The Off-Season Has Begun … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs


It had the feel of the last day of school.

Players were at their lockers, stuffing industrial sized garbage bags with shoes, hoodies and assorted other paraphernalia that wound up in the space that during the season becomes their office. Glenn Dorsey must have thrown in a half-dozen orthotics that helped his ankles, shins and knees get through the 16-game schedule. “I hate to think what would have happened without those,” Dorsey laughed.

Phone numbers, e-mail addresses and Twitter handles were being exchanged. Plans were being formulated for two weeks, a month, two months down the road. Vegas, South Beach, Scottsdale, So Cal were all being discussed as destinations.

The 2011 Chiefs said good bye on Monday at their facility. For some, it was a true au revoir – they will not be back. For others it was more of a see you later, probably not until March or April when the off-season work will begin again.

In the southeast corner of the locker room were two lockers that will likely have new occupants next season. The third locker in from the wall was Kelly Gregg’s home for the season. But by Monday afternoon, his name plate was gone, so where his shoulder pads, all the shoes. All that remained were some towels, a red No. 77 practice jersey and a pair of football pants.

And two doors down, right in the corner, Casey Wiegmann’s locker was cleaner and more orderly than it’s been in some time. His name plate was still on the locker and his shoulder pads remained on the top shelf. But gone was his stool, a small four-legged stool that was part of every locker when the team’s was headquartered inside Arrowhead Stadium.

When they moved into their new facilities, each locker had new, bigger and far more comfortable stool for the player. Not for Wiegmann. He brought his stool from the stadium and it was there until Monday, when it was gone.

Wiegmann after 15 NFL seasons and Gregg after 12 seasons have not told anyone in an official capacity that they will not be back for another season. But Wiegmann’s post-game comments in Denver after the Chiefs victory left little doubt that he’s done.

After all his time in the league, Romeo Crennel knows that the days and weeks after the last game are not the time to take anything an older player says about the future and cast it in stone.

“When they go home and rest up and their bodies begin to feel a little bit better and they say ‘hey, I think I can do this one more time’,” Crennel said.

Branden Albert knows things are going to be different without Wiegmann there.

“I call him Grumpy because he walks around acting like a grumpy old man,” Albert said. “But he’s the greatest guy you could ever want as a teammate. I’ve learned so much about not only football from him, but just being a man and a professional.”

Derrick Johnson was surrounded by the media who would learn a few minutes later that he’d been voted by his teammates the 2011 MVP. “It’s kind of bittersweet that we are all done and we were able to play as well as we did at times during the season,” Johnson said. “We’ve just got to find consistency.”

The day started around lunch time for the players as they held their last team meeting of the 2011 season. Romeo Crennel talked to the players about what it took to win Sunday’s game over Denver, a division game on the road when they had nothing to play for.

“We won’t be together again until April, so we talked to them about resting bodies, resting minds, but that you can’t rest until April,” Crennel said. “We also talked to them about the dangers of the off-season because there is no regimentation in their lives. We talked to them about making good decisions while their away and told them they represented the Chiefs, their family and themselves, and they should think before they act.”

There’s no question that Crennel sounded like a guy who planned to be around and welcome those players back in April as their head coach. But as of Monday afternoon, there had been no light shed on his future by GM Scott Pioli.

“I don’t know when I’m meeting with him yet,” Crennel said. “I was just told that after the season I would have a meeting.”

Crennel and Pioli have talked on a daily basis, but their conversations have been about the current team and its present situation, not about the future.

So as the players began their post-season scatter without any idea of who would be directing them in the 2012 season. They took the opportunity to again express their support for Romeo and their desire to see him back.

And just like that, they were gone. Another season in the books, a couple of careers at a crossroads, wounds to lick, a new coach to wait for and time to think about why they won’t be playing this weekend.

The off-season is officially on.

9 Responses to “The Off-Season Has Begun … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 3, 2012  - bhive01 says:

    I assume you’ll be following up with what the needs are and who might be available in the draft to fill those needs? And who will be brought in to coach? Is Muir retiring? How likely are we to see Romeo in the drivers seat again?

    Looking back I felt that the schedule would plunk us at 8-8 so I wasn’t too far off, but the games that I thought we would win weren’t always the ones we won. I would have never thought we could have beaten GB and didn’t think we’d lose to BUF. It was a rollercoaster this year and I think we all had drank the kool-aid due to our playoff appearance last year. Yeah, BAL spanked us at home, but we were still building so many fans (me included) had lots of hope for 2011 despite the strength of schedule. We’ve have better years and we’ve had worse. Let’s hope the arrow(head) is going up!

  • January 3, 2012  - Chuck says:

    Bob; Assuming that Romeo gets the HC job, who do you want as our OC and DC??? I hope you don’t want Muir. This team averaged something like 13 points a game under him. He’s gotta go.

  • January 3, 2012  - bhive01 says:

    @Chuck, I saw a story somewhere on the internet that Muir was considering retirement. The dude is certainly of age for retirement and it’s pretty likely that he’s at least considering it. I wouldn’t mind him coming back as line coach, but not as OC. We need someone better.

  • January 3, 2012  - el cid says:

    Many felt that had we not had so many injured starters, the Chiefs would have been better in 2011, coaching oddities not withstanding.

    Well 2012 will include coaching changes, no a positive for me. Coaches seem to always have the “answer” and it is different from the previous one. If the Chiefs get to many new coaches, we revert to Pioli’s first year, start over.

  • January 3, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Continnuity. Chiefs didn’t have it last year. Injuries can upset it like our first few games showed. But coaching changes are the killer. New coaches or DC or OC, with different philosphies will prevent any team from having sucess. That said, crap, we have to send Muir back to line coach and get a real OC.

  • January 3, 2012  - David says:

    For me, the big scare is this: if Romeo leaves for another head coaching job, or to become D-coordinator elsewhere, Chiefs are in danger of reversing the excellent progress they’ve made this year on defense. (With Berry returning, the defense should be even better next year.) Have to agree with el cid about unnecessary coaching changes.

    But on offense, it’s time to turn the page. Need to find a strong offensive coordinator, and rebuild the o-line. Al Saunders looked like a genius as O-coordinator when he had Roaf-Shields-Waters-etc on the o-line. Not nearly as impressive, when he coached for Washington, St. Louis, Oakland, teams with lesser talent up front.

  • January 3, 2012  - RW says:

    My new year’s resolution: Immediately quit viewing, listening or reading any story or piece that contains the phrase, “The Patriot Way”.

  • January 3, 2012  - napahank says:

    You have been around football operations for a very long time. Irregardless of different GM management styles, can you think of a GOOD reason why not to name Romeo the 2012 HC and why it has already not been done?

    Every GM has a short list, a dream list, of who he would like to have; however, you know whether those couple of favorites are going to be available. Finally (subject of HC) Pioli has to know that ANY other new HC is going to cause a continuity problem and handicap us for 2012.

    As to our FA…in my estimation it was very foolish not to extend/resign Carr and Bowe during this season. We know these guys, they fit in what we are doing and we have virtually no chance of an upgrade. It is now just going to cost us more and we risk losing them. Can you explain this?

  • January 5, 2012  - Daniel Jacobs says:

    Bob the corollary is that no GM should be allowed to hire two head coaches. We need a new GM, now

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