Slotting the 2015 Chiefs PART II

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Part II

Before ranking the offensive line I’d first like to identify who they are individually and who the Chiefs brass has had filling the open roster spots this past offseason… and previous seasons… positions that would lead those players to believe they had a chance to be a starter in a Kansas City uniform.

First, I’d like to add that seven months ago I wrote a piece called, “The Chiefs OL: Building a Juggernaut” in which I suggest that what the Chiefs really need for long term success is not to merely build a better offensive line but build a stellar line for all time. With that in mind, I offer the following evaluations. The current starters:

LT, Donald Stephenson: while Donald has had his good moments this season he’s probably not starting material. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft and has been a career backup ever since then… until being given a chance to start this season.

LG, Ben Grubbs: Ben has been often been the Chiefs best offensive lineman this year and has been a valuable partner for rookie center Mitch Morse. Although Grubbs has made the Pro Bowl in 2011 and 2013, it appears his best days are now past. While he is a big improvement over last year’s starter, Mike McGlynn, he has often appeared to be over matched in the Chiefs first four games.

C, Mitch Morse: Morse has served as the Chiefs best offensive lineman. While I think he’s the one lineman who could be around for ten seasons and help the team move to the next level, I don’t feel that way about any other Chiefs offensive lineman. Morse’s best days are ahead of him but it may be with a different coach and most certainly will be with different players playing next to him.

RG, Take Your Pick: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Zach Fulton… or someone else on the roster… are all way, way below average guards. If the offensive line if the “hole in the bucket” of the Chiefs team… then RG is the hole inside the hole in that bucket.

RT, Eric Fisher: I don’t care if he’s playing left tackle or right tackle… in two plus years since being picked number one overall in the 2013 NFL Draft, Eric William Fisher has proven nothing. I’m not willing to call him a bust because he’s probably the Chiefs third best offensive lineman right now. However, if he doesn’t show that he can be a dominant right tackle by the end of this year then I’m ready for the Chiefs to take whatever action they need to take including moving him to the guard position and I don’t want to hear that he’s never played guard before. Since Andy Reid has announced that Eric Fisher is a very good athlete so moving to the right side should be easy for him… and Eric Fisher has admitted that he’ll play wherever the team needs him… then maybe… just maybe he would be an above average guard in the NFL. If that’s the case I’d rather see him make that move with the Chiefs than his next team. Better to salvage than scrap.

Slotting the Chiefs and their offensive line is a project that takes us back over the past three seasons (and offseasons at least). Think of the players John Dorsey and Andy Reid have allowed to walk (or forced out the door):

Branden Albert- Dolphins

Jon Asamoah- Falcons

Rodney Hudson- Raiders

Geoff Schwartz- Giants

Eric Winston- Cincinnati

J’Marcus Webb- Raiders

While I’d like to think any or all of these players are better options (at the positions they play) than what the Chiefs currently have available on the roster, the possibility exists that these players were not best suited for Andy Reid’s scheme.

When considering the other offensive linemen that Dorsey and Reid have had on the roster… it makes you wonder who is really calling the shots when it comes to the OL… and who really has a handle on what it means to be a talented offensive lineman.

Mike McGlynn

Ryan Harris

Jeff Linkenbach

Rokevious Watkins

Derek Sherrod

Jeff Allen

I have to add Jeff Allen to this last list of inept offensive linemen Dorsey and Reid have kept on their roster. When he spent the better part of two seasons starting for the Chiefs he always… always… ranked very close to the bottom of the league by ProFootballFocus. I just want to say… the PFF ratings only confirmed what I could already see with my eyes. The optics don’t lie. Neither does the olfactory epithelium. If it smells like a rose, it probably is… if it doesn’t….

I consider Allen a strong reflection of Mike McGlynn… maybe not quite as bad… but he was never good or even close to it.

The offensive line has gotten worse since Andy Reid has arrived.

Sip on that for a moment… and smell the bouquet.

The offensive line has gotten worse since Andy Reid has arrived.

Some want to blame John Dorsey for the makeup of this OL but I think the person calling the shots when it comes to his offensive line is… Andy Reid.

Either way… it doesn’t really matter.

This offensive line is near the bottom of the league when it comes to ranking or slotting them. Their poor makeup and play are the number one reason the Chiefs quarterback is not… and can not… play at an above average level (which is now apparently all he’s capable of). More importantly… and obscured by the great debate that is called Alex Smith… is the dramatic effect these hideous offensive lines have had on Jamaal Charles’ career.

I recall 11 years ago when Priest Holmes was injured and Chiefs RB Derrick Blaylock rushed for 186 yards as his replacement behind what has been considered by many as the best OL ever. Blaylock said,

"“Yes, I believe we have the greatest offensive line in the NFL, but I’m not sure you can say you can put just anybody back there and get 186 yards.”"

Blaylock was wrong… mostly.

The Chiefs were playing the New England Patriots that day and Teddy Bruschi said,

"“Priest didn’t play, but then Blaylock had like 200 yards…. It’s their offensive line, I think. That team, that offense… is that offensive line.”"

I agree with Teddy Bruschi.

I would slot this offensive line between #28 and #32 in the league.

Now, 11 years later, and he Kansas City Chiefs may possibly have the second worst offensive line in their history… because last year was worse than this… so far. We’ll have to see if this line threatens the NFL record for the most sacks given up ever… then perhaps they’ll be known as the worst in Chiefs lore.

Where do the Chiefs TEs slot?

Next: Where do Andy Reid and his coaches Slot?