Brett Veach anticipates combination of in-house, external solutions for Chiefs’ offensive line

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Charles Goldman
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The Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line situation was rocky for the entirety of the 2020 season and reached critical mass in the Super Bowl.

The lasting images of Super Bowl LV for Chiefs fans are those of Patrick Mahomes running for his life. The expectation has since been that Kansas City will seek to overhaul the offensive line during the offseason. General manager Brett Veach doesn’t exactly see it that way. He sees a combination of in-house and external solutions as a way to fix the team’s problems on the offensive line.

“Yeah, I certainly think it’ll be a combination of both,” Veach told reporters on Monday. “I mean look, Coach Heck and our staff did an amazing job. We had two opt outs with LDT (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif) and (Lucas) Niang. We certainly missed those two players throughout the course of the season. And we did a lot of shuffling as you know and certainly the final blow was losing (Eric) Fisher in that Bills game. That was a daunting task to go up against that front in the Super Bowl.”

Veach acknowledged that the team was without some important pieces along the way in 2020— pieces that the team expects to have back in 2021. That includes players who opted out like Niang and Duvernay-Tardif, but it also includes injured players like Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz.

In addition to those players returning, Veach isn’t willing to throw out the contributions and development of several young players that the team has invested in. The Super Bowl didn’t go according to plan, but he praised the season-long successes of a pair of young players.

“So you do like some of the young players and their progress and their development,” Veach continued. “Andrew Wylie has shown that he can play at a consistent level when at that guard position. (Nick) Allegretti took a step forward. We’re interested in getting (Lucas) Niang back. We have a nice blend of some young players who are continuing to get better and we think, will continue to improve. But certainly, our focus will be to bring in some new talent.”

So the Chiefs will go with a blend of their own veterans, young developing talent and bring in some new blood on the offensive line. But what exactly will that look like? Will they go heavy on the drafted talent? What about free-agent acquisitions. Veach seems to feel there will be opportunities to add in both the draft and free agency.

“We like the way this draft looks,” Veach said. “From the offset here, the draft looks to be really talented on the offensive line. So I think it’ll be a combination of what we have in-house and blending that in with some new talent. Potentially in free agency and potentially in the draft. We certainly like the way that the draft is shaping up and I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be addressing that in any area that we can.”

The door is open for additions in both free agency and the draft, but make no mistake, these additions will supplement the players the Chiefs already have. The idea that this team could have as many as four or five new starters on the offensive line in 2021 is looking less likely by the day. It’ll be a blend of new and old, with a continued emphasis on building for the now and the future.

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Chiefs news roundup — 2/28/2021