This is shaping up to be a big season for Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher. Experience is no longer an issue after starting 30 games in his first two seasons, including all 16 last season. And Fisher will have a full offseason to gain strength after shoulder surgery wiped out that aspect of his offseason last year.
"He fought through some things that you have to do to survive in this league and be a good football player," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Tuesday from the NFL owners meetings. "So we are looking forward to him having the offseason and being able to lift. Like Dorsey said, adding a little weight. He was able to work his legs but not his upper body and that was all the way into training camp (last year)."
They say it takes three years to judge a player so this is a big one because it will be Fisher's third year. His first offseason was all about the switch to right tackle. His second offseason was the shoulder surgery, which hampered his ability to add strength (an issue last season), and the switch to left tackle. This will be his third season where he could take a major leap forward and prove he was just a bit of a late bloomer a la John Alt. Or he could flounder and put the Chiefs in a really tough spot moving forward. As Royals manager Ned Yost might say, you can't just pick a new left tackle from the left tackle tree.
For his part, Fisher seems to realize how important this season is.
"I'm really looking forward to next season," Fisher said while attending Central Michigan's pro day this week, via The Morning Sun. "Just being healthy and strong, plus confident in everything I'm doing. I'm really looking forward to having a breakout year this year and getting that Pro Bowl invite and do whatever I can to make a name for myself and continue my career on."
There have been circumstances that hurt Fisher's ability to improve over the past two seasons but those circumstances appear to be gone. It's a big year to prove it.