Andy Reid has routinely amused us with colorful food metaphors during his time as Kansas City Chiefs head coach.
Remember when he referred to an oft-repeated stat about Chiefs wide receiver touchdowns as a “moldy cheeseburger”? Or the time he said that the NFL preseason was “like a hot dog-eating contest”? Or when he told Terez Paylor that calling the right play at the right moment was like eating a good cheeseburger?
Reid gave us another one on Sunday following his team’s 38-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers to open the regular season — this one about fullback Anthony Sherman, who had scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes in the third quarter of the game.
Sherman, 30, is entering his eighth season in the NFL. It’s almost quaint now to remember the furor that erupted among Chiefs fans when the Chiefs traded cornerback Javier Arenas to the Arizona Cardinals to obtain Sherman — then a two-year veteran — in 2013.
Just days before, the Chiefs had expended a sixth-round choice to draft Braden Wilson out of Kansas State — a pick that Arrowhead Pride readers had widely approved. What were they thinking? Trading for another fullback?
But — as it soon became clear — the Chiefs wanted a fullback, and they just wanted to be sure they had a good one.
And Sherman has been a good one.
While his box scores have never been anything that could get anyone excited — his touchdown catch on Sunday was his longest career reception — he has proved his worth to the Chiefs over and over as a blocker and especially on special teams.
Sherman doesn’t get many opportunities to make an impact on offense, but as he showed on Sunday, he makes them count.
Sunday demonstrated another reason the Chiefs find him valuable: he is versatile. The Chiefs came out of the final cutdown with two tight ends on the roster: Travis Kelce and Alex Ellis. Most roster prognostications — including ours — included a third tight end on the roster to replace Demetrius Harris during the suspension he served in Week 1. We all assumed — since we know Reid likes to run formations with three tight ends — that the Chiefs would keep Jace Amaro for a week, and then cut him to make room for Harris.
But the Chiefs were smarter than we were. Why go through the additional aggravation of making transactions when Anthony Sherman can fill in at tight end when needed?
“We saw what he did filling in as a running back in Denver,” Reid explained after the game on Sunday. “You got to see today what he did filling in as a tight end, and that’s why we didn’t make a [roster] move, yes — to answer your question — yes. Then we get Demetrius [Harris] back, and now we are rolling at tight end with another person that is a good player.”
Over time, Sherman has become popular. Chiefs fans have come to appreciate not only Sherman’s unseen contributions, but also his colorful nature; his annual arrival at training camp in an unusual outfit is awaited as breathlessly as that of a Hollywood starlet on the red carpet during Oscar night.
And when players become popular, they get nicknames. The Shermanator and The Tank are often used by Chiefs fans. But among his teammates, Sherman is known as The Sausage.
So when speaking to the media about the trust he has in Sherman — in whatever way he is used on the field — Reid knew he was getting ready to serve up a money quote that writers like myself would use as an excuse to write a feature story about the Chiefs fullback.
“I was telling [Chiefs Radio Network executive producer] Dan [Israel], he’s got crazy hands, man. You think of him as a sausage, so he goes out, and he’s a sausage with hands.”
Never let it be said that I don’t know how to do my job.