Welcome to another addition of the daily(ish) mailbag, wherein we survive the boring(ish) portion of the offseason together. Because together, we are strong!
Center has become everyone's favorite topic as of late, what with Mitch Morse snapping footballs in his hotel room and all that. It's at least worth noting how little it takes for football fans to get fired up about a topic, no?
Look, it's time we stop kidding ourselves. Mitch Morse was brought in to compete for (and possibly take) the center job with Eric Kush. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time that GM John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid believe they need to get better at center. Putting the simple pieces together...
1) Kush didn't see the field at guard despite life-threateningly terrible play at the position last season. And if your answer to that is "well, he's a center," please remember Rodney Hudson saw time at guard his rookie year. Them choosing not to put Kush on the field at all could say something. Combine that with...
2) Dorsey and Reid made (according to all reports) a very active push to keep Hudson in the fold during free agency last year. Of course they lost that bidding war, because the Raiders had to spend like crazy just to get to the cap floor. But "we're willing to pay another guy upper-tier money to do this job" isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of their opinion on Kush's progress (or perhaps it is an endorsement for Hudson). One would imagine if they were comfortable at ALL with Kush, Hudson would've gotten a token offer given he was the top center hitting the market at the perfect time and that would have been that.
3) Mitch Morse was drafted in the second round of the draft.
4) Mitch Morse was ANNOUNCED AS A CENTER when he was drafted in the second round of the draft.
I mean ... come on. Do we really need reports that Morse is doing most of his work at center to put these pieces together? I feel like we shouldn't.
Now, none of this means Morse is a shoo-in to win the job. Could be he plays terrible. Could be Kush comes in and stuns the coaches with his improvement since last year. We can't say with absolute certainty what the future holds.
But at this point, having reviewed some of Morse's film myself and read up on the opinions of others who have done the same (if you haven't read new contributor stagdsp's wonderful piece on Morse's film, do so), I would be surprised if Morse wasn't able to seize the job from Kush by the time the season starts.
Should be an interesting thing to track once the pads come on in training camp. But I think Morse wins the day.
We'll make offensive line the theme of this mailbag.
Again, it's way too early to really KNOW anything. That said, the most realistic "holy crap, seriously?" move I could see happening on the line would be Jeff Allen at right tackle.
At this point, people seem pretty set on Donald Stephenson starting at right tackle this season. Most people that feel that way seem to believe that Jeff Allen will either take Fulton's place at right guard or perhaps compete at center (with the aforementioned Kush and Morse).
However, Reid has been very clear (through both words and actions) that he's comfortable with Allen at right tackle. Is that a comfort I happen to share? Not really, no. I don't think Allen is as good as Stephenson in space to play the position. But this isn't about what I'd LIKE to see happen, it's about what I COULD see happening. And Allen at right tackle is a very real possibility.
Let's think about what we know...
Eric Fisher is going to start at left tackle. Ben Grubbs is going to start at left guard. The coaching staff SEEMS to like second year man Zach Fulton, who at least flashed some potential in a tough rookie season, but they also signed right guard Paul Fanaika in free agency. That leaves center and right tackle as the most "up for grab" positions on the roster.
We also know that the coaching staff seems fond of Allen and his versatility. I'd be surprised if they didn't want him SOMEWHERE on the field.
Finally we know the potential players at center and right tackle. At center, we've got Morse (a second round draft pick) and Kush (a guy the coaches say like, whether we completely believe it or not). At right tackle we've got a reclamation project (Sherrod) and a guy the coaches were clearly having some kind of issue with last year (Stephenson).
Which position seems a little easier to grab? Yep, right tackle. Keep an eye out on who is taking the snaps at that spot. It could get interesting very quickly.
Absolutely not. Less is more, and one of the best things about the Chiefs uniforms is their simplicity. I hate the idea of the Chiefs looking like some kind of fictional team out there. Don't fix what isn't broken.
And also, you can't take the risk that the new uniforms won't look like dog crap, a la Cleveland.
I'm not nearly internet-savvy enough to be qualified to make this least. All I can think of are the ones that legitimately made me chuckle multiple times. In no particular order, these few stood out to me as funny in multiple scenarios.
-"Boy, that escalated quickly" (The Anchorman Meme, as it were)
-What Tim Howard Could Save (absolutely slays me)
-Lance Stephenson Blowing on things (the Winston one made me lose my mind)
-Admiral Akbar saying "It's a Trap" (always requires the right setup, though)
-"One does not simply..."
I'm sure I've missed out 500 million memes that are amazing. I'm even more sure at least a few of you will now provide those to me and explain why I'm stupid for having forgotten them.
It is, indeed, the offseason. See you tomorrow(ish) for more mailbag.