FanPost

Eric Fisher vs. Houston Texans

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

[From the fanposts. Nice job by NigerianNightmare. -Matt]

With the first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, they Chiefs selected offensive tackle Eric Fisher from small school Central Michigan over the polished, SEC battle-tested Luke Joeckel.

This selection made it quite clear to the fanbase that Dorsey and Reid saw big things from this team. They were willing to take a risk on this kid struggling early on because they thought this team's talent would be able to support him and we could still be successful. They envisioned a dynasty, a dynasty built on fire and brimstone.

When they selected the athletic, nasty, notoriously tenacious Eric Fisher over the polished and ready Luke Joeckel, they wanted a team built around physicality and being able to out-muscle the opposition, especially come clutch time.

It's been a bit of an ugly start for Fisher. His obvious (although MASSIVELY exaggerated) struggles in his first few games of his young NFL career were confusing for some people with little foresight, or just an inability to remember every scouting report they had heard about him after the draft.

Doyyyy, the dude was gonna have to take his lumps. He came out of an MAC school where he played left tackle. He comes to the NFL and they 1) tell him to switch sides, which is pretty goddamn hard as I can tell you from experience and 2) he came from Central Michigan where the speed of the game was just not on par with the NFL.

Lots of other things contributed, too. Perhaps the footwork makes his mind preoccupied, and he struggles with his leverage as its kinda out of his head. Maybe those injuries from preseason are still nagging him. Hell, it could just be a case of rookie jitters. But it's not a talent problem. He's 6'7, 310 pounds of lean muscle that moves like a tight end. He's a ferocious block finisher and he doesn't quit to the whistle. He's got naturally good feet and fast, heavy hands. It's only a matter of time before some technique issues get sorted out and he adapts to his new spot. Perhaps, against Houston we saw a glimpse into his future.

For you see, Fisher played against this bro...

Tex-hawks-gal-21-306x428_medium

via blog.chron.com

That's JJ Watt, AKA The NFL's best defender by a wide margin AKA the Destroyer of Worlds. In my limited years of watching and playing football (keep in mind, I soak up a LOT of football), I have never seen someone dominate his opposition in such a consistent way. Every snap, this 290 pound guy just explodes off the ball like a spring and he has such long arms that you can barely get a hand on him before he bench presses you and uses that sub 5 second speed to grab your QB or RB. He makes Pro Bowl tackles and guards look like garbage.

Naturally, fans got worried. "Holy cow, this guy is going to kill Alex." It didn't seem too unlikely either.

But Fisher stepped up in a way I don't think other rookies would have. He approached the adversity with poise and attitude and hit it in it's loud mouth. Fisher's toughest match-up against Watt and company turns out to become perhaps his best outing of the year. That's what great players do, and that's why he's wearing red instead of Joeckel or Johnson.

This is how it went down.

Start of the 1st quarter

Play 1: Chop blocks #58 and Alex throws a pass incomplete.

Play 2: Run off LG doesn't really affect Fisher, but he walls off his guy nicely.

Play 3: False start on Fisher. Dude is pretty mad.

Play 4: Watt knocks down his hands inside, but his feet are quick enough that he recovers to give Alex just enough time get the pass off.

Play 5: Fisher gets hands inside quickly on the OLB, and yanks him off to the side. Seals the edge..

Play 6: Looks for the OLB to rush and when he doesn't helps inside against Smith.

Play 7: Fasano helps Fisher against Watt, he chips inside. Fisher drives his feet and finishes the block into the turf as Watt gets knocked off balance.

Play 8: Sells the end-around well and seals off Watt for Dex.

Play 9: Screen to Dex. Swims around Watt and heads to the third level. Absolutely destroys the safety. This play needs to be highlighted more as a strength. Fisher's athleticism and instincts in the open field are very good, he gets to the safety quickly and doesn't lunge at him, breaking down just enough to get hands inside and drive him to the sidelines but not lunging to miss his block completely. That's a big plus.

Play 10: Great double with Asamoah on Watt, drives him about 5 yards downfield. Hustles to the ball to pick up a block downfield on a long Jamaal run.

Play 11: Holds off the outside rush by Brooks Reed with a wide base and quick feet.

Play 12: Dives at Watt's feet and keeps him off of Jamaal to get the first down off RG.

Play 13: Great 1-on-1 backside block on Antonio Smith. Gets his head playside and has his hands up under Smith's pads and takes him to the first down marker. On film I have a feeling McCluster kicks himself for not cutting that run back.

Play 14: Locks out Whitney Mercilus. Long arms and inside hand position make any possible move impossible. Fasano catches it down to the 1.

Play 15: Jamaal Charles touchdown run. Pulls out parallel to the line and absolutely erases Emil (or, the end man). Dude sees Fisher coming and just braces for the hit as Fisher hits him perpindicular-like and slams him to the ground. Great block by Asamoah and perfect chop by ShermanTank.

