One day after the Kansas City Chiefs announced signing their newest offensive lineman, Jeff Linkenbach, he addressed reporters, via a conference call. Linkenbach, who has four NFL seasons under his belt, including 33 starts in 60-career games, started five of the 12 games he played in last season, when he was penalized just once and allowed two sacks.
During Thursday's interview, Linkenbach shared his thoughts on the Chiefs, including the anticipation of blocking for Pro Bowl RB
What interests you about the situation in Kansas City?
LINKENBACH: “Well, it starts up top, with the GM, (John) Dorsey, and Coach (Andy) Reid has a tremendous reputation. The O-line coaches, both Andy Heck and Eugene Chung, are just two tremendous guys and have a lot of experience in the NFL. I’m looking to get better at my craft.”
Q: What did they tell you about your playing time or what you’re competing for?
LINKENBACH: “I mean first and foremost, I go in thinking goal number one is make the team. Goal number two is to help the team win, however I can, whatever that role entails, whether it’s starting at any position in particular or being the sixth man or seventh man, whatever the Chiefs need me to do to win football games, I’m all about.”
Q: Do you feel like you’re a better guard or tackle?
LINKENBACH: “Honestly, I’ve played so much everywhere, I feel like it’s wherever I get the most reps, during the week, I feel most comfortable at during that week. I’ve played all four guard and tackle positions and I feel comfortable pretty much anywhere. In college, I was a tackle, but the past couple of years, I played more guard. I have the long-term experience at tackle, but more recent experience at guard. I feel comfortable at both, so whatever need be.”
Q: Was there much interest from other teams or were the Chiefs pretty much it?
LINKENBACH: “There is always interest across the league; it’s early in free agency and it’s hard to gauge how much interest there truly is. I think there’s always interest for a guy with such versatility about him. There is plenty of interest, but I’m just happy to get it locked in and over with relatively early.”
Q: What stood out to you about playing the Chiefs last year?
LINKENBACH: “I mean, the fans are just great, tremendous and very passionate about the Chiefs and I really love that. At the playoff game in Indy, there were plenty of Chiefs fans in the crowd, which is odd to see for a playoff game I guess. The year before, 2012, the Colts played in Kansas City for the last game of the season and guys weren’t doing too well, but the fans came out and still was one of the louder stadiums that I played in that year. The fan support and the passionate fan base is a big part of me choosing the Chiefs.”
Q: Thoughts on coming to town and blocking for Jamaal Charles.
LINKENBACH: “Well, he’s just tremendous, just watching him play on paper and in person a couple of times, he’s a dynamite playmaker. When he gets the ball in his hand, either running the ball or catching the ball out of the backfield, he’s just a tremendous player. I’m looking forward to it. As an offensive lineman, you love running backs that can make you look good.”
Q: When did the Chiefs first reach out to you?
LINKENBACH: “There was a little interest in the pre-draft process, five years ago in Miami; it was just starting then and then you just follow teams as you go. Then the tampering period started on Friday or Saturday and my agent called me and said the Chiefs are very interested in discussing something. It seemed like a good fit moving forward and we came to terms yesterday.”
Q: Do you see yourself as more of a starter or more of a mentorship role?
LINKENBACH: “You never know in this business how things are going to work out. I’m not here to replace anybody necessarily; I’m just here to compete. I’m looking for an opportunity to get whatever opportunity that is to make the team, to help the team in whatever way that happens. I’ve been around a while, but I’m still young enough to play for a long time, but I’m old enough to be able to help some younger guys. This offensive line is one of the youngest in the league, so however I can help whoever, whether that’s scouting or being the sixth or seventh guy, like I said, I’m just looking forward to an opportunity to get in there with the guys (so they can) get to know me and I can get to know them.”