Stories everywhere … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs


From St. Joseph, Missouri

The television series was called The Naked City and it ran in the late 1940s-early 1950s in the infancy of TV in this country. It was a police-crime series based in New York, a very early version of Law and Order. It ended each week with the line:

There are eight million stories in the naked city; this has been one of them.

Well there are more than 80 stories in the naked training camp that the Chiefs are holding here at Missouri Western State University. What follows are four of them.

One of the things that has made football so much fun over the years is the large number of players that will pass through a franchise’s roster in a given season. Every one of those players and their stories are different than the next. It’s a hodge-podge, a melting pot of backgrounds and personalities.

For instance, as the Chiefs get ready to hit the practice field on Saturday for Family Fun Day at Missouri Western, they have over 80 players on campus. They are from all four corners of the country. There’s Jovan Belcher who played college ball at Maine, and Allen Bailey, who was part of the Miami Hurricanes. Matt Cassel grew up in southern California and rookie Gabe Miller is from Oregon.

Their geographical difference produce different cultures and bring together in the same locker room white farm boys, black city kids, white city kids, rural black players and every sort of suburban race and religion. Their back stories on how they got to the Chiefs training camp are all different. So are their futures.

As the Chiefs are now within reach of their first pre-season game of the summer, it seemed a good time to check in on four stories from the naked training camp. We have the grizzled veteran and the up and coming talent that wants to take his game to another level. We have a player seeking redemption and another that’s only wishing for the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete.

Casey Wiegmann, Wallace Gilberry, Sabby Piscitelli and David Mims are from Iowa, Alabama, Florida and Virginia respectively. The station they currently occupy in their careers could not be more different. Yet, they all seek the same thing – a job with the Chiefs and the chance to make a contribution.

Here are their stories. 

THE OLD MAN AND THE STREAK

Casey Wiegmann has always looked a bit out of place in the world of giants that is the line of scrimmage in pro football. Officially, he’s listed at 6-2, 285 pounds. Those terms of measurement can be considered generous. He looks just like he did in 2001 when he first walked into the Chiefs locker room.

This will be the 15th season off Wiegmann’s career. He just turned 38 years old. He has a wife and now two children. Everyone expected after the 2010 season, that Wiegmann was going to move on to the rest of his life.

But they don’t know how much fun the game still is for the Iowa farm boy. Retirement was a consideration since January, but the closer the season came, the harder it was to consider walking away.

“I’m still enjoying myself and I think I can still make a contribution to the team winning,” Wiegmann said. “Kansas City has been good to me and I always said that finishing my career here was the ultimate goal.

“I had the chance to go elsewhere, but winning is happening here and so it’s very positive.”

So he will play for another season. Whether he will continue his streak of 10,141 consecutive offensive snaps remains to be seen. “I take pride in it,” he said. “But it’s just a number.”

READY TO EXPLODE INTO FULL-TIME STATUS

One look at Wallace Gilberry says the defensive end is bigger than he was last year.

But it turns out the difference in weight is miniscule. It’s the difference in muscle on the top half of Gilberry’s body. He did not add weight as much as he re-arranged it to better serve his desire to be a full-time player.

“I want to be known as more than a pass rusher,” Gilberry said. “I just got bigger to help my whole game. I came in prepared for whatever they want me to do. I may have to lose it.”

At 6-2, and say 270 to 275 pounds, Gilberry is small for a defensive end in the 3-4 scheme. For instance, teammate Tyson Jackson is 6-4, 296 pounds and holding down one end of the KC line.

The Crimson Tide product thinks that some of his athletic skills make up for the lack of bulk he might have to be considered a prototypical DE. He wants to break out of the pigeon hole where he’s been filed.

“Being considered a pass rusher in the league means a lot to me, but at the same time when I leave here, I want to be known as a complete defensive end,” Gilberry said.

LOOKING FOR A NEW START

Sabby Piscitelli makes it plain that the past is the past, and he’d rather not be asked to revisit a 2010 season that saw him lose his job twice. He just wants to look forward.

That’s what he’s tried to do since the Chiefs called him on Tuesday, and he found himself leaving his home in Florida and arriving in the Show-Me State on Wednesday. He signed on with the Chiefs and now has two practices under his belt.