Play 16: Great blitz pickup by the line keeps Alex completely unphased. Fisher and Asamoah double Watt where he gets no push.

Play 17: Takes advantage of Smith getting off balance and wrestles him to the ground. H/T to my boy Jeff Allen with an absolutely beautiful pull and kick out.

Play 18: Runs his guy up field, but a spin move inside reveals too much lean on the balls of Fisher's feet. He slips trying to recover.

Play 19: Fisher gets stood up and initially pushed back, but recovers and holds it down with an athletic hop-step.

Play 20: Fisher is prepared for the bull rush this time and meets his defender first, giving him a nice facemask-to-facemask greeting. Not necessarily a great thing, because I would rather he show that he has gotten passed leading with his head.

Play 21: Starts the drive from the 1. Watt learns from last time and anticipates the chop, staving it off immediately. Surprisingly (?), Sherman delivers a very good blow and turns him away from the run.

Play 22: Lunges with that helmet again, inside spin move has success, but he moves his feet over so that his body is still blocking Reed despite Fisher's upper body being around the ground.

Play 23: Typical Watt-ism. Basically before anyone is even out of there stance Watt is up and over Fisher. Great play by Alex, getting the ball off quick to Bowe for the first. Something to notice is that Fisher jumps for the initial head-fake by Watt which is something he has shown to be susceptible to.

Play 24: Runs his dude up the field for the screen. Takes him out of the play, then actually has a great block as he hustles downfield which I didn't notice first watch over. Without this block, Jamaal doesn't get the first down.

Play 25: Slams inside on Watt and doubles with Jon to the OLB, then works off and seals him out.

Play 26: Quickness off the ball is my initial reaction. Absolutely caves down the right side as the explosive run blocking we saw from college comes into play. Fasano curls up inside and really rocks Cushing, and blocks to the whistle. Shows what we've been missing from the big guy.

Play 27: Sells the play fake then uses the momentum of the sudden start-stop of Watt to hip toss him down. A bit of extra-curricular activity on the ground shows that mean streak and a bit of a willingness to play up to his competition.

Play 28: You can see Watt's wound reopen. Picks up the stunt well (a real strength of his in college) and rides Watt to back behind Alex. What a stiff arm by Avery!

Play 29: Two first guys out of their stances are Fisher and Watt, and you can see Fisher learning from his first mistake by not biting on the head fake. Forearm check and the quick hitter opens up to Jamaal in that gap for a 6 yard gain.

Play 30: Great outside step to pin Mercilus inside on the roll out. Fasano holding down on the other side gives Alex all the time in the world for the first down strike.

Play 31: GREAT block. They walk Cushing up inside and Fisher gets RIGHT up under him. Could take him anywhere he wanted to, so he decides the ground is a good place for him. McGrath misses his block so Jamaal ends up falling over Cushing's body as he looks for space.

Play 32: Runs his guy upfield on the screen.

Play 33: Albert gets beat by Watt, So Alex runs out right to Fisher's man. Thankfully he completes the jump pass to Bowe.

Play 34: Great stonewall on Watt as he steps inside. No movement at all.

Play 35: Smith's botched TD run. Fisher runs his guy upfield as Alex jeffs the entire defense. H/T to Albert and Allen (especially Allen). They cave the left side down completely and Allen's block is absolutely perfect. Typical pancake.

Play 36: Great double to take Watt 5 yards downfield.

Play 37: An INCREDIBLE block is completely underplayed because Jamaal fumbles. Takes the linebacker way back. Almost gets the fumble recovery.

Before I go any further, I think I know why Cyrus Gray is still on the roster. Seriously insane block on special teams on Demps' 60 yard return.

Play 38: Beautifully blocks by everyone as Fisher kicks his guy inside, Alex trips and misses the handoff and still drunkenly stumbles for a gain of 4 through that hole.

Play 39: Great double inside on Watt with Asamoah. No ground given, no fucks given.

Play 40: Runs his guy upfield, and Smith takes off through a huge opening. GIGANTIC props to Smith and a weird but quite effective maneuver he's perfected over the last few weeks, the Rugby-style Dummy Pass. He executed it perfectly against Oakland in Week 6 for an 18 yard gain on the speed option and the dummy pass to McCluster freezes the DB just enough for Alex to take off for a 20+ yard gain.

Play 41: WILDHOG, BOYS! WILDHOG FORMATION! Holy crap, never in my life did I think I would see my boring-ass Chiefs run my Madden offense, that being 4 running backs in the backfield and triple option. Gray takes the hand off, initial read is Knile Davis up the gut with Sherman leading up, then he rolls to his right and can either pitch it to Jamaal or take it up the gut. Fisher takes Watt on 1-on-1 and does a beautiful job flipping him inside and sealing him off.

Scruffy-wild-boar_medium

via www.factzoo.com

Please... for the love of God (or Jesus, or Muhammad, or Lord Vishnu, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever) PLEASE do not let this be the last time I get to witness this. I nearly shed a tear.

