I won't be watching the offensive line much
The o-line is one of the most important spots on the team. How the hell can I ignore it?!
Because the offensive line that lines up for OTAs this week is not that close to the offensive line that will be lining up in September. You could make a strong argument that up to three positions on the offensive line you see out there today will be different from the one you see in September. Eric Fisher's injury, which is expected to keep him from fully practicing until training camp, means the o-line doesn't look right yet.
Players have gone up and down on the first team and second team, but here's how they've lined up some of the time:
LT Donald Stephenson, G Jeff Allen, C Rodney Hudson, RG Rishaw Johnson, RT J'Marcus Webb
Allen and Hudson are the only ones who I would confidently say are in the position they'll be in come September. Fisher will likely be back by Week 1, which would push Stephenson to the right tackle spot, which would push Webb to the swing tackle. Right guard is still an unknown. Johnson seems like the leader so far but they haven't even put on pads yet.
Eric Berry at free safety?
I had some NFL planning meetings in Washington D.C. last week so I only went to one day of OTAs but on that day the Chiefs had Berry playing some of the single-high safety that we've been talking about so much since the playoff loss to the Colts. That was Kendrick Lewis's old spot and earlier this offseason Andy Reid indicated it would be Husain Abdullah and Sanders Commings, among others, competing for that spot.
Berry said recently with his second year in the defense, he's feeling more comfortable about what he's supposed to be doing, which might have led to the added responsibility this offseason.
"This is my second year in the defense so obviously there are things that I've learned and thoughts that I take into consideration as far as certain coverages and things like that that I'm more aware of," Berry said, via quotes from the Chiefs. "So it's less thinking about what the call is on our end because that's coming automatic, it's more so what the offense is going to do."
Abdullah has been the starting free safety most of the offseason and at this point I would predict him as the starting free safety in the regular season but it's interesting to see Berry get some looks there.
Read MNChiefsfan with this look at Berry as the single-high safety. Lots of options!
Who is not pushing for a starting role?
Defensive end Vance Walker signed a multi-year contract this offseason and has not been running with the first team. That would be Allen Bailey running with the first team. Color me surprised on this one. Not so much that I thought Walker was a great player -- I don't know, truly -- but because of the size of the contract Walker signed. At three years and $13 million, you'd think he's a first team player.
The other player is Nico Johnson, the second year linebacker out of Alabama. Johnson hurt his ankle early on last year, which led to a slow start for him in his rookie year. He was a fourth round pick by the Chiefs so we didn't expect him to start right away ... but we did expect some sort of impact at some point. Johnson runs with the second team and looks like he has an uphill climb to see regular playing time. The team signed Joe Mays at inside linebacker this offseason after losing last year's starter Akeem Jordan.
Tight end Travis Kelce continues to rehab his knee after last year's microfracture surgery. He has not been cleared but Andy Reid recently said he's working hard with the trainer. Kelce is expected to be ready for training camp in late July (which he told me earlier this offseason).
Chiefs offseason schedule
Offseason workouts begin:
May 27-29, June 3-5, June 10-13
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19