Good morning, AP and happy weekend. We're starting today by remembering one of our own. Melvin Johnson died 30 years ago due to complications arising from a surgery on his wrist. There's a great article about him to kick off this full version of Arrowheadlines (H/T to WtexKC). Enjoy your Kansas City Chiefs News.
Melvin Johnson Jr.’s family still remembers.
They remember how he never lost a track-and-field race during his years at South Terrebonne High School and how he breezed past opponents as a running back on the University of Colorado football team.
They also remember how Johnson’s life tragically ended 30 years ago today.
On March 12, 1980, as a running back with the Kansas City Chiefs, Johnson, then 25, underwent corrective surgery to repair a broken bone in his wrist. He slipped into a coma during the procedure and never woke up.
For his relatives, it still seems as if it happened yesterday...
..."It was tough when he passed," Melvin Sr. said. "My hope was that he would come out of it, but he never did."
Johnson’s funeral was attended by an large crowd at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Smithridge. The entire Chiefs organization showed up, including owner Lamar Hunt. Johnson was buried with his Chiefs jersey, while his helmet was presented to his younger brother, Troy.
Family and friends remember standout athlete from houmatoday.com
In an effort to improve their offensive line, the Chiefs went back to their glory days to sign center Casey Wiegmann.
Wiegmann was the Chiefs’ center from 2001 through 2007. He teamed with Will Shields, Willie Roaf and Brian Waters, among others, to give the Chiefs the best line in the NFL.
The Chiefs’ plans this time around for Wiegmann are less certain. Their offensive line is in need of an upgrade, but Wiegmann will be 37 in July.
Wiegmann returns to the Chiefs from KC Star
A lot of things are changing in Larry Johnson’s life these days.
He’s going to be a Daddy in the coming months; it will be his first child. On Friday, he found a new football home, signing a three-year contract with the Washington Redskins where he’ll play for Mike Shanahan.
It’s also a chance for L.J. to return to his roots; he was born and raised in the state of Maryland and growing up, his favorite football team was the Washington Redskins.
Day No. 8-Free Agent Update from Bob Gretz
Just as the Redskins are looking at 2010 as a turning point, Johnson will come to Washington and try to embark on a fresh start of his own.
"Larry doesn't look at the past," said Johnson's agent, Peter Schaffer. "You can only be judged by what you do as a human being and a man. He's got a child on the way, and I think he's grown up a great deal."
Neither Johnson nor Redskins coaches were made available for comment Friday evening. In a prepared statement, Coach Mike Shanahan said: "We are excited to bring in a running back that has had so much success in this league. Larry is a physical runner who will be a great addition to our backfield."
Redskins sign free agent running back Larry Johnson from The Washington Post
Best decision: Re-signing Chris Chambers. Adding Jones and keeping Chambers will help Kansas City’s offense evolve in the first year under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Chambers was Cassel’s favorite target when he was claimed off waivers by San Diego in November. A full season of playing with Chambers should help Cassel.
Worst decision: Not trading for Boldin. A receiving crew of Chambers, Boldin and Dwayne Bowe would have been formidable. The Chiefs have two second-round picks next month. It might have been worth it to trade one to get Boldin and really open up the offense.
What’s needed: Keep spending. The Chiefs are on the right track. But they need more talent throughout the team. They need to add more pieces, perhaps on the offensive line and in the defensive back eight.
Early AFC West free-agency review from ESPN
Thanks a lot, KC
Despite having Jamaal Charles set and ready to go for a full campaign, the Kansas City Chiefs surprised many by jumping on free agent Thomas Jones.
Kyle's Take: Jones had a second successive strong year in 2009 and seems to have turned the thoughts concerning post-30 runners on its head. But, is his situation any different now than it was a year ago in New York? He's still considered a veteran option that his team would rather use less than more. Though the Chiefs are ready to turn Charles loose as the number one gun, they admit to having slight concerns about Charles' ability to handle a full load of carries. Plus, with all of their offensive issues, Jones was considered too good to pass up. Both should be productive next year, but neither will be as good as so many fantasy owners were hoping for just a month ago.
