I was impressed with several players at Kansas City’s recent practices, but I always kept an eye on #61 Rodney Hudson.
Hudson was running around pushing and shoving and acting as though he’d never had a major leg injury (broken leg over six months ago), an injury that kept him from playing last season. His first starting season for the Kansas City Chiefs.
“Rodney [Hudson] was able to pick a lot of things up too at the center position which is very important,” said Andy Reid to Mitch Holthus on Chiefs Live about the offense. “Then you can transmit from there that’s the middle of your offense, the brain trust of the offense. Then they can get everyone else going where they need to get them going.”
Easy to forget Hudson, how valuable he was before he got hurt. In his first two complete games last season the Chiefs averaged 150 yards rushing a game.
Hudson started three games total in 2012; Ryan Lilja stepped in from guard and took over at center. Despite it Kansas City finished 2012 5th in rushing, Jamaal Charles had his best season, but I had high hopes for Hudson.
Still do, he’s just 23.
“You need to have somebody who can neutralize that nose tackle,” says Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome when talking about the importance of the center versus a 3-4 defense. “If you don’t, everything can get screwed up. Your running game won’t be effective and you’ll also have somebody in your quarterback’s face on every play.”
Hudson arrived from Florida State University to the Chiefs with an impressive resume already.
- 3× First-team All-ACC (2008–2010)
- 2× First-team All-American (2009, 2010)
- Jacobs Blocking Trophy (2009)
The ACC Jacobs Blocking Award is given for the league’s most dominant offensive lineman. There’s a lot to like about Hudson.
Earlier during minicamp it was reported by the Kansas City Star that the Chiefs were practicing others at the center position.
They did, I took note of it. The Chiefs had #52 rookie Eric Kush, #66 Tommie Draheim, #67 rookie A.J. Hawkins and #71 Jeff Allen. Jeff Allen already admitted that the Chiefs are having him move around the offensive line, just not center.
The Chiefs sometimes had four quarterbacks practicing the snap at the same time, need centers for that. Also, John Dorsey and Andy Reid are into versatility and flexibility, creating depth. What mattered to me was that #61 was hanging with #11 Alex Smith and the starters.
So there’s no “Chiefs aren’t comfortable with Hudson at center” …not in my mind like some have reported.
It’s Hudson’s job to lose, he’s holding on tight and looking good in practice. Reid says he’s picking it up. The offense is new to Hudson, but that’s true for everyone. Brain capacity is what Reid wants, the ability to put it in the “computer” and go.
Hudson has it in him, he left FSU as the most decorated offensive lineman in Seminole history. Besides his football commitments, Hudson worked nights at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant to support his single mother throughout high school.
If anyone can overcome and make the comeback I’d bet on Hudson.
Good day, Chiefs fans!