Casey, Lockout, UFL & More … Morning Cup O’Chiefs

The agent for Casey Wiegmann said Monday that the Chiefs center wants to return for a 16th season of play in the NFL.

But he only wants to return to the Chiefs. Wiegmann will be 38 years old on Wednesday and with a growing family, he wants to play where he lives and that’s in Kansas City.

Joe Linta told that Wiegmann is in tip top shape and the lack of an off-season program has allowed all the bumps and bruises from the 2010 season to heal.

Todd Haley told me in February that whether Wiegmann returned was up to the center. If he wanted to come back, then the head coach would welcome him back. He’s without a contract for the 2011 season and a deal will have to be worked out but given all the elements of the situation that should not be hard to do.

The question then becomes this – does Wiegmann remain the full-time player? Remember that Wiegmann has taken every offensive snap of every game that he’s played for the Chiefs and Broncos since the memorable post-9/11 game against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium in 2001. That’s 10,141 straight snaps – remarkable testimony to what makes Casey Wiegmann tick.

For the future of the Chiefs, they need Wiegmann’s eventual replacement to get some quality playing time this year. Whether that’s second-year man Jon Asamoah, or rookie Rodney Hudson, or somebody else, they are the future of the position, not Wiegmann. If he’s not willing to give up that streak, then the Chiefs need to think twice about whether he comes back.

Understand this – Wiegmann is one of the head coach’s favorite players. They first met during a two year stint that Wiegmann spent in New York with the Jets back in 1996-97; Haley was part of the scouting and coaching staff those seasons. They bonded at that time, which is why it would be a shock if he did not return for one more season.


After four months of the NFL owners’ lockout, all seems to be falling together to open the doors of the league for the 2011 season.

Here’s how the calendar seems to have fallen together for the next week:

  • Tuesday – both sides will meet in New York with mediator Judge Arthur Boylan; plus the players’ executive committee will meet in Washington to look over the proposed agreement and vote on whether the proposal should be sent to the next level.
  • Wednesday – the player reps from each team will meet in Washington to pass judgment on the proposal. If they say “yeah” and not “nay” the package moves forward for a vote by the membership that will be conducted via the Internet.
  • Thursday – NFL owners, team officials and league officials will meet in Atlanta and Commissioner Roger Goodell wants to take the proposal to them for their reading, voting and approval pleasure.
  • Friday – If the owners vote yes, and the players vote yes, then players could be at team facilities as soon as Friday for practice, weight lifting, meetings with coaches.
  • Saturday-Sunday – NFL team personnel will meet to learn the new rules and regulations. Somewhere, there must be a similar meeting for the agents representing the players.
  • Monday – The beginning of a three-day exclusive window where teams can attempt to sign their own free agents before they are available to the rest of the league.
  • Next Thursday – Free agency opens.

There are issues coming out of the negotiations in New York that require more work between owners and players. The legal situations involving the NFL players led by Tom Brady must be wrapped up. Plus, some sort of finish must come to the lawsuit filed by the players concerning the owners’ lockout fund that came from the television networks agreeing to pay rights fees even if there were no games broadcast in the 2011 season. Plus, the players reportedly want over $320 million in benefits that were missed last season with the uncapped season paid out to qualified players from last year.


The United Football League continues to struggle to keep its head above water. Over the weekend the 5-team league went ahead and suspended their training camps for 30 days. It puts the start of the league’s 2011 season in question.

The problem is money – the league believes it will run a $40 million deficit this season. Right now, apparently problems in purchasing workman’s comp insurance and other outstanding bills remaining from the first two seasons account for another $5 million in red ink.

League officials say they will not cancel the season. They will bring the players back in 30 days and staart training campss again.

At a time when the NFL has been struggling in public perception with the owners’ lockout, the UFL should have been perfectly positioned to help fill the void and up it’s profile.  But the lack of funds has held the league back, no matter the money spent on coaches like Marty Schottenheimer and Jerry Glanville.


