There are a lot of storylines to come from the Chiefs 24-17 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday, and while a loss is a loss, the manner in which the game played out couldn’t have been more unlike the opener against the Tennessee Titans.
This was the case especially up front along the offensive line, where offensive coordinator Doug Pederson explained that continuity continues to build for a group that hasn’t been together long.
“They played well enough for us to win,” Pederson said of the offensive line. “There are some new faces in there with left guard Mike McGlynn only in his third week here in this system, Ryan Harris has now stepped out at right tackle, Eric Fisher is growing at left tackle and right guard Zach Fulton is a rookie. Rodney Hudson is kind of the guy there in the middle at center who is kind of keeping it all together.”
Pederson knows consistent performances and continued development from the offensive line is what will ultimately help this offense get to where it wants to go.
“They know they have some work to do moving forward,” Pederson said. “They played a great front with the Denver Broncos and they’re going to see another good one this week in Miami.
“We have to build off what we did on Sunday. What I mean by that is (Alex) Smith continuing to make good decisions with the football—he took care of it on Sunday and didn’t turn it over—that was a key in that game.”
Even though the final score didn’t reflect the outcome the Chiefs hoped for, Pederson knows there are plenty of good things that can be taken from a performance like that.
“It’s a great learning experience going into Miami this weekend, the guys should have confidence,” Pederson said. “They played a good football team on Sunday, a team that was in the Super Bowl last year, and had a chance to win it at the end. They should have confidence going forward.”
Jeff Allen was initially set to be the team’s left guard until right tackle Donald Stephenson was suspended for four games, which moved Allen to right tackle. Mike McGlynn was signed to play left guard before the fourth preseason game and when Allen was injured for the season during the regular season opener, Ryan Harris then stepped in at right tackle.
Then during Sunday’s game, All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles left early in the first quarter with a high ankle sprain after just two carries for four yards.
Pederson spoke about in-game adjustments when dealing with injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
“You have to keep things familiar for the guys,” Pederson explained. “You can’t come up with a lot of new ideas, new schemes or concepts. You just need to do things they did at training camp and things they’re familiar with.”
Second-year running back Knile Davis stepped in as the lead back in place of Charles and finished with 22 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Pederson said it’s about keeping guys comfortable and allowing them to play fast when new guys have to step in. He mentioned that veterans like Dwayne Bowe, Anthony Fasano and Donnie Avery have to step up under those circumstances.
But he also said it’s his job to make sure young, talented players are put in good situations.
“It’s putting your guys in positions to be successful—putting a guy like Travis Kelce, who is a young tight end, in a position to just go out and execute and play where he doesn’t have to do a lot of thinking.”
The Chiefs resume practice Wednesday as they prepare for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.