Notebook: Search continues for starters on Chiefs offensive line

  Print article

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Battles along the offensive line will continue with three days of training camp and preseason games remaining before the Chiefs settle on a starting unit.

Aug. 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ; Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) barks out signals while right guard Zach Fulton (73) and center Mitch Morse (61) settle in during the first-half preseason action against the Arizona Cardinals. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Aug. 15, 2015; Glendale, AZ; Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) barks out signals while right guard Zach Fulton (73) and center Mitch Morse (61) settle in during the first-half preseason action against the Arizona Cardinals. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

“I’m going to meet with the coaches here after we’re done,” coach Andy Reid said Sunday during a media conference call. “The offensive coaches, we’re going to go back through the tape and I’m going to listen to their opinion.

“We’ve all had a chance individually to look at it. I’m just curious to see what (offensive line coach) Andy Heck and (assistant offensive line coach) Eugene Chung have to say about it.”

The Chiefs started Eric Fisher at left tackle, Ben Grubbs at left guard, rookie Mitch Morse at center, Zach Fulton at right guard and Jeff Allen at right tackle in Saturday’s preseason opener.

Allen, however, suffered a knee injury early in the first quarter and played five snaps before leaving the field.

Fourth-year pro Donald Stephenson, who began training camp at right tackle with the first-team offense, took Allen’s place and saw action on 23 plays.

Fisher and Grubbs are virtual locks on the left side, signaling the competition at center, right guard and right tackle will remain heated and could come down to the wire with third-year center Eric Kush in the mix.

The Chiefs also need to identify the swing guard and tackle, and options include Jarrod Pughsley, Paul Fanaika, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Derek Sherrod, among others.

But the team isn’t pressured to make a final decision in the immediate future.

“We’re going to play and try to find that combination of five best guys,” Reid said. “Whether it be the guys that are in there now, or injuries or whatever. We’re sticking with that.”

WILLIAMS SHINES

Wide receiver Fred Williams burst on the scene Saturday night with six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown on six targets.

And the Chiefs head coach couldn’t be happier.

“Freddie is an energy giver,” Reid said. “You’ve been around him, you know the energy he brings to the locker room and when he’s playing. I think it’s just a matter of him and I still think it is. He’s better than he was here. The more he plays in this offense, the better he gets.”

The 6-0, 190-pound Williams spent the past season on the Chiefs practice squad and had an opportunity to absorb the offensive scheme.

Williams worked hard during the offseason in his hometown of Milwaukee and it has paid off throughout training camp, where he has lined up consistently with the second-team offense.

“He’s had time here to learn this thing,” Reid said. “We’re asking him to play a couple of different spots, he’s had to learn that, and so he’s got a good way about him. And you saw by the way his teammates greeted him, he’s a well-liked guy in that locker room.”

STATUS QUO ON INJURIES

With players still meeting with head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder or in the process of reporting back to St. Joseph, Reid didn’t have medial updates on right tackle Jeff Allen (knee), wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas (calf), running back Knile Davis (knee) and center Eric Kush (shoulder).

The Chiefs resume practice Monday morning and close out training camp Wednesday.

———-

Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

———-