Chiefs’ Mitch Morse is already readjusting to life as a center


The Kansas City Star

Mitch Morse, from Missouri, was the Chiefs’ second-round pick in the NFL Draft.
Mitch Morse, from Missouri, was the Chiefs’ second-round pick in the NFL Draft. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

It appears Chiefs’ second-round pick Mitch Morse is serious about proving he can be an NFL-caliber center.

Morse said that when he arrived in Kansas City last weekend he found out that’s where the Chiefs were planning on using him. So he quickly set about working on his snapping, which was somewhat inconsistent the last time he played the position — in 2012 at the University of Missouri.

Just one problem — he was working on it in his hotel room with his rookie roommate, fellow offensive lineman Charles Sweeton.

“I had to wait until I got here to know that (I’d be at) center or right guard or wherever they need me,” said Morse, who practiced at both positions on Saturday during the first day of the Chiefs rookie minicamp. “But definitely, (I) got in that night with my roommate and had some snaps. That was a fun time.”

Morse, who played offensive tackle in 2013 and 2014 at MU, said he got some work at center in practice over the last two years.

“Yeah, there have been times at practice when you do game-time situations when people go down and get hurt,” Morse said. “You have to move in at center, just here and there. Nothing too extensive.”

But it didn’t take long for Morse — whose 32 1/2-inch arms are considered short for NFL offensive tackles — to realize that he’d likely make his money by playing on the interior in the NFL.

“This offseason, especially around (NFL) combine training, we implemented me at center,” Morse said. “(I) talked to the agent, and (he) said, ‘Listen, this is what guys see you at. Heavy, short arms.’ I had no idea about it until I got to the combine.

“They were hounding me, so they said, ‘Listen you’re inside for sure.’ So I started working on my snaps right after that.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Morse had a solid first day.

“From what I saw, I thought Mitch did pretty well,” Reid said. “Most of his work was at center, but he had a chance to play some guard. And he seems to be handling things pretty well.”

No concern on injuries

A couple of rookies around the league got some bad news this week, as Denver Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman and Jacksonville edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. suffered season-ending knee injuries during their team’s rookie minicamps.

But a handful of Chiefs rookies, including Morse and first-round pick Marcus Peters, say its counterproductive to worry about the same fate befalling them.

“I play ball, you can’t do anything about it,” Peters said. “I wish the best for those guys, but it’s ball. There is no (being) laid back with this.”

Morse agreed, adding that the injuries to both players were unfortunate.

“It’s definitely tragic, but they have positive outlooks on it,” Morse said. “And I know Fowler tweeted like right after, ‘This gives me a year to get better.’ He had an optimistic mind-set.

“It’s a business. So he knows that he has a whole offseason and a whole season to get better and then get after it after that.”

Reid, though, was still happy to get through the first day without any significant injuries.

“Things happen — I got it, it’s that kind of a sport, but we were lucky enough to get through (Saturday) without that,” Reid said. “Most of the guys here had a week to prep for this and just to kind of knock the edge off if nothing else.”

Worth noting

▪ Offensive tackle Curtis Feigt did not practice Saturday due to a hip injury, Reid said.

▪ Baylor tackle Kelvin Palmer was not present for undisclosed reasons.

▪ Pittsurg State safety Keeston Terry, who received an invite to the camp, was also not in attendance for undisclosed reasons.