As the Kansas City Chiefs' 2020 season concluded with franchise quarterback Patrick Mahomes run ragged by a dominant Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rush in the Super Bowl, the offseason played out with K.C. bolstering its offensive line in a major way.
To many, a porous offensive line hampered by injuries and missing bodies was a paramount reason for the Chiefs' Super Bowl demise.
However, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid, a former offensive lineman at Brigham Young University and Glendale Community College, doesn't believe the team's Tampa fate rests solely on his linemen's shoulders, though he does believe the unit had been neglected.
That was the onus for the offseason.
"We have some guys returning that were on that Super Bowl team, too. So we've got great depth and there'll be competition," Reid told NFL Network's Steve Mariucci on Wednesday's Schedule Release '21. "And as you know, Mooch, competition brings out the best in everybody. And so, we've got that now on the offensive line and these guys will battle it out. The kids that were on that Super Bowl are tough kids, it just wasn't our day. And things didn't quite work out right, it's not all their blame for sure. And that's not where we were going with this. We just hadn't done a whole lot recently with the offensive line. You need to take care of that bunch, so that's where we went."
With Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz injured and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif having opted out for the season, the Chiefs' Super Bowl starting lineup across the line was left tackle Mike Remmers, left guard Nick Allegretti, center Austin Reiter, right guard Stefen Wisniewski and right tackle Andrew Wylie.
Change has been abundant since that Super Bowl defeat.
Fisher and Schwartz were cut, Duvernay-Tardif is coming back and so too are Remmers, Wylie and Allegretti. But the Chiefs' offseason has been marked by a cavalcade of high-priced and high-profile additions to the offensive front, among them trading the Ravens for tackle Orlando Brown, signing former Patriots standout guard Joe Thuney, inking former Rams center Austin Blythe and bringing former Bears Pro Bowler Kyle Long out of retirement.
All the blame shouldn't rest on the offensive line for the Chiefs' Super Bowl stumble, but it was most certainly a weakness that needed attending to and Kansas City did that and then some.
There is now a wealth of depth in contrast to last season's thin makeup that was exposed when Fisher and Schwartz were injured.
Mahomes, who was sacked and intercepted twice against the Buccaneers, will have a revamped and most likely very improved offensive line in front of him. It remains to be decided just what the starting five will look like, but Reid is confident they will enable Mahomes to pull off all the splendor we've grown accustomed to in his short-yet-sensational career.
"As far as Patrick goes, listen, he's gonna get the five best that are available to play that we have and he'll play with anybody," Reid said, "so he'll get out there and do his thing."