Monday, May 13, 2013

Left Tackle: Return of Branden Albert

After numerous speculation this offseason regarding Chiefs LT Branden Albert, it looks like there will finally be an end to this saga. Albert was slapped with the franchise tag right before the start of free agency and did not shy away from showing his frustration by not landing a long-term deal. He was absent from voluntary workouts and said he would stay away until his future had some certainty. There were trade talks with teams reportedly interested in Albert, specifically the Miami Dolphins, but the Chiefs never reached an agreement and were not willing to give up their LT for something other than his value. So now Mr. Albert remains a Kansas City Chief and hopes to reach a long-term deal that he's been seeking. Also, according to head coach Andy Reid, he spoke with Albert and says he will report to practice next week and is excited to rejoin the team.
"I just wanted to communicate. I felt that was important," said Reid. "We weren't able to do that before the draft, and I wanted to make sure that we touched base and talked after the draft."
This is good news Chiefs fans. Although Branden Albert acted stubbornly in his decision to stay away from team activities when all his teammates had showed up, it seems now he realizes that he needs to get back to work. He's been wearing a Chiefs uniform since 2008 so he's experienced a lot of losing with his teammates. So now he needs to get back on the field with those same teammates and work towards changing the culture of this team.

Albert needs to be the leader of this offensive line and teach number one pick Eric Fisher the nature of playing o-line in the NFL. Most people believed Fisher was coming in to be the team's new left tackle but coach Reid said he will be on the right side and Albert will be on the left. Fisher's athleticism and versatility was likely the tipping point in selecting him first overall over Luke Joeckel, since they were unsure a deal for Albert would get done.

With the "Big Fish" moving over to right tackle and Branden Albert coming back to play left, this Chiefs offensive line has the potential to be pretty good. One guy who must be happy is QB Alex Smith, who will have two big men anchoring both sides of the line. RB Jamaal Charles is sure to have holes to run through, with two fullbacks currently on the roster to pave the way. With Andy Reid's style of offense, we are sure to see plenty of different plays we have not seen in recent years. This includes getting the ball down the field. But nothing good can happen without a good, stout offensive line. So with the return of Branden Albert to go along with the new draft picks and the rest of the offensive line, the Chiefs foundation up front can possibly lead to big things for the offense in 2013.

How do you fans feel about the return of Branden Albert?

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