Center for the Chiefs is a Kushy job

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Last summer is when Andy Reid began to notice the difference in Eric’s ability to perform at a high level. Performance wise, from year one to year two, Kush was like a typical before and after picture. Andy Reid explains,

"“The effort would have been there” last year, Reid said. “But the ability to hunker down and drop your weight and get in that strong position? He couldn’t.”"

When the new and improved Eric Kush showed up last offseason and Reid was asked if he noticed a difference in his play he stated,

"“Oh, he has. He has, he’s put on some weight. You see that with linemen. Normally you get about a 10-pound increase that first year on the average, so he has done that. He looks strong, more physical. He is not getting thrown around like he did when he was lighter.”"

That’s Reid making reference to Eric Kush not getting thrown around by 6-foot-3, 336 pound nose guard Dontari Poe in his second offseason practices.

High Character, Strong Rep

You can’t depend upon almost any player to tell you how good they are… and there are plenty enough of those guys in the NFL. It’s safer and often more accurate to listen to what others say about a player. Quarterback Alex Smith should know something about whether or not Eric Kush is going work out at the center position.

"“I’ve had Kush here the last couple years. To be honest, it’s been very, very seamless. Rodney is a heck of a player and is missed, and he moved on. To be honest, it’s been very, very seamless — I haven’t really missed a beat. Kush has stepped in, he knows the offense, he knows what we’re doing, (and is a) really good communicator up here. He and I have a really good rapport together.”"

“Seamless.” That’s a pretty solid compliment coming from Alex Smith. Eric Kush has seemingly surfaced as the Chiefs leading Center candidate without fanfare. In May following an OTA, Herbie Teope interviewed new left guard Ben Grubbs and asked about Eric Kush. Grubbs said,

"“Kush is very knowledgeable. He has a good foundation of the playbook and he’s been helping me out – him and Fish (Eric Fisher), they’ve been doing a great job. I don’t want to be a burden too much, but there are some things that I just haven’t quite gotten the grasp of and they’ve been doing a really good job bringing me along with them.”"

Many fans have the perception that the Chiefs will be strong on the left side of their line with first round selection Eric Fisher (assuming he progresses) and Pro Bowler Ben Grubbs manning their respective posts. However, I believe you can add the center position to that list of offensive line strengths.

There’s an old saying, “Don’t fix it, if it ain’t broke.” While many will argue that the offensive line is broken… and I would not at all disagree if you’re talking about right guard or right tackle… I don’t believe that includes the center position. Eric Kush has shown all the leadership you could hope for from a veteran and he hasn’t even started a meaningful regular season game yet.

Certainly the camp battle along the offensive line will focus heavily upon the right guard and right tackle positions but will there be a real battle for center? The Chiefs need a solid backup center so it won’t be unreasonable to see Mitch Morse plugged in from time to time — he’s going to have to get some snaps for Andy Reid to feel comfortable with designating him the backup center — but unless Eric Kush gets hurt, the job appears to be his to lose.

Some are projecting the center position to be a position of weakness in 2015. I’m projecting the opposite, that Eric Kush has already made it a position of strength. All indicators are positive that Mr. Kush will produce… because he’s already producing. Beyond that, he also seems to be everything you’d want in a teammate.

As Eric Kush enters his third season in the same offensive scheme and turns 26 years old the week before the seasons begins, he brings a maturity not often seen in most first year starters… more reasons why, playing center for the Chiefs in 2015, will be a Kushy job.

What do you say, Addict fans? Do you buy into the idea that Eric Kush is the heir apparent at center for the Chiefs? Or, do you think it’s still a 50/50 open competition between him and Mitch Morse?