Drum Beats: Svitek Is The Guy

It's official. While Damion McIntosh is out, KC's starting left tackle will be Will Svitek. At first it appeared that Kyle Turley would be in the mix - he took left tackle reps with the starters today – but Svitek is the guy, for now.

"It'll be Svitek," said head coach Herm Edwards. "He's a guy that's a young player, he's been in the world league, did a good job there, hasn't been playing the position that long. Now he's got a great opportunity, and we've got a great opportunity to evaluate him, finding out he's going to hold up. He's going to be our guy."

As of this morning, the Chiefs' official word on McIntosh was that he has a sprained knee and would undergo additional tests once the swelling went down. Even if there isn't any major damage to the knee, McIntosh could be out for an extended period. That means the Chiefs will be giving Svitek most of the reps to get him ready for the season.

"It's definitely a great opportunity," said Svitek, "so I just have to work hard, work on my fundamentals, and take care of what I can control."

This season, it appears Svitek is more ready to step up and play. Last year, he played a full season in NFL Europe and participated in a full offseason program with the Chiefs. By the time he'd gone through OTAs, minicamps and training camp, his body broke down from overwork.

Last year in Europe, Svitek worked predominantly at left tackle. He knows how to play the position. The question is can he play well consistently, and can he stay out of trouble on the field. The last couple of years he's developed a reputation for being a guy who attracts fights. Edwards doesn't appear worried, however.

"The good thing is it's the pre-season and if he gets ejected it'll be something that we'll all deal with," said Edwards. "But I thought he did a good job against the Vikings. There was a situation a couple of times where he put his hands up and walked away and the first thing he did is he ran to me and said, ‘see what I did, coach, I'm learning."

It appears that Svitek has reached a turning point in his career. In his final contract year (he's a restricted free agent next year), he'll get an opportunity to audition at one of the NFL's most valuable positions. Even if things don't work out for him in Kansas City, if he plays well he'll likely get an opportunity somewhere else.

"It's his turn," said Edwards. "He's gotta go play now."

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