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Ben Grubbs' Veteran Presence Helping Chiefs Young OL

The 31-year-old two-time Pro Bowler is becoming more vocal in a young offensive linemen room

There are only two offensive linemen on the Kansas City City Chiefs roster who are older than 26 years old, and they would be Paul Fanaika (29) and Ben Grubbs (31).

The Chiefs traded with the New Orleans Saints this past offseason for Grubbs, and in turn, shored up the left guard position with a guy who has twice been named to the Pro Bowl.

According to Pro Football Focus’ grading system, Grubbs has earned positive grades in each of the Chiefs three preseason games.


While Grubbs has the talent and résumé to command respect from a young offensive line room, his initial goals weren't about setting the example for these younger players through his words, but through his actions. 

"When I first came here, I was more consumed with the sense of making sure I knew my job," Grubbs explained. "I kind of shied away from being a vocal leader. I wanted to let my play speak for itself, and I wanted to make sure I was doing the right things first.

"Now that I'm more comfortable in the offense, I am speaking out a little more."

Grubbs' natural personality isn't to be loud or vocal, but his calm demeanor and quiet confidence is a great fit for this young group.

"Everybody has their own style," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. "There are a lot of ways to lead and the way [Grubbs] goes about his business is so good for some of the younger guys we have here. As time has gone on, you just get to know each other better and he has continued to be more vocal.

"You have a guy that's been tested before and been in there and been through a lot. He's stepping into the huddle calm and assertive, I think that rubs off on some of the younger guys."

From a football perspective, Grubbs said there are parts of Andy Reid's offensive system that are different than what he's done in the past, and after eight years in the NFL of doing it one way, it took some time to make the transition.

"I think the most difficult part for me was just having more responsibility," Grubbs said. "When I was in Baltimore and New Orleans, the quarterback and center made the calls. Here, there's more responsibility on everybody to know what's going on. It was an adjustment I had to make.

Practice on Tuesday at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex

"Now, I'm making calls on my own. I'm not really questioning myself."

Grubbs also doesn't question how far the talent on the offensive side of the ball could take the Chiefs this season.

"I have no doubt that we have all of the pieces to make this Super Bowl run," Grubbs said. "I was shocked to see the talent that we have. Just to see those guys work each and every day is unbelievable, just to be around a guy such as Jamaal Charles, the tight ends that we have, the receivers, Jeremy Maclin. Those guys are doing a great job at making plays down the field.

"I'm very excited about this season."

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