ST. JOSEPH — As NFL teams rapidly were signing their first-round draft picks earlier this week, Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher remained confident his deal would get done.
By RANDY COVITZ and TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
It did, and right on time. Fisher, the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, signed a four-year contract on Friday, just hours before taking part in the club’s conditioning drill and first full-squad practice at Missouri Western State.
The contract, which includes a club option for a fifth year, is worth about $22 million and has a reported signing bonus of $14.5 million.
“Those picks didn’t have anything to do with mine,” Fisher said. “I have a great agent, and I’m glad I got here, I’m glad I didn’t miss any practices, and it’s great to be back with the team and getting back to work.”
Fisher missed the first three days of practice for rookies, quarterbacks and selected veterans, but took his place at right tackle with the Chiefs first unit. Fisher played left tackle at Central Michigan, but general manager John Dorsey is confident he’ll make the conversion to the right side with the Chiefs, who have veteran Branden Albert at left tackle.
“He has athleticism, explosion …” Dorsey said. “He has the certain personality traits that the really good ones have. “He wants to be really good. He knows there are things he has to work on, but he’s willing to do that. We’ll see him progress now.”
Putting on the pads
On days like Friday, when players are wearing helmets but no pads, the defense is always at a disadvantage. That’s why defenders like cornerback Jalil Brown look forward to the first padded practice on Sunday.
“Oh yeah, for sure,” Brown said. “There’s a message to be sent. We haven’t had the pads on for a while so it will be nice to go out there and run up and hit somebody.”
Even still, Brown said defenders have plenty they can work on, even when they’re not allowed to hit anybody.
“Technique is a big thing when you get to this level of football,” Brown said. “When you’re at the lower levels of college and high school, you can kind of get away with just your athletic ability. But here, everyone has that ability. So it’s not a live (practice) and you’re not tackling but at the same time, you can work on your footwork, turning your hips, reading your receivers’ body language, those type of things.”
Brown said he is determined to put all that to use this season as he battles for playing time alongside established cornerbacks like Brandon Flowers, Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith.
“No one else affects what I do out there on the field except for me,” Brown said. “It’s up to me to play to my potential and help the team win.”
The Chiefs signed cornerback Conroy Black on Friday. Black, who played in college at Utah, spent 2012 on Detroit’s practice squad after breaking in the league as an undrafted free agent with Oakland.