Life started to get back to normal for Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher on Friday. He was a football player again.
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Fisher merely did the things that helped make him the first overall pick in the NFL Draft last month. He attended team meetings and participated in practice at the opening of the three-day rookie camp at the Chiefs’ Truman Sports Complex practice facility.
But unlike he did at any of his collegiate practices at Central Michigan, Fisher did these things under the weight of some heavy expectations.
“I’m just trying to keep a level head,” Fisher said. “You can’t really get ahead of yourself or let the expectations get to you or let the pressure get to you. It’s good be here, finally.”
As the first pick in the draft, Fisher will have to live with those expectations, for better or worse. He got a lesson just how different his life would be the morning after the draft.
He boarded a plane from New York to Kansas City, and as he walked past the cockpit, he was recognized by the captain, who asked Fisher to pose for a photo.
Fisher may eventually be able to live up to the expectations the Chiefs have for him if he can block out those kinds of distractions.
“Life hasn’t changed much, but obviously there’s more attention,” Fisher said. “It’s just something that comes along with it. Coming from Central Michigan, I guess I wasn’t really used to it so it took a little bit of adapting to. But it’s a pretty fun life.
“I can’t really go anywhere without being noticed, especially back home. It’s pretty cool. But I’m still a lineman. It’s not really rock star status.”
In his initial practice with the Chiefs, Fisher lined up at right tackle, which will apparently be his position. Coach Andy Reid said the Chiefs would hold the left tackle spot open for Branden Albert, who has told the Chiefs he will report in time for full-squad practices that resume on Tuesday.
“It didn’t really surprise me,” said Fisher, who hadn’t played on the right side since his sophomore season at Central Michigan. “I kind of expected it. Albert is a great tackle, somebody I’ll be able to learn from. I’m really looking forward to getting through this rookie camp and then learning from the veterans and just improving my game every day.”
Fisher was able to get back to his former life, if only for a few hours, on Friday. Due to NFL rules, the Chiefs were unable to work in pads — so contact was kept to a minimum.
That makes the evaluation of a lineman difficult. But it was still a relief for Reid to see the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick on the team’s practice field for the first time.
“I thought Eric came out and did a nice job,” Reid said. “He really looked like he felt comfortable (at right tackle). It was new for him but he stepped right in, and I thought he had a heck of a day.
“He’s got to learn this offense. We’re throwing a lot of stuff at these guys. I thought he handled that well. He didn’t have a lot of mental errors out there. His fundamentals and technique, he looked like he was doing a good job with that.”
The Chiefs will eventually expect much more from Fisher. But all parties understand that will come only with time.
“I thought it was a productive day,” Fisher said. “It felt pretty good. It’s going to take a little bit to transition, but overall (it was) a good day.”