A few weeks ago Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli indicated that the team had to get better along the offensive line. I think it's a notion that a lot of fans agree with and the Chiefs will be undergoing a transition along the offensive line this year where as many as three positions could change from 2011 to 2012.
So, the first step in figuring out how to fix the offensive line is to look back at what they did last year. According to the folks at Pro Football Focus, the Chiefs offensive line finished the 2011 season ranked right in the middle -- 16th.
How much better would this line have been without one player letting them down? Aside from the right tackle spot, the entire line graded positively, doing a particular good job of protecting whoever was behind center. Without Jamaal Charles, the line's inability to consistently open up decent-sized running lanes came to the fore all too often. This remains a key area that the Chiefs need to improve on.
A game breaker like Jamaal Charles makes everyone look sooo much better. The Chiefs finished last season ranked 10th and a big reason for that was the presence of Charles.
But, looking at their complete rankings, it's clear what the first step should be -- fix the right tackle. Barry Richardson didn't cut it last year and that's something that the Chiefs undoubtedly realize. KC has just one experienced offensive tackle on the roster heading into next season, Branden Albert.
Fixing the offensive line is a priority. Step one is an easy one to figure out. Should be interesting to see how KC addresses this in both free agency and the draft.