The highlight of the Kansas City Chiefs offseason came when the team lost three starting-caliber offensive linemen in Geoff Schwartz, Jon Asamoah and Branden Albert in the first few hours of free agency.
OK, that's actually a lowlight.
While Chiefs fans have been concerned about the offensive line, Alex Smith says he is not. I asked Smith yesterday at the Chiefs practice facility if he was nervous seeing those offensive linemen leave during free agency.
"No, not nervous," Smith said. "I knew some of that was to be expected. It is tough, those guys were all good players coming up on the open market and were highly sought after, deservedly so. I knew we weren't going to be able to keep everybody. That is part of the deal, the nature of the game. Nothing surprises me anymore. I have been around long enough. We signed some guys in free agency, we have the draft coming up and these are all pieces to replace those guys."
Earlier in the offseason, Andy Reid said that Eric Fisher, who had offseason shoulder surgery, would be the left tackle, which would put Donald Stephenson on the right. The other change will come at right guard, where Reid says Rishaw Johnson will get the first crack.
I spoke with Jeff Allen last weekend and he told me that Rodney Hudson was one of the "go-to guys" on the offensive line, which was a nod to his communication with his line mates. Smith agreed that communication is the key when dealing with a young line.
"All five guys working as one and myself as an extension of that," Smith said. "When I know what those guys are doing and we are all on the same page, then all 11 guys combined, you are going to operate well. When those five guys are really working as one group, and it just takes a lot of reps and a lot of practice. They have to get used to communicating because things happen so fast. Things happen on the run, a guy runs through an A-gap, adjustments elsewhere have to be made. It just takes reps and the biggest thing I think is communication, verbal and non-verbal."
Smith appears ready to grow with this young offensive line because he said that his reps and the Chiefs continue to talk about a long-term contract. There's no known timetable on that with Smith saying that it feels like it's a year-to-year deal, long-term contract or not.