From the Truman Sports Complex
Contrite may not be exactly the word needed to describe Branden Albert as he returned to the Chiefs this week for the first time since the final game of the 2012 season.
There was certainly no act of contrition when he spoke to the media horde after the Chiefs first OTA practice of the offseason on Tuesday.
But the big tackle admitted he was sorry for some of the things he said and tweeted over the previous four months, that the whole tussle with the new Chiefs regime was a learning experience for the 28-year old veteran five NFL seasons.
“I think everybody makes mistakes,” Albert said. “Through the whole process I made some mistakes. You learn from it and move on. I’m just happy to be back; I’m not worried about what I thought before. I’m glad to be here with my teammates.”
He would not point to exactly what he said that was a mistake, but said it wasn’t everything he said before going quiet in early March, just “some of it.”
Albert was back at his familiar left tackle spot with the No. 1 offense line as the team ran through its first full-team practice of the off-season.
“I was a little rusty today, but I’ve got 13, 14 practices to catch up and I’m willing to do that,” said Albert. “I’m a little bit behind but I know what it takes to catch up.”
Andy Reid’s phone calls over the past two weeks since the NFL Draft paved the way for Albert’s return after an off-season where the parties could not reach a long-term contract so the team tagged him with the franchise player designation and then put him on the trade market, where only Miami showed much interest. When the NFL Draft passed, chances for a trade were slim and none.
What was the tone of Reid’s words when he called Albert?
“He wanted to drag me here and kick my butt,” Albert said with a smile. “He said I was going to play left tackle and that we needed to get to work.”
Albert said his back felt pretty good after the first practice, that he’s willing to help his teammates including No. 1 draft pick Eric Fisher and that one of the first teammates that said hello on Monday was QB Alex Smith.
It’s all fallen into place, and Albert said it’s what he wanted.
“I wanted to be here, that’s the God’s honest truth,” he said. “I wanted to be a Chief.”