As a 2012 second round pick, guard Jeff Allen is starting this third offseason program with the Kansas City Chiefs. In an interview over the weekend, Allen told me that he's been spending his offseason out in Arizona working in a program for offensive linemen under former Pro Bowl lineman LeCharles Bentley.
Allen said the offseason workouts with the program have helped him improve because they do things specific for their position as offensive linemen, rather than generic workouts. Bentley's program has a good reputation around the league, according to one player. Among the group working out is a familiar name -- former Chiefs lineman Geoff Schwartz, who is now with the New York Giants.
"I had no clue how things would turn out," Allen said of the Chiefs free agency. "We lost three guys but you still got a lot of guys in house that have a lot of potential and ability."
That there are players in-house that could contribute is something Allen said a couple of times in our conversation.
"We're going to have to have guys step up," he said. "Last year, Rodney Hudson did a great job stepping up. He's one of our go-to guys."
With the rest of the line outside of right guard seemingly set up, the best guesses for in-house players at right guard are Rok Watkins and Rishaw Johnson.
"I could be over there [at right guard], you never know," Allen said.
One thing that won't be changing is the coaching staff with the entire offensive staff will be back in Kansas City next year, which means Allen and the Chiefs line get a legitimate shot to build upon what they did last year, a season where they showed significant improvement late in the season.
"As [last] year went on, each and every week we were learning something new," Allen said. "The things we knew already, we got a better grasp of. Once you start to understand the offense more, it smoothes things out so you can be more efficient."
Herbie Teope of ChiefsSpin.com has written several pieces recently with some of Andy Reid's former players saying that it takes a year to two years to learn his West Coast Offense, which Allen agreed with.
"Coach Reid's offense, it takes time," Allen said. "As you saw as the season went on, we got better each week. You could see it each week. Towards the end of the season it really started to click. I'm looking forward to going back because we have the ability and all the pieces we need."
There's your hope that the Chiefs offense will be better in 2014 despite losing several talented players from last season -- that the players in-house understand the offense better than they did before, which should lead to a higher level of play.
For now, Allen is preparing for what begins today -- the Chiefs offseason program. The first two weeks will be mostly conditioning stuff while the on-field work begins later this spring.
Asked what he expected out of his third offseason program in Kansas City, Allen said, "I expect to go in there, see one another again, get familiar again and pick up where we left off, especially the offense. I know we won't be on the field in the first few weeks but we have a chance to get better."
The process of determining whether the Chiefs got better this offseason begins today.