welcomed the news that he'd be returning to the quarterback's blind side this season.
“I met with Coach (Andy) Reid a few weeks ago and he just told me 'Hey, this is what's going to happen,' ” Fisher said. “Obviously, I was pretty excited about it because deep down inside, I think I'm truly a left tackle.”
The Chiefs obviously feel the same way, despite watching Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, struggle as a rookie. His Pro Football Focus grade of negative-17.8 ranked 70th among 76 offensive tackles who logged at least 25 percent of his team’s snaps, and he also allowed seven sacks (53rd) and 35 hurries (63rd).
However, it must also be noted that the learning curve that comes from jumping from the Mid-American Conference — where Fisher's alma mater, Central Michigan played — to the National Football League is a steep one, and the barrage of injuries Fisher was forced to play through certainly didn't help, either.
Over the course of the season, Fisher suffered at least five injuries — to his knee, shoulder, groin, back and a concussion — and Reid revealed Monday that the former No. 1 overall pick also underwent surgery on his left shoulder and had sports hernia surgery this offseason.
“I'm really excited to have a complete body this season,” Fisher said with a laugh. “Hopefully I'm just knocking all these surgeries out my rookie year and be done with them, and you know, it's smooth sailing from here.”
Reid said Fisher has spent the entire offseason in Kansas City, rehabbing and working out in hopes of becoming a bigger, stronger and better player.
“He's doing all of his lower-body work and rehabbing the shoulder, doing what he can,” Reid said. “Good progress is being made.”
In fact, after playing last year between 295 and 300 pounds — which is fairly light for a lineman who is listed at 6 feet 8 — Fisher says he's now in the low 300s, which Reid is pleased with.
“You want to make sure he maintains his weight,” Reid said. “We thought that at the end of the season, he could afford to add a few pounds. He's done that. He's put on another five, which is good weight. I think when he gets full capacity with his upper body, then he'll put on another five or so. That's about an average for a lineman. You look at linemen that come in from their rookie year on to their second year, they normally add about 10 pounds, on average.”
For his part, Fisher said he is hoping to build his weight up to 310 or 315 pounds, and even higher, if he can get there.
“I'm working out again, the weight is coming back,” Fisher said. “I'm already weighing more than I reported at last year and I haven't even started lifting upper body yet, so I'm really looking forward to this next season and everything that's coming.”
Fisher did show marked improvement as the season went on. In his first nine games, he posted a Pro Football Focus grade of negative-19.9. In his last five, he posted a positive grade of 2.1.
For what it's worth, quarterback Alex Smith — the man whose health will be most reliant on Fisher making the grade at left tackle — says he believe the second-year pro can handle the job.
“I feel good about it,” Smith said. “A lot gets made up about the blind side and the front side, (but) they're both equally dangerous and Fish was over there on the right side all year so he'll do a fine job over there on the left. I'm not worried about it. At all.”
Neither is Fisher, who has a wealth of experience, both positive and negative, to draw on from last season as he takes his first real step toward becoming the offensive-line anchor they drafted him to be.
“Playing right tackle last year, I think, was a great learning experience for me,” Fisher said. “I learned a lot from Branden Albert, what a great guy to learn from. The things he's accomplished that's just awesome. I'm ready to take over now. I'm ready to run that left side with Jeff Allen. I think were going to have a great crew up front.”