HC Andy Reid & RT Eric Fisher
St. Joseph, MO – When the Kansas City Chiefs selected Central Michigan Left Tackle, Eric Fisher, with the top overall pick, they understood he’d begin his NFL career at right tackle. With the Chiefs first exhibition game a few days away, how does KC’s top pick feel about being a rookie starter?
I would never question Head Coach, Andy Reid, about anything. But, as I’ve stated before, if you take a left tackle #1 overall, he should play the same position in the NFL. Well that’s not going to happen as rookie, Eric Fisher, begins his career at right tackle for the Chiefs on Friday night versus the New Orleans Saints.
There’s no question that Fisher comes to the Chiefs as a lunch pail, hard working, no excuses kind of player. He fits perfectly into the offensive line scheme of his head coach and he brings a nasty nature to the field that could only help to upgrade KC’s line.
Still Fisher is learning a new position and to say he’s mastered it yet would be an understatement. Thus far in camp he’s locked in on being a starter. But how fast will he get out of the NFL gate and be productive? That depends on how quickly he adjusts from the college to the pro ranks.
“It’s a lot faster game; that’s what I’ve been told. Some guys say once you get to game day, it’s not as bad as practice,” Fisher said about the NFL pace.
The good new for Fisher understands that. Yet, accepting the quicker speed in the NFL is one thing, understanding it and adjusting to it is another thing altogether. But learning a new position, where you’re expected to perform equally as well at both pass and run blocking, has to be Fisher’s biggest challenge.
”At practice you get these very specific situations and you need to know when you’re running the ball or when you’re passing the ball. In a live game situation, it’s a little mixed up, and you’re defender doesn’t always know what you’re doing. I’m just preparing myself for this team and going against the guy’s I’ll be going against,” Fisher stated after Monday’s practice.
The good news for Fisher, despite some ups and downs at training camp where he’s been beaten soundly, he has that good natured personality and work ethic that should shorten his maturation into the NFL.
“Football is fun. Game days are exciting, but when it’s out here in training camp, it’s definitely work. That’s exactly what it is. It’s your job and this is my career. I’m coming out here every day and making the most of it and trying to improve myself and working on my skills,” he stated.
And that’s to be expected. On the flip side, this is his first training camp and his words today, versus five years from now, well let’s be honest will be a bit different. For now though, he does get his first live action and Friday night against the Saints in New Orleans and that’s something he’s ready to do.
“I think it’s going to be huge for me. I’m going to be able to experience the NFL for real, and I’m really excited to get down there. We’re out here every day just grinding at camp and trying to improve myself. To go against somebody else after going against these guys here at practice, I’m really excited,” he proclaimed.
Beyond his talent, Fisher understands this is just the first step of many in his career. Thus far he’s not shown he can’t handle the game, the speed or Reid’s long practices. It’s all about game day matchups and in camp Fisher has battled two of NFL’s best pass rushers, Chiefs linebackers, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, to get ready for live action.
”Going against these guys like Justin and Tamba every day, it’s definitely a competition. I’m still adjusting a little bit. I’m doing my best and making the most of it,” Fisher said.
But what’s impressive about those battles, is that Fisher has sought advise from Houston. He knows in order to get better he must reach out to a teammate who he battles with every day in practice.
”I actually talk with him and ask him, ‘What can I change about my technique to beat you.’ And it’s actually really helpful. He’ll actually help me out a lot and tell me to try this on him or try that on him. O-line has a lot to do with the hands and hand placement, so I’m trying to do my best on that and get my technique down,” Fisher said of his new teammate.
It may be mid-season before Fisher feels comfortable in his new position. And should he be able to find his groove by then, it would appear that the Kansas City Chiefs top pick might actually live up to his lofty draft status.
And wouldn’t that be a nice change in Kansas City.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
How many games will it take Fisher to become a solid right tackle for the Chiefs?
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