When starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif became this first player to opt of the 2020 NFL season in late July, the Kansas City Chiefs had a contingency plan in place. Just one day after the surprise announcement, the defending champions quickly signed former Las Vegas Raiders All-Pro OL Kelechi Osemele.
The 31-year-old, who had been a free agent since last October following shoulder surgery and an injury dispute with the New York Jets, has been a welcome addition to the Chiefs locker room since his arrival — at least offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy believes so.
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Bieniemy Praises Kelechi Osemele’s Competitive Play Style
Following a condensed training camp, Osemele was named Kansas City’s Week 1 starter at left guard, where he played all 69 offensive snaps against the Houston Texans. When asked on Thursday about the “brawler” mentality of the ninth-year lineman and what it brings to the offensive line group, Bieniemy offered an unusual, yet well-intentioned description of Osemele.
“I’m just going to say this, and I’ve said this before, but he is a competitive prick,” said Bieniemy. “We love the attitude and the determined mindset that he brings to our room.”
“He’s the guy who wants to brawl each and every play,” Bieniemy continued. “On top of that, he’s just a tough guy. He understands the dynamics of our O-Line room and he just brings that chemistry together, brings that group force with him when he’s out there and playing. He wants the ball to be ran behind him. Also, he understands exactly how we’re going to go about doing this. We want to make sure that we’re playing smart, playing hard, playing fast, but more importantly that we’re being accountable and we’re not doing anything that’s going to keep us from accomplishing our goals. What a great kid. I love everything that he brings to the table and I think he’s just been a great addition.”
This Sunday, Osemele and company will look to string together another strong performance against an equally talented Los Angeles Chargers defensive front, featuring the likes of Pro Bowlers Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram and Linval Joseph. Kansas City has won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the franchises dating back to 2014.