Sadly there does not appear to be any changes within the Chiefs organization on the availability of their assistant coaches to meet with the media. With the exception of the offensive and defensive coordinators, the media horde gets very few opportunities to connect with the assistants. The edict on this comes down from GM Scott Pioli and basically assumes that assistant coaches can’t be trusted and may reveal important information about the team, players or how the Chiefs are approaching an opponent.

So when we have a chance to bring some news on the little known members of Haley’s staff, we jump at the chance. Last weekend, Chiefs defensive line coach Anthony Pleasant was honored in his hometown of Century, Florida. At Century Park, 22 acres of football fields were renamed the Anthony Pleasant Sports Complex.

Pleasant came out of Century – a town of 1,800 people that sits on the western edge of the Florida panhandle. He went on to Tennessee State University and eventually spent 14 seasons in the NFL as a player with Cleveland – where he was the Browns 3rd-round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft – Baltimore, Atlanta, the New York Jets, San Francisco and New England. He has a pair of Super Bowl rings from his time with the Patriots. He’s in his third season with the Chiefs and second year as the defensive line coach.

“Because of the hard work that I had instilled in me as a kid, that strong foundation helped carry me to the next level and to be able to play for 14 years,” Pleasant told a crowd that turned out for the dedication of the sports complex. He also loves to return to his tiny hometown.

“I really enjoyed coming out here and looking around,” Pleasant said. “All these people came out to support me. A lot of them I haven’t seen in years. When you come back here after being gone for so long, it still seems like you never lost communication (with people). You come back and see your friends and you just pick up right where you left off, like no time has passed at all.”

Obviously, Anthony Pleasant can handle himself when it comes to words. Too bad those of us outside the organization seldom get to hear his voice.

5 Responses to “Casey, Lockout, UFL & More … Morning Cup O’Chiefs”

  • July 19, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    Having Casey around for another season is a good thing.
    Having football in 2011 is a whole lot better.
    Bob, your doing a great job of keeping us informed on this dreadful lockout situation.

  • July 19, 2011  - goju says:

    I know it’s tough for media people to not have access to the assistant coaches as it leaves out a perspective that could contribute to a story or make a story in itself.

    I understand you wanting to be able to give more to your readers with this access. But as a reader I have no problem with the Chiefs organization keeping their assistant coaches off limits. I don’t chalk it up to lack of trust; that their coaches will spill the beans.

    I would run my business or organization the same way. Only a limited amount of voices should speak for the organization. It just makes things simpler on their end.

  • July 19, 2011  - Canadian Chief says:

    I agree with goju. While it may be difficult for media to have so few sources, from the organization’s perspective you want to keep a single line of communication from your org to the outside world. Bob continually harps on this and casts it in a negative light, but a lot of well-run businesses operate in the same fashion. Obviously Bob is entitled to his including his own opinion in articles he writes on his own website, but it still comes across as sour grapes at times…

  • July 19, 2011  - el cid says:

    Can see the point but the Chiefs are not your average business, nor are they the dept of defense. They play 16 games (mostly) and if you only talk about what they did the last game and what they may do next week, there is not much to talk about. So “inside information” is what it is all about. It is all about the what ifs and what I would do if this or that happened. Not a whole lot to talk about if you never get a peek inside the intersactum of Hunt/Pioli/Haley.

  • July 19, 2011  - COCHIEF says:

    Questions I wonder about:

    How can the players union decertify and simultaneously file an antitrust law suit based on the NFL not working with a union?

    How can the “union/players association” file a law suit based upon the claim that the NFL has a “lockout insurance” agreement yet supposedly purchased “lockout Insurance” that would pay players $200,000 each if there is a lockout?

    How can player association leaders hold up an agreement because they want individual rights not negotiated or applied to the other players they represent?

    While past players that helped build the league deserve greater support from both current players and the NFL, how do they have the right to place a law suit for rights that did not exist when they played?

    How much are the lawyers getting out of all this questionable legal activity versus the players?

    Just wondering …

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