Much more will be expected from Chiefs offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Donald Stephenson this season.
So they went to prepare with the guy who was indirectly responsible for some of the pressure.
According to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star, Allen and Stephenson spent part of the offseason working with former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley.
Bentley trained their former teammate Geoff Schwartz last offseason, and Schwartz was rewarded with a four-year, $16.8 million deal from the Giants this year. That’s the quickest way to catch another player’s attention.
“He has a proven record,” Stephenson said of Bentley. “The guys that went there have made a wonderful transformation, guys like Geoff Schwartz. I’m already feeling the benefits.”
Bentley’s playing career was cut short by a knee injury and a subsequent staph infection, but he’s developed a bit of a niche as an offensive line guru. If quarterbacks can have them, why shouldn’t blockers? He’s built a new facility in Arizona, and deals only with offensive linemen.
Bentley worked with both players on their functional strength.
“When you have a guy that’s so gifted in terms of God-given ability, then you can also lose focus and lose the ability to really learn how to be a true master of your craft,” Bentley said. “The biggest thing with turning him into the best player he can be, just attention to detail and constantly focusing on the little things.”
After losing Schwartz, guard Jon Asamoah and left tackle Branden Albert this offseason, Kansas City needs Allen and Stephenson to get better in a hurry.
And if Bentley’s helps them play more like Schwartz, there’s a long-term benefit for them as well.