The Kansas City Chiefs could almost create another entire offensive line made up of new additions they've brought in this season to add to the pieces already in place. A mixture of drafted rookies and new free agents, the Chiefs made the line an intense focus of development and change this offseason and the team should be much stronger up front for it.
Eric Winston was brought in as the new starting right tackle. Donald Stephenson was drafted as a swing tackle, and Tony Ugoh was a late addition via free agency. Jeff Allen was drafted in the second round to back up the interior spot and push Ryan Lilja for some competition. Rodney Hudson takes over for Casey Wiegmann while Jon Asamoah and Branden Albert are the only two who can feel safe and secure in their posts.
The level of change does create challenges for the team in training camp. Head coach Romeo Crennel said the starters have to get reps but the young players need experience. It makes it difficult when practice rules limit what coaches are able to do.
"Well, it's the young guys, because it's going to be the young guys that are going to provide us the depth," said Crennel on Saturday. "We play football, guys are going to get hurt, get nicked up, the starters are going to be out and young guys are going to have to go in and play.
"So getting the young guys up to speed, that's a concern because they haven't played the professional game before, so it's how quickly they can adapt. We're taking some guys that were tackles and are making them guards and some guys who played on the left side and asking them to play on the right side. And that takes some time to get acclimated to."
Without a doubt, the Chiefs gained a lot of ability and depth along the line so the team will be quite glad in the end for the acquisitions.