The Chiefs struggled at left guard all last season, but that does not necessarily mean they will invest a ton of resources in upgrading the position this offseason.
First off, projected starter Jeff Allen, who missed 15 games last season with an elbow injury, should be healthy and ready to play. And don’t forget, the Chiefs also invested a sixth-round pick in guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an athletic, 6-foot-4, 321-pounder from McGill University in Canada.
“LDT, I think he’s physically capable,” general manager John Dorsey said. “He can hold up in there — he has the heaviest hands of all the guards in there. The key would be now, when stuff starts going with this with stunts and games, if he can hold stable with patience and hold in there.”
In an offseason interview with CBC, Duvernay-Tardif — who did not appear in a game all season — said there were times in 2014 when he practiced with the starters because of injuries and thought he might play, only to find out he would be inactive once again.
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We wanted “to get him in there and get the group familiar,” said Dorsey, who added that they were happy with what they saw.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid agreed, and said Duvernay-Tardif, 24, has come a long way in a year.
“I thought he continued to improve,” Reid said. “He didn’t have any playing time, but think of where he was. He went from being maybe at a junior-college level of play to now jumping into the National Football League.
“So the improvement he made, I thought, was dramatic. He’s smart, strong and a good athlete. I think he just needs to play more. I think he has nice upside, though.”