NFL Weekly Dose: March 12 from RotoTimes
I read something by Hank Stram that reminded me of what Pioli is trying to do.
"We had a nice run for a couple more years, but we didn’t have the football good fortune like we did those two Super Bowl run years," Stram said to Mike Detillier, a NFL Analyst with houmatoday.com, in 1998. "I was fired after the 1974 season. We lost the winning chemistry formula. In this free agency world, it is harder today to repeat than back then. But if I were to wheel back the hands of time, I would have set forth in place a more defined blueprint for the type player I wanted, and we would have spent a lot more time on the work ethic/character issue from the players we had coming in from college.
"We didn’t get as an organization to that highest point on being conservative. We pushed the boundaries to get good players. We were aggressive and we didn’t shy away from making trades and taking some calculated chances. I think we lost that element after we won the Super Bowl. My suggestion to coaches today is to learn from the past mistakes of others, like me."
Who better to take advice from than the one who helped fans get excited about the Chiefs in the first place?
Chiefs smart to use smart money from The Examiner
And for every LaDanian Tomlinson, who'll be playing somewhere next season, there's a Marcus Maxey, who came into the league into 2006 after being drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Bears, and was moved to Kansas City. He played one game in 2006, and he hasn't played since.
Instead of cutting him, the Chiefs could have put up Maxey into a developmental team, and tried to hone his skills instead of simply dumping him. They didn't think it was worth it, and I'm wondering what Maxey is doing right now.
Without the developmental leagues like NFL Europe, would Kurt Warner have seen a NFL snap? Would Sean Payton be walking off with a Super Bowl Ring after coaching New Orleans to the Super Bowl this year?
Cutting corners from SkySports
When the 2010 football season begins, Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C., will have a new coach roaming the sidelines.
Nothing unusual about that. However, the head man at Coolidge isn’t a man at all, but Natalie Randolph, a 29-year-old science teacher...
...Before Mike Leach was better known for the Adam James controversy at Texas Tech, he was considered one of the most innovative coaches in all of football.
He had no playing experience.
The NFL is the highest level of football on the planet, yet one of its coaches never suited up for single down.
That would be Todd Haley of the Kansas City Chiefs, who opted to play golf instead of the gridiron game.
In fact there are several well-known football coaches whose resume is thin from a playing standpoint, guys like George O’Leary and Charlie Weis.
New head man is no man at all from IndependentMail.com
almighty31 we do it my way or the crime way.......
GlennDorsey72 What's up what's good with yall this evening? The weather is nice here time to play!!!
GlennDorsey72 Haha>RT @colby_prough: @GlennDorsey72 Be careful and don't pull a Big Ben.
Media and Fans
ArrowheadPride Welcome back to Kansas City, Casey Wiegmann.
mortreport Sam Bradford moved his workout from March 25th to 29th; some teams concerned about owner's meeting schedule travel.
WhitlockJason http://bit.ly/aFZBLA JoPo doing the damn thang on Bill Self... Good shat.
JoshLooney Enjoy the Big 12 games 2nite everyone & if u see Casey Wiegmann, tell him "welcome back"- Chiefs are now making news of his signing official
kb_kcstar Top-five Big 12 cheerleaders/dance teams: 1. Texas (Easy). 2. Texas Tech. 3. Texas A&M. 4. Oklahoma St. 5. Mizzou (on reputation alone)
kb_kcstar My twitterverses converge at the Sprint Center: I just saw Carl Peterson leaving his courtside seat. Leather jacket, longish hair. Weird.
Adam_Schefter Now, if there were any collusion from NFL owners, it apparently was to open the check books.
stjoechief: I can now at least be happy the chiefs are making moves. Had me worried for bit.