Chiefs offensive line shaping up?

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But with these three moves come three corresponding moves.  And for the players not getting those first team reps, the story is something else entirely.

Eric Kush looked to have a shot at the starting center position, but the Chiefs have to be happy that Mitch Morse has stepped up. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Kush – After backing up Rodney Hudson for the previous two seasons, it appeared that Eric Kush was finally going to get his chance as the starter.  However, this was short-lived and Kush is back to the second team.  While that certainly isn’t what Kush wants, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The Chiefs have seen fit to keep Kush on the roster behind Hudson, and may continue to do so with the rookie Mitch Morse as the starter.  Kush will be coming up on free agency before long, which will likely give him his best chance at starting in the NFL, though probably not with the Chiefs if Morse pans out.

Donald Stephenson – Around this time last year, Chiefs fans were excited about Donald Stephenson being in line for a starting job with the Chiefs.  He had shown up well when called upon as a backup, so there was no reason to think that he wouldn’t be able to handle the starting job.  However, a PED suspension later and Stephenson had found himself in the doghouse.  What’s worse is that when he did get his chance to regain a starting spot, he put up a miserable performance.  Stephenson now seems set to return to his role as swing tackle.

Paul Fanaika – There was never a doubt that Fanaika was going to fit into this OL groups somehow.  It now appears that he will be the primary backup at right guard at least.  This is an acceptable situation for the Chiefs as Fanaika is reliable in a limited role.

This also shines some light on what the Chiefs are thinking when it comes to some of their other offensive linemen as well.

Derek Sherrod – At this point, it seems safe to assume that Sherrod just isn’t showing enough.  There was some hope that he would be able to rebound from his injuries and step up, but it just doesn’t appear to have happened.  The Chiefs may keep in touch with him in case of injury, but I wouldn’t expect it.

Laurent Duvernay-Thomas – The doc has been working with the second team, but I would have him listed as a fringe player at this point.  The Chiefs can only keep so many linemen, so LDT will have to show them that he can beat some people out.  We knew he would have a tough time when the Chiefs brought in both Grubbs and Fanaika, and it looks like that may be playing out.

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Jarrod Pughsley – I’m throwing Pughsley in here simply off of what I’m hearing from those watching Training Camp.  Pughsley seems to have become a favorite of Nick Jacobs, so he certainly bears some watching.  However, with the group already listed, I’m thinking Pughsley is headed for the Practice Squad.  As an undrafted free agent, it’s unlikely that he’ll get poached due to the waiver claim rules, so the Chiefs should be able to retain him.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, and the line, are our starting left tackle and left guard.  Eric Fisher and Ben Grubbs have been put in position from day one and haven’t moved since.  That’s a good sign for the Chiefs as it not only shows they are doing what the coaches want, but also builds cohesiveness on Alex Smith’s blind side.

Next: So how does the OL play out?