While the offensive line for the Kansas City Chiefs didn't have their best performance of the season in the Chiefs' 31-9 Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, head coach Andy Reid isn't ready to give up on them yet and said he remains "optimistic."
In his Monday press conference, Reid addressed the issues along the offensive line and said he wasn't going to blame the unit for the offense's struggles.
“Listen, I’m obviously not pointing my finger at the offensive line," Reid said. "I mean, we had guys that were moved around a little bit and they take great pride in their work and busted their tails."
Injuries and opt-outs plagued the group in 2020. Before the season started, Kansas City lost 2019 starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and 2020 third-round draft pick tackle Lucas Niang opted out of the year due to COVID-19 concerns.
The Cheifs started the season with right tackle Eric Fisher, right guard Kelechi Osemele, center Austin Reiter, right guard Andrew Wylie and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz.
Season-ending injuries to Osemele, Schwartz and Fisher placed a strain on the group that was already stretched thin.
Only Reiter started the Super Bowl in the position he started the year in as the Chiefs line consisted of right tackle Mike Remmers, right guard Nick Allegretti, Reiter, left guard Stefen Wisniewski and Wylie at right tackle.
Adding to the mess on the offensive line, they have several players heading to free agency this offseason. Center Daniel Kilgore, Remmers, Wylie, Reiter and Osemele could all depart the team.
Reid said even though the performance from the unit left more to be desired and several guys are up for contracts, he doesn't think they are in such a bad position.
"With the guys that are injured that are potentially coming back or opted out who are potentially coming back, we’ll kind of get all that covered here in the next couple days," Reid said. "I don’t think the outlook is bleak by any means. We should be good there. Then, Brett will obviously keep an eye on that as he does everything and just see how that works. But I’m optimistic going forward and I’m proud of the guys and the effort that they gave last night.”