KANSAS CITY, Mo. (TNS) — At this point, maybe the only way for Mitchell Schwartz to make a Pro Bowl roster is by switching sides of center Mitch Morse.
Or maybe there needs to be a remake of the 2009 movie The Blind Side, but starring a right tackle instead of a left.
Schwartz, the Chiefs’ right tackle, missed out on a Pro Bowl slot this year, despite being one of the top tackles in the NFL. Instead, a trio of left tackles earned spots on the AFC’s roster: Taylor Lewan (Titans), Alejandro Villanueva (Steelers) and Schwartz’s teammate, Eric Fisher. The story was the same for the NFC’s selections, all left tackles: Tyron Smith (Cowboys), Terron Armstead (Saints) and Trent Williams (Redskins).
“It’s been that way for a while in terms of recognition, in terms of pay,” said Schwartz, who was picked to be a Pro Bowl alternate. “It’s probably the biggest divide in terms of pay from one side to the other. That’s just another thing that kind of is what it is. You’re appreciated by people who know what’s going on.
“I don’t think people think necessarily right tackles are less valuable than left tackles. I think that thought has gone a little bit to the wayside, but I don’t know that public perception has caught up with that.”
The Pro Bowl vote is made up of fans, coaches and players, and each group counts as a third of the vote. While coaches and players obviously know the value of the right tackles, the fan vote doesn’t always show the same amount of love to those big men.
Last year, only two right tackles — eventual Super Bowl champion Lane Johnson and Oakland’s Donald Penn — earned Pro Bowl nods.
Despite another standout season, Johnson didn’t repeat this year.
So what will it take to turn the public perception of right tackles around? There’s not an easy answer, Schwartz said.
“I don’t know if it can at this point,” Schwartz said. “Look at Twitter, and there’s a lot of smart people on there and they kind of push that. They understand, but what, 4 percent of the population, is on Twitter? ESPN and those shows are great, but what percentage of the numbers are really watching those and taking stuff from there?
“I don’t know, I don’t think that’s something that will really change in the mainstream. I don’t know, maybe we need a blind side for the right side, show all the quarterbacks being blindsided by right tackles not doing their job because that obviously happens.”
One solution, Johnson told Philadelphia media, is to split up the tackle position during the selection process.
“I don’t know if I deserve to be in it. I don’t know what I deserve,” Johnson said earlier this week. “I just think what they should do is maybe have a right tackle spot instead of having all left tackles.”
Morse sees both Fisher and Schwartz everyday and has played alongside them for several years. But even he doesn’t have an answer as to why the left tackles get more glory than the right.
“The truth of the matter, in this league, you have the best pass rushers on both ends,” Morse said. “I think both deserve it. And we’re happy. Even Schwartz is happy for Fish. When you have one guy that’s a Pro Bowler, it speaks a lot about the offensive line. So it’s a good deal.”