Chiefs offensive line shows potential In preseason opener

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Aug 11, 2015; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) drops back into coverage as tackle Eric Fisher (72) prepares to block during the training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

While I took game notes over the entire team, I was more specific when it came to the offensive line. I noted the play of the offensive line for every offensive snap for both the first- and second-string offensive lines. That was a total of seven offensive possessions. Those included all of Alex Smith’s drives, all of Chase Daniel’s drives, and Aaron Murray’s first drive. After that I stopped charting because I just don’t see any third-string guys sticking around.

The first-string unit consisted of Eric Fisher, Ben Grubbs, Mitch Morse, Zach Fulton, Jeff Allen and (after Allen left the game) Donald Stephenson. The starting line (minus Allen) played the first three full series.

If I was giving the first-string offensive line a letter grade for the game against Arizona it would be in the B-/C+ range. They didn’t dominate, they weren’t overpowering, but they also didn’t get dominated or overpowered either and that’s an improvement over much of last season. Here’s a few quick thoughts on each individual guy.

Eric Fisher – A solid but not spectacular game from the first-overall pick. Fisher does look like he may in fact be a little stronger this year. If you want a play to see that in action, watch the second play of KC’s second drive. It was the play Alex Smith scrambled for a first down. Fisher stonewalls his man and eventually overpowers him and pancakes him. It’s impressive.

Still, for as athletic as he is, there are still times he gets beat on the outside. Fortunately he is athletic enough to ride them out around the outside, which gives Smith time to step up and get the ball out. Last year that was a problem because there was nowhere to step up to with Mike McGlynn’s backside constantly coming toward Smith like a bad 3-D movie.

An improved interior will take some pressure off Fisher and if he is in fact more physical in the run game, he will be a solid starting left tackle. That may not be what people hoped for when drafting him first-overall, but a solid starting left tackle would be huge for KC. Seth Keysor at has a film review on Fisher that’s worth a read if you want even more details on his game.

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