Almost three months of speculation since the 2013 regular season ended surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs’ left and right tackle positions is finally over.
Coach Andy Reid said at the NFL owners meeting in Orlando, Fla., that Eric Fisher will move to the left side, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
The Chiefs drafted Fisher as the No. 1 pick overall of the 2013 NFL draft out of Central Michigan as the heir-apparent to left tackle Branden Albert, now with the Miami Dolphins.
Fisher appeared in 14 games with 13 starts at right tackle last season.
He missed two regular season games with head and shoulder injuries, and was inactive for the team’s playoff game with a groin injury.
A natural left tackle, Fisher struggled early at times during his rookie campaign as he made the adjustment to the right side.
However, Fisher appeared to get more comfortable during the latter part of the season.
By committing to Fisher at left tackle, Reid is also comfortable starting Donald Stephenson, who enters his third season, at right tackle.
Reid’s exact quote comes courtesy of SBNation.com NFL editor Ryan Van Bibber, who was present when Reid made the announcement (H/T to ArrowheadPride.com).
“Right now I’m going to move him (Fisher) to the left side,” Reid told reporters, via Van Bibber. “That’s where he played in college. Although Donald Stephenson played there for me, I know that he can do that too. But I think I’ll start off with Eric at the left and keep Donald at the right.”
The versatility of Stephenson, who started seven games in 2013 (three at right tackle, four at left tackle), affords the Chiefs an option in the event Fisher isn’t ready to handle the move.
In the meantime, the Chiefs appear settled at the tackle positions with Reid’s Tuesday announcement.
But questions remain at the right guard position vacated by Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah, both of whom signed free-agent contracts elsewhere in recent weeks.
While the Chiefs signed offensive lineman Jeff Linkenbach, he’s likely to compete with Rishaw Johnson and Rokevious Watkins for the starting job.
Additionally, the Chiefs could add more offensive line depth through May’s draft or free agency.