“It feels really good to be out there and trying to help this team,” Piscitelli said. “You can always stay in shape, but it’s not as much fun as when you are with the guys and trying to win.”

A former second-round draft choice (2007) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was released by the Bucs last October. He went on to sign up with the Cleveland Browns for a few games in the second half of the season. A second-round choice released after four seasons? Sounds like the folks that run the show in Tampa did not believe he was worth the pay or roster spot. There’s no question he’s considered one of the biggest draft disappointments.

But then, he doesn’t want to talk about all that.

“That was the past; I’m talking about the future,” Charles said. “I’m excited to look for the future and play for the Kansas City Chiefs. I’ll do anything I can to help this team win.”

THE LONGEST, HARDEST ROAD

Only a small percentage of college football players are selected to play each season in the NFL through the annual college draft. After approximately 250 are picked, the gates open up and welcome more players into the fold, through free agency.

And the hardest way for any young player to make it in the NFL is to be an undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II or III college football. A place like Virginia Union in Richmond, where David Mims was a four-year starter and he attracted the attention of scouts because of his 6-8, 335-pound size.

Mims is big, but he’s not fat and sloppy. He has what the scouts call “good feet” with enough quickness to get himself re-positioned when trying to block a pass rusher.

“I’m just glad to have the chance to be here,” Mims said. “Coming out of D-2, I’m just looking to make a contribution.”

When Mims was in high school back in Dangerfield, Texas, he was already 6-7, 325 pounds. Division 1 programs showed little interest and he headed back East so he could get a scholarship and his parents wouldn’t have to pay for college.

Now, he’s trying to continue his football career so he can establish a profession.

“I’m learning in every practice,” Mims said.


9 Responses to “Stories everywhere … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 6, 2011  - bigdaddyfan says:

    David Mims, is looking good in practice running strong with the vets. Look up prototype football tackle and you’ll soon see a picture of this Mims kid, he was a great steal for Pioli, Haley and Chiefs Nation.

    By the way, David Mims played his high school football in Charlotte NC after moving from St. Paul Minnesota his freshman year. And he had other small time offers, two unoffical visits to Michgan, NC State, and others…


  • August 6, 2011  - Mark says:

    “…but at the same time when I leave here, I want to be known as a complete defensive end,” Gilberry said.” Anybody else find this to be an odd statement? It’s as if Wallace believes he’s out of here shortly…what’s his contract status?


  • August 6, 2011  - el cid says:

    Do not read much into any comments. With the gag order in place by the banana republic dictator, media is grasping for any comments. If a player mentioned he did not like dinner, we would have to worry about ebola or ecoli…..DID NOT HAPPEN just example.

    Chiefs signed another DL, never heard of him.


  • August 6, 2011  - Chiefslovinlineman says:

    David Mims is a quick learner with math being his favorite and best subject. Give him the time needed and the Chiefs have a star in the making.


  • August 6, 2011  - brainsmasher says:

    Hey, Bob, I was born in 1956 and I remember the Naked City. I don’t remember anything from before I was 4 years old.


  • August 6, 2011  - Michael says:

    It’s a little early to talk about stars-in-the-making, for Mims or any of the others. It’s good to hear that some young guys are doing good things, though, for sure. I also just read that WR Chris Manno, who no one ever heard of, had an extrordinary workout when he tried out for KC. We’ll see what he can do now in camp.

    I think Gilberry was saying when he leaves KC, whenever that might be-a year or five years from now-he would like to have been known as a complete DE.

    The DL they signed is Amon Gordon, originally out of Stanford. He’s bounced around from the Browns, I think maybe the 49ers, to more recently the Seahawhs and Titans. Perhaps another Browns connection from Crennel, like Shaun Smith? More likely a camp body to relieve Gregg, Toribio and Powe.


  • August 8, 2011  - Jesse says:

    Just read this story – good information, but ewwww…. Bob, please don’t ever use the phrase “naked training camp” ever again. Ever. Please.


  • August 8, 2011  - jim says:

    I took Gilberry’s statement to read: “When I leave ‘this game’, I want to be remembered as a complete DE.” I interpolated “here” to be the same as “my career”. Maybe I messed it, but………..

    STILL, I love the fact that he came in heavier for the right reasons, and really seems to have bought into Haley’s kool aide. He needs to share thatconcept with some other folks who apparently came in with Milk and Oreo’s still on their breath.




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