The Kansas City Chiefs were back at it on Tuesday, practicing in Kansas City for the first time since leaving St. Joseph. Familiar faces in offensive lineman Jeff Allen and wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas made appearances, but there were two other changes worth noting.
First, Cam Erving primarily worked at left guard with the first team, while Andrew Wylie got most of his work at Erving’s usual position—tackle with the second team.
“[Erving] and Andrew, they’ve been interchangeable, but neither one of them have gotten a lot of reps at other spots,” Reid explained after practice. “We said, ‘All right, let’s just let them get in there and work it.’ Cam got work with the ones at the left guard spot and Andrew took the left tackle/right tackle stuff with the other group and kind of rotated in, too.
“He got a lot of good reps in. We’ve always done that here. We try to keep the guys flexible.”
Then Reid mentioned Allen.
“That’s one thing with Jeff Allen,” he said. “Jeff Allen could play all three positions. There’s some value there.”
In my view, the starting offensive line is still Eric Fisher, Wylie, Austin Reiter, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mitch Schwartz (left to right), but the Chiefs are seeing what they have. If, for example, the Chiefs lost one of their tackles due to injury, would it be a better lineup to slide Wylie outside—keeping Erving inside—rather than simply putting Erving at tackle?
We’ll see if the Chiefs continue that trend at practice on Wednesday.
The second change involved now-running back Tremon Smith, who was working as a receiver on Tuesday.
“We told him when we moved him to running back, we wanted a guy that could kind of swing in between the two,” Reid said of the former cornerback. “(Wide receivers coach) Greg (Lewis) actually wanted to get him over there earlier because he runs, he’s a good athlete. It was good to get him a little bit of work in there and learn that part. That kind of player in this offense ends up being invaluable. If you can do both, it’s a valuable position.”
I’m having trouble seeing how Smith makes the Chiefs’ roster—especially with the return of Thomas—but the Chiefs are providing him every opportunity to prove otherwise.