Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Chiefs believe Fisher's time is now
By Adam Teicher
After spending his rookie season as a right tackle, Eric Fisher will head over to the left side in 2014, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid confirmed at the NFL meetings Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.
The move is not a surprise. The Chiefs drafted Fisher last year from Central Michigan with the first overall pick with the idea he would eventually be their left tackle.
But Fisher began his NFL career on the right side. The Chiefs had veteran Branden Albert to play left tackle last season. But Albert signed with the Miami Dolphins this month as a free agent, leaving the spot open to either Fisher or Donald Stephenson. Stephenson started four games at left tackle last season while Albert was out of the lineup with a knee injury.
The Chiefs opted to move Fisher to left tackle. Stephenson will be the starter in Fisher's former spot at right tackle.
Fisher didn't play well as a rookie. He missed three starts with various injuries and didn't play in the playoff loss to Indianapolis because of a groin injury.
Fisher struggled early in the season to the point the Chiefs probably should have benched him. His play generally improved as the season progressed. He showed tremendous athletic ability but he never played to the level expected from the first overall pick.
Still, it's far too early to call Fisher a bust and, in fact, it's reasonable to believe Fisher can eventually play as well as Albert did last season. Fisher came to the Chiefs lacking the necessary upper body strength to be a polished player. An offseason in Kansas City's weight program should help him develop into a productive player.
There could be rough moments for the Chiefs until Fisher fully develops. In the short term, the better move might have been to play Stephenson at left tackle, at least early in the season. But Reid and his coaching staff obviously believe the time is right to make move.