The Kansas City Chiefs added an offensive lineman Friday, signing Geoff Schwartz, the team announced today.
Schwartz (6-6, 340) has played in 45 games, including 19 starts, during his four NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers (2009-11) and the Minnesota Vikings (2012).
Schwartz is very familiar with blocking for high-profile running backs, helping Carolina RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart become the first set of teammates in NFL history to each rush for more than 1,100 yards in the same season (2009).
The former Oregon Ducks right tackle, Schwartz also helped Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson gain 2,097 rushing yards in 2012, falling just nine yards short of breaking RB Eric Dickerson’s NFL single-season record of 2,105 yards.
Today, Schwartz said via telephone that blocking for running backs like Peterson, is really a collective effort, which he looks to maximize in Kansas City.
“I think when you have a great offensive line coach, which we have in Kansas City with (offensive line) coach (Andy) Heck and (assistant offensive line) coach (Eugene) Chung, talent is a big part in it, and we definitely have talent here up front and with running backs and a quarterback and good offensive minds," Schwartz said.
"You just have to bring all of those together to have a good season. We had a great season in Carolina running the ball and obviously last season, in Minnesota. I look forward to doing the same thing here.”
Before the conference call ended, I asked the new offensive lineman about the opportunity to block for new Chiefs QB Alex Smith.
“It's great. He’s an intelligent quarterback. He’s been around the league for a while, Schwartz said of Smith.
"He knows everything that’s going to happen and it’s great, just knowing that your quarterback, the guy behind you, has confidence and works pretty hard - the protections, throwing to the right guys. I’m just excited to play with a quarterback like that.”
Schwartz, the Pacific Palisades, California native originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft choice (241st overall) of the Carolina Panthers in the 2008 NFL Draft.
While attending Oregon, he was a three-year starter, appearing in 41 games (36 starts). He helped the Ducks lead the Pac-10 in rushing for two-consecutive seasons.