Red Zone

Ask Terez: Chris Conley’s chances of starting, why LDT isn’t playing tackle and more

The Chiefs will hold their seventh practice of organized team activities today, followed by three more this week.

After that, the team's three-day mandatory minicamp begins next week, and that will be the last team-related activity the Chiefs will hold for a month or so. Since we’re smack dab in the middle of their OTA schedule, I figured this would be a good chance to take stock of what I’ve seen so far via another “People’s Mailbag.”

I'm not here to mess around this week, so let's jump right into it with a little mood-setting music.

I'd largely agree with Matt Miller. A bad offensive tackle can ruin a passing game, while the center sets the tempo for the line, for better or worse. For the Chiefs, however, I'd flip right guard and left guard in terms of importance. With Eric Fisher entering a make-or-break year at left tackle, having a solid veteran they could stick next to him and protect Alex Smith's blindside (which turned out to be Ben Grubbs) was crucial.

Sure. He's super-athletic and very talented; he almost always looks like the fastest player on the field. The key for him will be comprehending Andy Reid's large playbook. That almost always holds young receivers back in his system, at least initially.

Good question — I had to go back and look at my notes. When college tackles are moved inside, it's typically because they don't have the required length or the feet to play outside in the NFL. LDT's arm length is better than Morse's — 33 inches compared to 32 1/4 — but that's still on the low end of the bar for a tackle. And considering area scout Pat Sperduto called him a “special athlete” after the pick last year, I'm guessing LDT’s lack of length is the reason he’s now playing guard.

By the way, LDT was really raw a year ago — his footwork was all over the place early in training camp — so it will be interesting to see what kind of strides he's made.

Jason Avant is steady, and he looks fairly spry during OTAs. He is going to play a healthy amount, I think, because he’s dependable, Alex trusts him and Reid knows how to use him.

I'll let the Emperor Commodus tell you know I feel about this “question.”

This is a fair question. To be honest, I haven't been blown away by the quarterback play in camp. Alex Smith seemed a bit sharper last spring, at least to me. But he’s still learning to work with a somewhat new receiving corps, and he also seems to be trying to stretch the field a bit more, so there’s definitely improvement that will be made between now and the season opener Still, I'll be keeping a close eye on the play of the quarterbacks throughout camp.

He's freaking killing it. I wrote about it for Sunday's Star.

As far as I can tell, James O'Shaughnessy, Ryan Taylor and Richard Gordon have all been rotating in. “Shag” can run some, and I like Taylor's athleticism. Gordon is a vet who looks bigger (in a good way, I think) this offseason. But even if Harris has recovered from his foot injury by training camp, No. 2 tight end could be one of the biggest question marks on the team heading into the season. There’s just not much proven production.

I've never hidden where I'm from, have I guys?

Actually, you know what? I’m out.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.816-234-4489

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