ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs had high wish for their offending line in 2015 after they invested greatly in the position group following a Super Bowl LV loss in which the system was overwhelmed. They invested complimentary firm dollars on left guard Joe Thuney, traded draft choices to get left take on Orlando Brown Jr. from the Baltimore Ravens, then picked center Creed Humphrey and best guard Trey Smith in the 2021 draft.
They may have surpassed those expectations.
“It worked out better because on one end, we were confident in Orlando and Thuney,” basic supervisor Brett Veach stated. “On the other end, we had high hopes for Trey and Creed, but those guys playing at the level at which they did certainly was a nice surprise.
“Those are the hopes you have for all the people you prepared. Sometimes it strikes like that. And in some cases it takes some time, and in some cases it does not at all. So for those people to come in and have the ability to play immediately was amazing for us.”
The Chiefs were second last season in pass block win rate (67.8%) and third in run block win rate (74.0%). Individually among regular starters, Humphrey, a second-round pick from Oklahoma, was the top pass-blocking center (97.7%). Thuney, who was signed to a five-year, $80 million contract after spending five seasons with the New England Patriots, was first among guards in PBWR (96.6%), followed by Smith (96.0%), a sixth-round selection from Tennessee.
The Chiefs are trying to find more this season.
“We want to be known this year as one of the most physically dominating lines in the league,” Humphrey stated. “We have the pieces. We have the guys to do it. That’s our whole outlook, to be physical, for the physicality to show through and to make teams know when they’re playing us that they’re going to be playing against an offensive line that plays through the whistle, that finishes plays and things like that.
“Everybody was available in with the desire to work and a determination to progress together. Everybody worked truly well together. Everybody dealt with all of their strengths, all of their weak points, and it worked for the very best. We aim to continue to enhance on that in this camp.”
Added Thuney: “It began all the method back at the start of [offseason practice], simply discussing it, viewing movie, seeing what we can do to enhance, run video game, pass video game, the entire element of offending line. You constantly wish to be a physical offending line. It takes all 5 people. It begins there and it keeps structure and structure. Training camp is a terrific location to grow it a lot more.
“It’s been great having a year under our belt. Obviously, it’s early in training camp and there’s a lot to get better at, improve on. But so far, so good.”
Last year’s offending line reconstruct was past due. The Chiefs invested extremely little in complimentary firm or early draft badger their offending line in the late 2010s. The line broke down throughout the 2020 season and collapsed entirely in their Super Bowl LV loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes invested much of that 31-9 loss ranging from a ruthless pass rush.
Picking up Brown at left take on was a significant relocation in the reconstruct. The Chiefs sent their 2021 first-round draft option, in addition to 3 other choices, to the Ravens in order to get the 6-foot-8, 340-pound take on. But Brown was 42nd in pass block win rate (87.1%) amongst tackles who dipped into least 100 snaps last season. So left take on is an area where the Chiefs’ offending line has space for enhancement.
“I want to progress in almost every way, shape or form,” stated Brown, who played right take on for 3 seasons in Baltimore prior to relocating to left take on with the Chiefs. “I want to be a better run blocker, a better pass blocker, a better leader … allowing them to count on me when they need me the most. That was something that I feel like I struggled with a little bit last year, not putting myself in the best position as games were close on certain third downs or in close games against certain talents.”