Image edited by Brett Gering
Before Arrowhead housed the NFL's lone undefeated team and the Kansas City Chiefs' bandwagon became a horde of humanity, the national spotlight stalked Andy Reid on April 25 (partly because his shirt looked like it just got jumped by a gang of Christmas trees, but that's neither here nor there).
With the No. 1 pick in the draft at his disposal, Reid doubled down on insurance for his newly acquired quarterback, Alex Smith.
Measuring at a colossal 6'8" and 305 pounds, Eric Fisher looks like he should be riding into practice on a blue ox. Kansas City's rookie is a deceptively athletic offensive tackle who totes the wingspan of a 747 and a prominent blue-collar work ethic.
At Central Michigan, Fisher splashed onto draft radars by punishing pass-rushers on a weekly basis. He then jettisoned the small-school stigma after pitching a shutout at the Senior Bowl.
As NFL.com scouting guru and Soul Train revivalist Mike Mayock noted, "When I put my Top 100 out there, he was the first name on the list, which tells you how strongly I feel about him. He's a Pro Bowl left tackle."
Fisher recently spoke to B/R about his ongoing rookie experience.
Bleacher Report: In the 2013 draft, left tackles were taken with three of the first four picks, but all of you were subsequently moved to the right side to begin the season. What has been the most challenging aspect of transitioning to the opposite end of the line?
Eric Fisher: Honestly, probably putting your right hand in the ground instead of your left.
I've been playing on the left side for so many years, and to go from a left-handed stance and adapt to that, then to flip it around and do the complete opposite with your footwork is pretty awkward at first. But it's gotten easier over time.
So, I'd say going from planting my left hand in the ground and switching to my right has probably been the biggest adjustment.
B/R: Leading up to the draft, I know that you stayed in touch with fellow Chippewa Joe Staley, who also played tackle and blocked for Alex Smith. Coming to Kansas City, what did he tell you about Alex?
EF: I haven't really had time to talk to him a lot lately just because we've been so busy during the season, but Joe's a really good friend.
He just told me that Alex is a great guy to play for and a good guy both on and off field. He spent so many years protecting Alex's blind side, and he said that [Alex is] someone who comes ready to work hard day in and day out.
Alex is just a great leader and someone who always keeps his cool and never loses his composure no matter what's going on around him.
I couldn't ask for a better quarterback, and he just makes you want to do your job that much better.
B/R: Jamaal Charles is only the second player in history to begin a season with seven consecutive games of 100-plus yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Just how unique is it to block for somebody who brings that kind of talent to the backfield?
Jamaal's such a talented guy that can run and catch the pass and break one on any given down, so he always creates a lot of mismatches for defensive coordinators.
To be one of only two guys in history to do that says a lot about how gifted he is, and blocking with somebody like him in the backfield makes my job that much easier.
Jamaal's a great guy on and off the field.
B/R: In addition to football, I know that you also lettered in basketball for three years in high school. In sports in general, who were your favorite athletes growing up?
EF: I don't think I ever really had any specific guys that I grew up watching or idolizing.
I just kind of took the stance that I wanted to be the first me and blaze my own path. I mean, being an offensive lineman, there were always players that I looked up to and modeled my game after when I was in college—Joe Staley and Joe Thomas, guys like that.
But I never really had one specific person that I wanted to be exactly like.
B/R: It seems like Andy Reid is a disciplinarian on the field, but he also has an easygoing, personable demeanor about him off of it. In your opinion, how important is it to have a head coach with an established track record like Coach Reid's, but who also brings a lighthearted atmosphere to the locker room?
EF: It's great. Coach Reid is a lot of fun to play for, and he's really knowledgeable about the game. But when it's time to take care of business, he takes care of business.
He really makes an effort to try to relate to us as players and get to know us on a personal level. I couldn't ask for a better coach.
I just feel blessed to be put in the position I'm in, and everything has been unbelievable since I got here. We have the best coaching staff you could ask for.
B/R: You guys began the season as the youngest offensive line in the NFL but appear to have a relatively tight-knit group. Who would you say has helped you the most in terms of your on-field progression?
EF: All these guys.
We are a young offensive line, but everyone helps each other out and puts their egos to the side. I talk to and work with Branden Albert every day. Since we're so young, he's the oldest guy in the room now and has the most experience of any of us.
Branden always gives me tips and advice when we're at practice—try this and try that, you know. He always has an answer for every question that I ask him.
B/R: Between breaking the record for the world's loudest outdoor arena and fan noise shattering a press-box window, Arrowhead has generated a lot of headlines in the past couple of weeks.
When you ran out of the tunnel for your first regular-season game inside of Arrowhead and heard the national anthem end with 70,000-odd people screaming "home of the Chiefs," honestly, did you or did you not feel like you were in a scene from Braveheart?
EF: [Laughs] Yeah, it's pretty insane.
Coming from a smaller school and stadium like Central Michigan's to breaking world records and shattering press-box windows has been kind of crazy. The people have been so great to me since I came to Kansas City, though.
Coming out of the tunnel and seeing all of the fans and the Sea of Red...just everything about Arrowhead in general has been amazing.
B/R: I know that you've teamed up with Tide in an effort to celebrate fans' passion for their team colors. Can you tell me a little about the program and how Chiefs fans can get involved?
EF: Yeah, I'm one of 32 players in the league who are involved in Tide's Color Captain program, and throughout the season, I'll be getting on Twitter (@Big_Fish79) and tweeting out any cool pictures of red and gold that I see, whether it's in the stadium, at practice or just driving around here in Kansas City.
You can learn about the history of your team's colors by logging on to Tide.com/NFL, and fans can see our pictures on Twitter @TideNFL and join in by using the hashtag #OurColors.
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