At this time a year ago, we weren’t quite sure how the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line was going to shake out. (Following OTAs and minicamp, yours truly projected Orlando Brown Jr., Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mike Remmers as the starters).
But once the season got underway, there was little doubt that in a single offseason, Kansas City had managed to turn the line from a weakness to a strength. According to the Chiefs’ Creed Humphrey — who was among the league’s top centers by the end of his rookie season — it largely had to do with not just the talent that general manager Brett Veach had assembled, but also the attitude that everyone brought to the table.
“First of all, everyone came in with a willingness to work and a willingness to become better together,” Humphrey told reporters as Chiefs veterans were checking in to their training camp quarters at Missouri Western State University in S. Joseph. “Everybody worked really well together. Everybody worked on all their strengths and all their weakness. It worked for the best. We look to continue to build on that.”
And in Humphrey’s view, training camp is the place where that construction can take place most efficiently.
“Last year, I felt I grew so much throughout the playbook and in my techniques through training camp,” he said. “24/7, you’re thinking about football. You’re working on different things at different times of the day. I think it’s a huge help for us. It really helps build continuity of the offensive line. I mean, you’re with the guys every single day for most of the day.”
And in this particular training camp, Humphrey says he and his fellow offensive linemen have a simple goal.
“We want to be known as one of the most physically-dominating lines in the league,” he declared. “We have the pieces. We have the guys that can do it. So really, that’s our whole outlook: letting the physicality show through — and make teams know that when they’re playing us, they’re going to be playing a physical offensive line that finishes through the whistle.”
Humphrey acknowledged that in an Andy Reid offense — chock-full of Run-Pass Option (RPO) plays — that can be a little challenging.
“You have to balance it some,” he admitted, “because you can’t be downfield when the ball is thrown on those RPOs. But the way we think of it, we’re going to be coming off physical. We’re going to play it like we’re running the ball every single time.”
And Humphrey just doesn’t care about Pass Rusher A who joined Team Z in the offseason — or Pass Rusher B who joined Team X.
“You play this game for competition,” he said. “So if you’re not ready for competition, you’re not ready to play this game.
“So I’m excited about it. We went against some really good players last year. We get to go against a lot of really good players this year. So it’ll be a fun year.”