COMMENTARY | Concerns surrounding teams that are undefeated at this point in the NFL season seem to oftentimes be more about fine-tuning certain areas than actually being legitimate question marks -- barring the unexpected injury, of course.
With a 6-0 record, the Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of a complete 180 in comparison to last season's lackluster effort -- an effort that afforded the organization the opportunity to pick at the top of last April's draft for the first time in franchise history.
The Chiefs opted to select Eric Fisher, who -- depending on talks with Branden Albert -- is the perceived long-term option at left tackle. But a very shaky start to his rookie season, however, leaves the mind to wonder whether his presence is actually a deterrent if Kansas City is to continue its winning ways.
Many will point to the fact that Fisher played lesser competition in college while at Central Michigan, that he is transitioning into a new position (right tackle) and that he is still only five games into his rookie campaign (missed one game because of a concussion) as reasons for his struggles. But with the Chiefs primed to remain contenders throughout the season, should benching the No. 1 overall pick be an option?
Donald Stephenson and Geoff Schwarz are both more than capable of filling in at right tackle and would probably be better options for the remainder of this season. But replacing Fisher in the starting lineup could come with harmful implications as well, as a waning confidence in the top pick is not something the Chiefs would want to publicize this early into his career.
With the sudden turnaround, Kansas City has a chance to capitalize in a season where expectations had them pegged as being in a transition year. Continuing to start a virtual project player in such a key position is a gamble at best, but so is potentially demoralizing the psyche of a central part of the team's foundation.
Another sticking point might be contention between who makes the decisions on the field and who makes them off the field. Though there is obviously no rift between head coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, a discussion regarding Fisher's playing time might strike up a heated debate or two amongst Chiefs' brass.
The decision should ultimately come down to what is best for this team right now. And while Fisher's draft position is the only reason he has not been benched thus far, Kansas City's hands are tied when it comes to who lines up at right tackle unfortunately.
Being installed into the lesser-profile position and the success of the team have both contributed to Fisher's struggles not being a huge story across the league just yet. But if the Chiefs start losing and he does not make marked improvements on the field, the bust label will start to pick up steam here.
The adjustment to the NFL has come with a huge learning curve for Fisher. With the Chiefs being in the thick of a playoff race, they better hope he picks things up soon.
Here is a look at what a few others had to say when asked if Eric Fisher should be benched.
@JeremySickel Any young player needs time to thrive in the NFL. I say give him a bit of time considering you're still 6-0.- Joe Wedra (@JoeWedra) October 15, 2013
@JeremySickel yes. Because he's not ready and this team isn't in "play the young guys" mode. Schwartz should be in starting 5.- Sully Sparks (@SullySparks) October 15, 2013
@JeremySickel No. There is nothing more valuable than game experience for a young guy.- MikeJ (@vidae01) October 15, 2013
@JeremySickel na they're 6-0 w/ him struggling he #1 overall pick that needs the reps got suffer through it for development sake- Joe Dice (@pulseofdachiefs) October 15, 2013
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
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