Casey’s Streak Rolls On … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

“They pay me to play, not watch. So I play. That’s what I do.”

And that’s what Casey Wiegmann has done, over and over and over again. Lost amidst the euphoria of the Chiefs upset of the Green Bay Packers was a play that will go down as the monument to the idea that a player’s greatest ability is his availability.

It happened in the second quarter, with just a tick under five minutes remaining in the first half. The Chiefs had the ball at the Green Bay 3-yard line. For the third time that half, they ventured into the offensive red zone. The first two produced only field goals.

With a 2nd-and-1 play at the Packers 3, Jackie Battle ran wide to the left and ended up losing a yard on a nice tackle by Green Bay CB Charles Woodson.

That snap was No. 11,000 in Wiegmann’s streak. Not just 11,000, but 11,000 consecutive snaps from the gnarled fingers of the Iowa native who is in his 15th season of playing in NFL. Since he started the second game of the 2001 season, he’s not left the field for an offensive play. Summer, fall and winter, snow and rain, grass and artificial turf, Wiegmann has always been there, now through 11,036 plays.

Well, except for those two years where he jumped to the Broncos and played in all 32 games with Denver and made every one of the snaps there as well.

As befits Wiegmann and his feelings about attention, there was no announcement at Arrowhead when the magic moment happened. The ball wasn’t retired to the sidelines. The next play was called, another snap was made and the game went on.

“I knew it was getting close, but there was a lot going on and there really wasn’t time to think about it,” said Wiegmann. “That can get done after the season is over.”

What made it a nice moment for Wiegmann was that the moment came in a victory. “That’s what you play for, to win games,” he said. “Setting records or personal achievements always take a backseat and should. The win overshadows everything, which I’m happy for.”

The streak and its rush to 11,000 snaps had been lost in the shadows for awhile around the Chiefs what with the losing, the changing of head coaches and the like. Unfortunately that’s pretty typical – the person you can count on gets lost in the shuffle while the mercurial, noise makers get all the attention.

Not that Wiegmann is one of those guys that push for the spotlight. He’s always been one of those guys that preferred to stay in the background. It’s where the Iowa farm boy has always felt most comfortable.

A decade ago, when the Chiefs fielded one of the best offensive lines the NFL has seen in the last 40 years, no one would have picked Wiegmann as the last man standing from that group. But Will Shields, Willie Roaf, John Tait, Brian Waters are all long gone; Waters was the next to last member around, but he was dispatched back in July by the Chiefs.

Through everything the streak has rolled on, and on, and on. There are times when it even surprises Wiegmann.

“When you get late in the season and you start getting dinged up a little bit and at the age of 38, it amazes me sometimes,” Wiegmann allowed.

And make no mistake, Wiegmann is dinged up. He has multiple dingers. He’s been on the injury report for several weeks with finger and calf injuries, but those are just the more obvious dings. There are times each week that even Wiegmann wonders if he should carry on the streak.

“It’s been a long year in that regard,” Wiegmann said of the injuries. “They brought me back to play, not to go on injured reserve or sit on the bench. They wanted me to play, so that’s what I’m doing.”

That’s when he keeps getting back to the mantra that has driven him throughout his career – they are paying him to be on the field, not on the bench.

“Back early in my career I watched from the sidelines a lot,” Wiegmann said of the years he broke into the league with Indianapolis, the New York Jets and Chicago (1996-2000). “I don’t want to experience that. Things hurt, but I’m here to play. That’s why they pay me and that’s why I do all the work to get ready every year.”

So the streak rolls on.

10 Responses to “Casey’s Streak Rolls On … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 22, 2011  - Chuck says:

    I can still see that monster from the Jets (Poioa or whatever his name is) pushing Casey straight back into Battle for a safety in the endzone. Then the camera switched over to Rexy and he is giving the safety sign with his hands in the air. Still makes me sick to this day.

  • December 22, 2011  - Tim says:

    He’s a great guy & had a great career BUT, he’s done!

  • December 22, 2011  - el cid says:

    We just do not have another Center. Recall Vrabel?, he played and Studebaker could not get playing time. Now Houston is move past Studebaker for playing time. The same may happen Center, they may draft a college center or free agent, and no, Hudson is going to be a Guard for the near future. Also, with Haley gone, will the zone blocking still be the style of the Chiefs, LIGHT but mobile OL, has not worked so far but the new HC may have his own view.

  • December 22, 2011  - Blake says:

    I was thinking the same thing Chuck. I like Weigmann but that one play still sticks in my head.

    Hudson is going to be the center next year, I guarantee it, Pioli has said he is a center not a guard. He played guard in college but will make a better center in the pro’s. Besides if KC gets a different LG in the offseason, KC doesn’t HAVE to run zone. Just think back to the great oline we had with Roaf, Waters, Weigmann, Shields, and Tait. They didn’t have to run the zone then and Weigmann was the same size then. You can get by with the center being a little underweight. Besides Hudson looks like he can add to his frame, Weigmann is just a small guy period.

  • December 22, 2011  - Rick says:

    Weigmann is certainly a warrior, but at the same time, in the larger scheme of things, he is also a liability. He gets pushed around at the line by NT’s and it hurts the running game when you’re forced to use guys like Battle and Jones.

    I don’t know if Hudson is the answer, I certainly hope that he is. But one thing is for certain, Weigmann can’t be our center next year if the line is to improve, I’m pretty much of the same opinion on Lilja.

    I wouldn’t mind spending our first two picks on offensive linemen. A quality tackle in the first and an interior guy in the 2nd.

  • December 22, 2011  - jim says:

    If we could find another O lineman with his attitude, determination and grit, I’d be a happy boy. Don’t think we currently have anybody that fits that bill.

    Folks are taking this opportunity to talk about how they think Weigs. is done, and missing the point about his durability, mental toughness, and desire to be available. Let’s recognize both, but to honor Weig., let’s do it in different conversations.

  • December 22, 2011  - Devin says:

    Ditto jim. Weigmann has had an unbelievable career and I wish we had more players like him. I also wish him the very best in whatever it is that he does next.
    Someday I hope to see him on the Chiefs ring of fame along with Sheilds, Waters and Roaf. They all deserve it.

  • December 22, 2011  - Kenneth says:

    I agree with Jim and Devin, not only Wiegmann’s great attitude but its an awesome testimony to his durability and putting the team before his body when lots of guys would have sat out of some of the games he played. True this is likely his last season but he’s had a very good career with longivety that players dream about, i’ve been a Chiefs fan since they moved to KC from Dallas and I thank him and wish him the best in whatever he does after football.

  • December 22, 2011  - Michael says:

    Couldn’t have said it better, Kenneth. What a warhorse Wieg’s been. Can you imagine the knowledge that dude has? I wonder if he’s ever thought of coaching.

    I think Hudson will be the center next year; it’s his natural position. Still not sure about Lilja. He played great last year. I think he’s been injured more this year, and he moved from right to left guard; maybe he’s better over there. At minimum, Lilja gives you a very good reserve interior linemen. Don’t know what kind of scheme KC will run next year, but the zone worked nicely last year when Charles was healthy.

  • December 22, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    I do hope that I have enough self-respect and respect for my colleagues that I retire before I become so feeble I cannot do my job to the detriment of my co-workers and employers.
    Roaf and Shields hung it up before they became a feeble shadow of themselves.
    I guess Casey needs the money. He’s lucky he was a Haley fave.
    Hopefully Hudson plays this weekend.

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