During the whole off season, the talk of the Kansas City Chiefs was that Alex Smith was going to be the most important piece of the puzzle for the Chiefs to have a successful season and improve on last year’s disappointing 2-14 record. I say that is correct but if and only if something else happens first. The offensive line must protect him.
Eric Fisher Selected Number 1 overall:
When the Chiefs had all off season to prepare and focus on who they would draft number 1 overall, there never was a clear cut choice, considering this wasn’t the year to draft a quarterback with the first pick. The Chiefs, with newly hired head coach Andy Reid followed by newly hired General Manager John Dorsey, looked at the roster and decided the best course of action would be to draft the best player overall and trade for a QB. There weren’t a lot of options but names like Nick Foles came up who was drafted by Andy Reid while in Philadelphia and others but eventually they decided on March 12th to send two first day draft picks to San Francisco and get Alex Smith in return. This was a very good move because as all Chiefs’ fans know, including myself, this has been the most glaring weakness of this team the past few years. Now they could focus on getting their guy in the following month’s draft and after even more speculation and not having a clear cut choice, they went with the offensive tackle with the most upside, Eric Fisher. This would create a nasty bookend combination of Fisher and incumbent left tackle Brandon Albert. When the news broke, I for one was stoked. It’s one thing to be able to run block and knock linebackers over and pave the way for Jamaal Charles, but it’s another entirely to be able to pass protect for your newly acquired franchised quarterback. Through 6 games the verdict so far has been….
Offensive line will be the key:
I would say so far average. This is not to say that Alex hasn’t had time, but it feels as though he hasn’t been given what he SHOULD be given. Through 6 games the Chiefs’ offensive line has given up 16 sacks, which is close to 3 a game and if I’m Andy Reid (and I’m not), that number should concern me. The offensive line must continue to gel together and become cohesive to give the team a greater advantage going forward. I love what I’ve seen so far out of Albert and center Rodney Hudson, and the addition of Geoff Schwartz from the Minnesota Vikings has give the line some insurance to help out with injuries so far. Rookie Eric Fisher, while starting at right tackle has shown some glimpses but needs to really cement himself in that position and shake off the nerves that rookies tend to show. The average play of the O-line is showing up in the box score as a positive so far for one person and that’s Jamaal Charles as he leads the NFL in touches at 147 and has 7 touchdowns. Once the O-line becomes cohesive the trickle down effect will lead Smith to have more time to complete more passes down field to wide outs Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery and hopefully a healthy Anthony Fasano when he returns. Coaches always say that a team’s success starts up front and in this case I couldn’t agree more.