Perhaps none were more enjoyable than backup offensive lineman Nick Allegretti’s chance to speak with the media after his “big-man touchdown” against the Pittsburgh Steelers though. The wildcard weekend star joined reporters on January 19.
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Best & Worst Hands on the O-Line
It was great to see the elated Allegretti take the podium, noting that the touchdown grab was his first catch since a garbage-time reception in “eighth grade.”
Despite that lack of experience, the new offensive weapon had to back himself for “best hands” on the Chiefs offensive line. The question came in from beat reporter Herbie Teope and Allegretti name-dropped a couple of his teammates in a hilarious response.
“I mean I gotta go with myself for best hands just on a confidence basis, can’t give that to anyone else. Worst hands — gotta be Trey [Smith] or O.B. [Orlando Brown Jr.], definitely carrying around a pair of bricks,” Allegretti joked with a laugh. He was nice enough to add that Smith and Brown’s “brick” hands are “effective for other things.”
Let’s hope Mahomes heard that, if Smith or Brown are ever lined up in an eligible position, don’t throw them the football!
All kidding aside, Allegretti made the play and he described what it felt like after securing the catch. “It’s so cool, each moment that I’ve had throughout my career, there [are] kind of specific moments that you remember [from] games. They’re long but the memory of going over and looking right by the tunnel and hearing my ma and my wife and my pops screaming my name and getting to go give them a hug before going into the locker room, and knowing that they were there for that — pretty cool because… it’s honestly not even a dream of mine, I didn’t have the dream to catch a ball in the league, I didn’t dream that far so that was pretty cool.”
As for the celebration, the O-lineman labeled it as “pure joy and excitement.”
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Allegretti Provides Key Depth
There’s the old expression, an offensive line is only as strong as its weakest link but the truth is, that adage goes beyond the starting five.
With the number of injuries that occur in the NFL in the modern-day, you have to have a strong seven or eight linemen, not just a strong five. Players like Allegretti and Andrew Wylie have supplied that peace of mind in 2021.
In Week 17, Brown and Lucas Niang both went down in the blink of an eye and the combination of Joe Thuney (at left tackle) and Allegretti was called on to fortify Mahomes’ blindside. Although Kansas City lost the game, they scored 31 points and more importantly, the Chiefs superstar QB left the game unscathed.
On a similar note, Wylie has served as the franchise’s starting right tackle down the stretch. No, he’s not perfect but he’s helped this Chiefs offense make it this far.
This KC offensive line deserves a ton of credit for its versatility and perseverance this season, despite all the injuries and having to start two rookies and different reserves throughout. Hat tip to OL coach Andy Heck and this staff.