Chiefs’ Orlando Brown Jr. wants to shed ‘can’t play left tackle in a pass-first offense’ stigma – NFL Nation
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Orlando Brown Jr. will happily accept the start of his Kansas City Chiefs tenure, which happened in Saturday’s preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers. He played 11 snaps without incident, his play most notable for helping clear the way for Clyde Edwards-Helaire‘s 10-yard run on the Chiefs’ first play.
Brown is more excited about what’s to come, mainly the chance to play left tackle over a full season for a team with a prolific passing attack.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out there on Sundays … and really just showing what I can do in space and with all these different zone concepts and different passing concepts,” said Brown, one of the major acquisitions of the Chiefs’ offseason O-line rebuild.
“I look forward to being able to get rid of that stigma of, ‘This guy can’t play left tackle in a pass-first offense.’ I look forward to blocking guys one-on-one. I look forward to all of those different situations and passing scenarios that I’m going to take advantage of and really just showcase my ability and my talent. … It’s been a blast.”
Brown played three seasons for the Baltimore Ravens prior to being traded to the Chiefs shortly before the NFL draft in April. But in some ways, he’s a big project for the Chiefs.
Brown was mostly a right tackle in Baltimore, playing a total of 16 snaps on the left side during his first two seasons before switching sides last season after an injury to regular left tackle Ronnie Stanley.
Brown also is playing in an unfamiliar offensive system.
“In a variety of different ways schematically it’s a lot different than what I was exposed to in Baltimore,” Brown said. “This is more of your traditional pro-style offense with a splash of college concepts. It gives me an opportunity to really showcase a different side of my game, a different side of my ability.”
Brown also isn’t a classic left tackle. He doesn’t have the quick feet that many of his left tackle counterparts around the league have, something he readily acknowledged. He is counting on his size at 6-foot-8 and 345 pounds and his ability to stand his ground against a strong bull rush to make up for it.
“He’s made great progress,” Chiefs offensive line coach Andy Heck said. “Every day he’s working on something a little different. He’s getting into camp shape. He’s a guy who loves football, so he loves to take coaching. He wants to get better, so he’s a lot of fun to work with that way.
“There’s a transition for him, to be sure. It is a different style of offense. But he had to learn how to pass protect [with the Ravens]. He did get a better part of a year of that under his belt at left tackle.”
Brown’s training camp hasn’t always been effective. He was beaten more than once in one-on-one pass blocking drills, though he was better when pass blocking in team drills and helped keep quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Chad Henne clean in his small amount of playing time against the 49ers.
“I really use that [one-on-one] drill as an opportunity to work on whatever I’m going to work on,” Brown said, explaining his struggles. “I’m not necessarily approaching it to win. I’m approaching it to work on my technique that I’m set to work on that day, whether that be super aggressive with my feet, super aggressive with my hands, punching, stuff like that.
“I don’t want to say that I’m a gamer or anything like that, because I think that’s kind of weird. But I definitely approach games differently. It’s just a different switch once you get out there and the lights go on. It’s just a different feel. For some reason, it’s a lot easier for me to let my emotions roll in a gamelike situation.”
Mahomes had the same left tackle, Eric Fisher, during each of his three seasons as starter.
Mahomes and Brown spend much of their time during breaks at training camp discussing how Brown will set up for various types of pass rushes, and Mahomes described the transition to a new left tackle as being similar to that of having a new wide receiver.
“He’s played with great quarterbacks, with Lamar [Jackson, with the Ravens] and Baker [Mayfield, in college at Oklahoma],” Mahomes said. “He’s played with great quarterbacks in his lifetime, and we’re all a little bit different. He’s trying to get a good feel. He’ll try something one day and ask if I liked it, and I’ll tell him the truth — and he wants to hear that so he can know how I’m feeling throughout the game.”