The switch may or may not work out for Reid and the Chiefs, who will go with Donald Stephenson as the left tackle.
But it shows Reid’s head is in the right place. He’s not concerned with appearances, that it looks bad that Fisher, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft, is playing on the right side and not on the line’s premium position.
He’s trying to do what’s best for the Chiefs and not just Fisher.
“This was something I had to think through,’’ Reid said. “This took time.’’
This is a move that could work out for the Chiefs. Reid’s reasoning was certainly solid. He said Stephenson, who had filled in for the injured Fisher the past three weeks, looked more comfortable on the left side.
Now that Fisher is back and ready to play on Sunday against the Texans in Houston, there was no reason to mess with a good thing.
“Donald has got a ton of reps over there,’’ Reid said. “I just said, ‘Listen, let’s just leave him there.’ He looks like he’s comfortable with that. I think he’s actually more comfortable there than he was with the right tackle [spot].
“He’s had some ups and downs at that right tackle spot. Left tackle, he seems to be more comfortable. Fish can play anything. If we taught him center, I think he’d go in and be a phenomenal center.’’
Reid explained he believed Stephenson was a good fit to play next to guard Ben Grubbs, a former Pro Bowler acquired by the Chiefs in a trade during the offseason. He thought the same thing about the more experienced Fisher with starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
“Grubbs and Donald have kind of hit if off there,’’ Reid said. “Grubbs is tremendous for Donald. We think Donald has played a lot but he really hasn’t played in a lot of games, so Grubbs is good for Donald.
“Fish knows the offense backward and forward. Fish has got it down. Very smart kid. He’s been there. I think that’s great for Larry. I just think that’s a good mix. He’ll be good for Larry. He’s experienced and very intelligent and I think they’ll work well together.’’
Reid may be doing Fisher a favor as well. He never seemed comfortable with the demands that inevitably follow the players picked No. 1 in the draft and may become a better player out of the left tackle spotlight.
Reid needs to get this right because the Chiefs have much depending on this. They didn’t protect Alex Smith well last season and the result was a quarterback who struggled to pass the ball down the field. More goes into a successful passing game than just good protection, but without that the Chiefs can forget about making significant improvement.
So Reid did what he thought he had to do. If this big move doesn’t work out, at last he can be at peace knowing his intentions were good.