The Kansas City Chiefs still have plenty of question marks when it comes to their linebackers, but one of them isn’t Andy Studebaker with the 34-year old likely the first guy off the bench. As Adam Teicher reports, the Chiefs feel comfortable with Studebaker after seeing him seamlessly step in for Vrabel last season and again Friday against the Falcons.
“There’s obviously some good and some bad in each game,” Studebaker said. “There were some plays that I thought were a little worse than they were. There were a couple of plays I made that I could have done a little better on, maybe made them faster than I did. You take the good with the bad and you learn from it or move on.
“I’ve had a little bit of success in coverage, and I’m starting to have a little success in the pass rush. I like to be able to do both things to pin one down and say, ‘That’s who I am.’ But I’m not quite sure which one I would pick.”
For the Chiefs, that’s good news for a player who only a couple of years ago was little more than a pass rusher and is still developing in all phases of the game.
“It’s not brand new to him, but he’s still in the transition, so he can improve in everything from rushing the quarterback to play recognition to recognizing formations,” [linebackers coach Gary] Gibbs said. “That’s just part of the process.”
For all the discussion about who should start inside, it’s pretty incredible that we already know who, barring injury, the top three guys outside will be for most of the year.
It’s also been fun to watch Vrabel mentor Studebaker over the last year and help develop the young linebacker so quickly from a fringe player to potentially part of the core. If he continues to mature anywhere near the pace that he did last season, the Chiefs nickel lineup should be fun to watch with Vrabel and Studebaker both on the field at the same time.