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Run-blocking Center Austin Blythe Signs 1-year deal with K.C. Chiefs



 

Coming off a disappointing loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Superbowl LV, the offensive line has been a top priority for the Kansas City Chiefs. Brett Veach and company have not shied away from that fact and have been extremely active trying to protect their franchise QB. They narrowly missed Trent Williams, who would eventually re-sign with the 49ers, but landed a pair of guards in Kyle Long and Joe Thuney and as of about an hour ago signed another veteran O-Line presence in Austin Blythe.








This move to sign Blythe adds a much-needed veteran presence on the O-line he will probably contend for that starting position in training camp against the youngster Nick Allegretti. While the Chiefs undoubtedly still need help at the tackle position to really solidify this line but no doubt Veach has a plan going into the draft.





Blythe was drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 draft by the Indianapolis Colts but would eventually be released. Sean McVay and the L.A. Rams would pick him up where he would earn a starting role. Andy Reid has shown favoritism to O-lineman that have the versatility to play multiple positions, and Blythe offers exactly that. In the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Blythe played guard but moved over to the center position in 2020 and missed only 1 game in the past 3 years.


Blythe wasn't a great pass-blocker this past season as he allowed 4 sacks, but he will have the opportunity to play next to above-average to great guards on either side of him assuming LDT and Joe Thuney are the starters which should help him in pass-blocking. Blythe was effective in run-blocking for the Los Angeles Rams top-10 rushing offense which earned him a 73.2 overall run-blocking grade from PFF.com last season. In addition to that, Blythe only committed one penalty last season which is outstanding.





In the wake of this news, it doesn’t look likely that the Chiefs will resign Austin Reiter, who has been the starter for the last few years. Though, the Chiefs seemed to have upgraded with Blythe. I also believe that with the Chiefs being aggressive and targeting the interior of the O-line, and mix in the fact that they released Damien Williams, you can conclude that Reid has full faith in last year’s first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire to run the ball much better. Establishing a balanced offense very well might be able to neutralize a pass rush which in turn takes the pressure off of the OT. In a league geared towards the air game, running the ball might be Kansas City’s key to growing even further offensively and shoring up the interior of the line is a sure-fire way to improve.







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