On a Fisher-related note, he kills it when we run read option to his side. It's weird considering that isn't exactly a Central Michigan staple, but he almost always has a great block when we option the DE on his side.

Play 42: Good feet and nice, powerful succession of punches makes Watt's inside move spin ineffective.

Play 43: Draw play gets sniffed out by Watt. Fisher runs his man upfield. Good-guy Eric Fisher comes in and breaks up the scuffle between Jamaal and Kareem Jackson, but gets bitched at by Watt which kinda makes him appear pretty PO'd.

Play 44: Swings around inside and helps pick up Watt after Allen struggles.

Play 45: Inititally stonewalls Watt, Watt tries to cut around to Asamoah who staves him off and Fisher tallies up a body shot on him. Alex has forever to throw and is coverage sacked by Hudson's guy.

Play 46: Great block at the second level, and I have to highlight the velocity and authority at which he arrives. Takes Ed Reed and drives him off to the sideline.

Play 47: Dex screen. Fisher sprints downfield, and goes after the guy who Dex stiff arms to the ground. Ironically, if he gets there a half second later and if he hadn't of sprinted downfield so fast, chances are he is able to kick out Brooks Reed and Dex runs in for the score. Still, that's the kind of stuff coaches LOVE.

Play 48: Run off LG, Fisher kinda walls his guy off. Props to Allen for locking horns with Watt and driving him downfield.

Play 49: 1-on-1 block on Crick and drives him down the line. Incredible drive block by Allen BLASTS open a huge hole for Jamaal to run for 17. Perfectly blocked by everyone, all 5 guys and Fasano execute to the extent that they could possibly do.

Play 50: OTZ off LT doesn't work too well as Albert doesn't get out there fast enough. Fisher cuts his guy down backside. Knile runs for 3 or so along the sideline.

Play 51: Gets inside hands, so even though he gets beaten inside it doesn't really matter. Fasano catches the touchdown!

Oh, wait. He doesn't? That's bullshit!

Play 52: Fisher cuts his guy down backside. Ed Reed sells out for the run and gets in for the TFL.

Play 53: Great pin block on the rollout. Alex... you dun goof'd.

Play 54: Great pass block on Mercilus. No pressure at all from there. Watt swims by Allen. Well, it was gonna happen sometime.

Play 55: Pretty good pass block, but the ball gets out in like 2 seconds.

Play 56: Kicks out looking for the OLB to rush but he doesn't.

Play 57: Punch on Watt, screen to Dex as Dex uses them moves to roll for a first.

Play 58: Fisher gets jorts'd by Watt here. Watching it live I thought Fisher just whiffed hard, but it looks upon further review that maybe he was trying to go to second level and Watt just tossed him down.

Play 59: Good 1-on-1 with Reed, pins him inside despite attempting an outside rush. Jamaal makes sure Watt doesn't go for a swat again as he drills him in the stomach. Love the hilarious little shove Allen gives him after the whistle as Watt is doubled over.

Play 60: Great blitz pickup. Doubling with Asamoah on the rollout right, but as the linebacker runs through the gap Fisher peels off and gives him a stick and drives him to the sidelines seamlessly. Alex throws an ugly pick as Dex gets freakin' played.

Play 61: Fisher takes on Mercilus and walls him off on the run off LT.

Play 62: Rides Crick downfield on a draw play.

Play 63: Fisher kicks inside on Watt and rides him past Alex. Awesome block by Jamaal lifts Ed Reed off his feet.

Play 64: Down block on Antonio Smith, seals him off well enough.

Play 65: Watt's swim move sends Fisher to his knees, but he somehow manages to completely stonewall him from this position.

Play 66: Good block on Mercilus as he runs him upfield.

Play 67: Kneel down.

Overall...

The Good

-Tenacious and fiery run blocking that goes to the whistle.

-A clear and determined desire to finish blocks.

-Ability to fly around in open space and deliver blocks on smaller, more athletic defenders.

-A resiliency to bounce back from bad plays and learn from them.

-Athletic ability to recover from missed blocks and still end up contributing to the play with quick reactions and moderate deterrents.

-Fast hands and rapid feet off the ball, as well as an explosive initial step.

The Bad

-Still is susceptible to head fakes and will bite on hip shakes initially, although he gets better at that over time.

-Tends to "lunge" out of his blocks. When he connects it's a great block and no one sees it. When he misses it's really, REALLY noticeable.

-Gets too tall and will get driven back sometimes if he seems to be worried about other assignments. Comes with the muscle memory of the new position.

-Too narrow of a base also can contribute to him ending up on the ground and getting pushed back.

Final word...

Definitely I would say this is his best game of the year. It was a downright good game against a great front seven, and I hope that he watches film and sees his mistakes, corrects them, and that this game becomes known as the week he got his head screwed on right. I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope this game is a sign for better, great things to come.

As always, go Chiefs.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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