Friday, December 13, 2013
Chiefs rewarded for handling of Fisher
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- His weekly exercise in studying video of the previous game is no longer like torture for rookie offensive tackle Eric Fisher. The first pick in this year's NFL draft, Fisher has recently started to play like it as the right tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Eric Fisher projects as the Chiefs' starting left tackle of the future, but the team has developed a comfort level for now with the rookie on the right side.
"Every week is going better and better," Fisher said. "Everything is slowing down. Everything feels more natural. I can see it with my play on film."
Fisher projects as the starting left tackle for the Chiefs, perhaps as soon as next season. For the rest of this season, they're committing to Fisher on the right side, even with starting left tackle Branden Albert not practicing or playing because of a hyperextended knee.
The Chiefs wisely allowed Fisher to concentrate on one position.
"Right now it's just a comfort level with him with him on the right side," offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "With his progression and his growth, it's best just to keep him where he's at.
"When you get into the season like that, guys kind of get into their spot."
The Chiefs have allowed their backup linemen, tackle Donald Stephenson and guard Geoff Schwartz, to be the swing players at those spots. They've left their starters in one place, a move that has paid off as their offensive line has made large strides over the past few weeks.
No one lineman has improved more than Fisher, who early in the season was lost. But he survived because of his athletic skills.
"He's probably the one that's really improved the most," Pederson said. "He's understanding how to play."
A year in the Chiefs' weight program will benefit Fisher, who struggles at times with power pass rushers. But once he muscles up, the Chiefs could well be looking at one of the better left tackles in the league.