. Given that Andy Reid’s mantra is to start the best five offensive linemen on the team, Kush might be one of those guys even if he is beat out for the center position in camp.

Morse, or Kush, land on Reading Railroad but don’t have

enough money yet to buy it. Yet.

Right Guard

Zach Fulton and Paul Fanaika will likely be the two linemen forced to compete for the starting right offensive guard position. Fanaika, who ranked 71st among all guards, only had five guards worse than him in 2014 (who had more than 10 starts) and Mike McGlynn was the worst, of course. If it does come down to Fulton or Fanaika I’m hoping it’s Fulton. Still Fulton ranked 64th in the league among all guards (only 11 guards worse than him with 10 starts or more). So, if it is Fulton, I would expect him to make some progress over his 2014 performance. A lot? Not necessarily, but at least a little bit.

I think Jeff Allen will actually be in the right tackle race since Ben Grubbs is now ensconced at left guard, so Allen may be given a shot at right guard. I’m not a fan of Jeff Allen’s work (ranked 79th out of 81 guards in 2012), so if he wins the job you can expect this position to be worse in 2015. The Chiefs should let Jeff Allen go. The spectrum above shows the right guard position slightly improving over last season, but requires Zach Fulton to take the necessary steps.

 Zach Fulton buys up States Avenue and St. Charles Place

in his second time around the board.

Donald Stephenson is the stated starter at left tackle…for the time being. If he is the starter, I’d expect an improvement over last year’s starter, Ryan Harris. I thought Harris could have been good if he’d moved to the guard position but the Chiefs choose not to re-sign him, which was probably for the best since last year’s offensive line may have been the worst line in the history of the Chiefs organization. That alone is reason enough to give this year’s starting right tackle an improved grade along the spectrum.

If either Stephenson or Derek Sherrod, who was once a first-round pick, comes in and plays lights out, then this position could improve dramatically as reflected above. Unfortunately for Sherrod, his leg broke when Tamba Hali landed on it during a game. Ironically, he’s now with the Chiefs and if Sherrod can return to his form of old, he could be an amazing addition to the Chiefs offensive line. He gave up only one sack in his senior season at Mississippi State and helped lead the way for running back Anthony Dixon’s 1,391 yards. I love comeback stories and hopefully Sherrod’s is one we can celebrate at some point.

Donald Stephenson goes to Jail and, after losing a turn, lands on Free Parking.

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2015 wide receivers will be better than the 2014 wide receivers