The Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackles are the future of the organization, but they have a lot to live up to. While pondering about the tackle position and Chiefs’ history, I had a couple of questions, only one of which really needed to be answered.
I’ve always wondered why they call them tackles when they’re not even allowed to hold onto the opposing player they are assigned, let alone tackle them.
In today’s NFL, however, the offensive tackle position (especially left tackle) has become of utmost importance. Some would argue the most crucial element to a successful season. After all, quarterbacks are pretty much worthless when lying on their backs or sitting in the hot tub.
Kansas City’s current starting offensive tackles were both first round draft picks. Right tackle Eric Fisher was the overall number one pick in the 2013 draft out of Central Michigan. Left tackle Brandon Albert the 15th overall pick in 2008 out of Virginia. That speaks volumes to the position’s stature amongst general managers and head coaches when building a team.
If both live up to their expectations those two draft picks will be far more a part of the Chiefs future success than the acquisition of former overall number one pick, QB Alex Smith, this offseason.
Smith is doing well as Kansas City’s offensive leader, they’re 3-0. Should he wind up being a bust, it will still not measure up to the risk they took with their draft picks at tackle.
It will it not matter if his replacement is right or left handed, even less if he’s a run or pass-oriented QB. Whoever it would be will find comfort in knowing that his tackles have his front and backside covered.
The Chiefs offensive line is the youngest in the league. They would still be an attraction to other prospective QBs. You may recall Peyton Manning wouldn’t even visit with the Chiefs when he was available. Most attribute the snub to the state of Kansas City’s offensive line.
Speaking of Manning, let’s say, hypothetically, Smith pulls a Ryan Leaf. It doesn’t look as though that will be the case but for just for fun. Many questions were being asked in the 1998 draft about who was the better QB, Leaf or Manning? One is ummm, well … you know. The other is, in case you didn’t know, serving a seven-year prison conviction in Montana. If I asked you “Manning or Leaf?” today your answer would be immediate.
Aside from why they call them “tackles”, I also wanted to know was who is the best offensive tackle in Chiefs history? I Googled the first and had an answer as quickly as an iPhone 4S can retrieve it. It still took longer than the answer to my second question.
The term “tackle” originally simply meant, “to impede progress”, which someone playing offensive tackle obviously must be astute at doing. The best offensive tackle in Chiefs history is Willie Roaf.
If you need proof, do the research.