With one move, the Kansas City Chiefs took a big step toward bolstering a shaky offensive line and making up for a 2004 gamble that came back to haunt them.
Lilja, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound Kansas City native, is considered a solid performer when healthy, but knee injuries kept him out of part of the 2006 season and all of 2008.
Lilja brings plenty of big-game experience to a Kansas City team that finished its last two seasons with records of 2-14 and 4-12. He started eight playoff games for Indianapolis, including two Super Bowls.
Much of Kansas City's focus in previous drafts -- especially with its top picks -- has been on the defensive side, but its offensive line has been one of the team's most glaring weaknesses. The acquisition of quarterback Matt Cassel last season was expected to give the offense a spark, but instead, the former New England Patriots backup spent much of his time either running for his life or picking himself up off the ground after defenders dominated Kansas City's porous line.
Cassel also will receive extra protection from veteran center Casey Wiegmann, a former Chief who spent the last two seasons with the AFC West rival Denver Broncos. Kansas City announced his signing Friday.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press