Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Predicting the Chiefs’ starting offensive line for first game

04/30/2013 10:01 AM

05/20/2014 10:43 AM

After the Chiefs drafted Eric Fisher, someone asked me on Twitter to predict the Chiefs’ starting offensive line for the first regular-season game, left to right. Here was my answer: Branden Albert, Geoff Schwartz, Rodney Hudson, Jon Asamoah, Fisher.

That’s just a guess, because there are too many variables here to give a more educated answer. It’s possible the Chiefs don’t even know which way they will go.

Some of those variables:

• The Chiefs have an abundance of bodies to play on the offensive line, though no one with the proven ability to play left tackle like Albert can. Fisher may get to that point and beyond soon, but the fact is he’s not there yet. Trading Albert is still a possibility, but from all appearances, not a good one. So assuming Albert stays and shows up at some point, he’s their best left tackle, and putting him there allows the Chiefs to avoid the potentially messy situation he could otherwise create.

• Reading between the lines a little bit here, but it seems the Chiefs like Jeff Allen better as a tackle than a guard. Why else would the Chiefs look at Allen, last year’s second-round draft pick, at a different position during the recent minicamp than the one he played as a rookie? Sure, the Chiefs were short on tackles at that point before they drafted Fisher, but for the time being, at least, I’m going to believe they like Schwartz better at guard than Allen.

• Will Ryan Lilja return from retirement? The Chiefs talked to him about putting off retirement for at least another year, and word was he was receptive. But his return is at least a couple of months off because he’s rehabbing from surgeries he had when he believed his career was finished. Maybe the Chiefs would change their minds on this if they like what they see during offseason practices. The sure thing with Lilja: He would return only if the Chiefs planned to plug him into their starting lineup at left guard.

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