On July 29th, 80 men will report to training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri with one goal in mind – to wear the Kansas City Chiefs logo on their helmets when The New Arrowhead Stadium hosts its first-ever Monday Night Football Game on September 13th. Chiefs fans are already familiar with the majority of players who will be competing for roster spots this summer, but the crop of undrafted free agents often enter camp anonymous to the fan base.
Starting on June 29th and ending on July 14th, we’ll meet each of the Chiefs undrafted players for conversation. These are members of the Chiefs roster that can’t be ignored. History tells us that several of these men will end up on Kansas City’s Opening Day 53-man squad.
Today’s Rookie Focus – OL
Quick Intro – Lewis appeared in 50 games (39 starts) along the offensive line at Oklahoma State. He moved from guard to center for part of the 2007 season before moving back to the guard position in 2008. He finished his career without missing a start during his final three seasons.
JL: How have you liked Kansas City thus far?
AL: Kansas City has been nice. I had a great time during OTAs and just working out here for a few months. The first impressions have been good.
JL: You’re a lefty center. Do you write left handed? Do you hit or throw lefty in baseball?
AL: No, it’s kind of funny. I write with my left hand, but I swing a golf club and a bat right handed. So I guess I’m ambidextrous and can mix it up a bit. It’s always been kind of funny like that for me.
JL: Has that ever been an issue for quarterbacks at all? Left-handed centers seem like they’re pretty rare.
AL: No, it’s never been an issue. Coming into the league some guys were questioning whether or not that was going to be a problem, but I told them that I’ve never had a problem getting the ball to the quarterback. So I’ve never had an issue, but some people have questioned it.
JL: You’re more of a smaller player as far as offensive linemen go, much like
AL: Yeah, technique comes into play a lot more. I’m not a 330-pound center that can just outmuscle and outweigh guys. Technique definitely comes in handy when you’re a smaller center like me and I think that’s an asset of my game.
JL: Do you pick the brain of Casey and Ryan at all? Those are two guys who have carved out pretty nice careers for themselves.
AL: I’ve been watching both of them, especially Casey since he’s played in the league for so long. I just kind of watch him to see how he does everything. My thoughts are that you have to be doing something right if you’ve been able to stay in the league for as long as he has been.
JL: When you come to a new team, everyone talks about timing between receivers and quarterbacks. Does the same type of familiarity and timing hold true for centers and quarterbacks who are new working with each other?
AL: Not really. It seems like it has always come natural for me and I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve never experienced any timing issues when working with a new quarterback for the first time.
JL: So this crop of quarterbacks hasn’t had problems adjusting to a lefty center?
AL: Nope, not that I know of.
JL: Not even QB
AL: Ha-ha, nope Tyler and I are good too.
JL: When you read draft write-ups on you and other scouting reports, lots of them describe you as a “headsy player.” That description seems to fit the mold of Casey and
AL: Yeah, that’s definitely part of my game. You’re asked to know lots of calls and you’re expected to know other positions as well. So that comes into play quite a bit and hopefully I can help out the team that way.
JL: Talk about being on the cover of Sports Illustrated with QB Zac Robinson earlier last year.
AL: It was a neat deal. I lot of people don’t get the chance to do that and it was just a neat honor and privilege to be on the cover of that magazine.
JL: What was the day of the photo shoot like?
AL: It was kind of funny because we had just gotten done running stadium steps that morning before we did the photo shoot. When we went to do the photo shoot I was probably down in my stance for about 45 minutes and I was just sweating and my legs were shaking. It was like an extra workout, but it was a neat deal with professional photographers and it was just a once in a lifetime type of experience.