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Chiefs Inside Slant from Yahoo Sports:
Successful NFL teams are built first on the line of scrimmage, with the offensive and defensive lines. That has been the credo for building teams for years and no place in the league has that been more in play than with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Whether it was former-former general manager Carl Peterson or former general manager Scott Pioli or current GM John Dorsey, they've all used high draft choices on the big guys up front. That method has achieved limited success for the Chiefs in the last decade, with just three appearances in the playoffs and no post-season victories.
Like Peterson (Joe Montana, Trent Green) and Pioli (Matt Cassel) before him, Dorsey invested a high-draft choice in a veteran quarterback, giving up a pair of second-round picks for Alex Smith.
The success of the 2013 offense will not be completely in the hands of Smith; he will need a lot of help from those big guys up front, where high draft choices have been invested. The No. 1 offensive line for the regular-season opener against Jacksonville will have two first-round tackles, two second rounders at left guard and center, and a third-round choice at right guard.
Peterson directed the selection of Albert in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Pioli picked center Rodney Hudson, left guard Jeff Allen and right guard Jon Asamoah. Dorsey added right tackle Eric Fisher with the first choice of the 2012 NFL Draft.
From left to right the Chiefs line is 28, 23, 24, 25 and 22 years old - an average of 24.4 years of age. The No. 1 backup player is third-round (2012) guard/tackle Donald Stephenson; he's 24 years old.
That youth and lack of experience has made for an interesting training camp and preseason for the Chiefs offense.
"There are a lot of nuances, a lot of detailed things on every play that you have to remember," said Albert, the 28-year old elder statesman of the group. "You have to know where everybody's going, so you know what you're going to do. If you're hesitating or don't play fast, that's when things happen."
With Bob Sutton installing a very aggressive defense, the offensive line has had trouble through the month of August dealing even with their teammates. Those problems have continued into the preseason games - through three weeks they had allowed 16 sacks, or one every 8.2 passing plays. Smith went down five times and No. 2 quarterback Chase Daniel nine times.
"There's a lot that goes on with the protection unit, and so much of it falls on the offensive line, but I think, to everybody," said Smith. "There's a lot of guys that-especially quarterbacks, running backs, interior receivers, guys that are all involved depending on the play-we all have to be on the same page. It really falls on all of us."
The Chiefs running game also was not clicking in the preseason, averaging just 82.3 yards per game on 65 rushes; 10 of those runs were by quarterbacks racing away from pass rushers, so the running backs have just 134 yards or less than 45 yards per game.
"The one thing about that group is they are not afraid to work hard," Reid said of his offensive line. "We'll keep working with them, and as long as they do that then you get better at all of the things you must handle. That's how you go about it."
As the league's No. 1 draft choice there are a lot of eyes watching Fisher, who has struggled at times working at right tackle and playing through several injuries.
"I've been happy with his progress," Reid said of Fisher. "He's been banged a little and he's worked through that which a lot of guys wouldn't do. A lot of guys wouldn't be able to push themselves mentally and he's done that. He has to continue to get better ... I though he came out against what I thought was a good defensive front (Pittsburgh) and played very well."
Albert preaches patience to his young line mates.
"We are in this together and we have to work together to get this done," Albert said. "We have to listen to our coaches, get to the nitty-gritty and do the extra stuff that needs done. That's one thing I'm learning; I had been in (the same) offense the last three years and I knew every detail. But now, I'm like, 'Ok I got to get into my playbook and really know what's going on, ins-and-outs.' It's a day-to-day battle."
"We're scheming up and I think the players believe in it and then they execute it. There's some talent there performing at a high level and the coaches are doing a nice job of putting them in positions to make plays." -- Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on his team's special teams performance in the preseason.