With the selection of Creed Humphrey with the 63rd pick in last week’s NFL Draft, the Chiefs look to have solidified the center position for the next several seasons. We take a look at the best to ever strap it on and snap the ball in Chiefs history.
The Chiefs have actually had a pretty good history of steady centers in their 62-year history. Even in recent memory, there have been good and solid starters that left little-to-no worry in the minds of fans. Austin Reiter the last couple of years had been about the only consistent healthy contributor, able to start in both Super Bowls. Mitch Morse and Rodney Hudson before that were starters for multiple years before signing big free-agent deals elsewhere. There are three names that stand out above the rest when it comes to the center position.
Casey Wiegmann 2001-07, 10-11
The only man on this list who wasn’t drafted by the Chiefs, went undrafted in 1996 before signing with the Colts. He would bounce around with the Jets and Bears before signing in Kansas City in 2001. With Kansas City he would begin a streak of 127 straight starts and 11,000 snaps without ever coming out. Though Wiegmann is sometimes the forgotten man on the some of the best lines in Chiefs history, he came to work everyday and was the anchor for some of the most prolific offenses in the Kingdoms history. He is the only lineman to block for the top three rushers in Chiefs history, Jamaal Charles, Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. His durability and sustainability make him an easy candidate for one the best in Chiefs history.
Jack Rudnay 1970-82
Drafted in 1969 out of Northwestern, Rudnay would take over starting duties during the 1970 season. Starting 144 straight games, Jack was the anchor in the middle for some not so great Chiefs teams in the 1970’s and early 80’s. Though he missed the team success of Super Bowl IV, he garnered many personal accolades including All Pro status from 1973 to 75 and again in 1979. Known as “Joker” he had a penchant for pulling locker room pranks. A true professional who hated losing, gave it his all during what was arguably the darkest era of Chiefs football. A Chiefs Ring of Honor member and one of the best ever to wear the Red and Gold.
Tim Grundhard 1990-2000
Drafted out of Notre Dame in the second round of the 1990 NFL draft, Grundhard would start early in his rookie campaign and never give up the starting position in his 11-year NFL career. I’ll be honest, players from the 1990’s are always going to find a special place on my lists because that’s the era when I became a fan and these guys will always be larger than life to me, but Tim Grunhard belongs here. The man in the middle during the Marty Ball era, he blocked for Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Joe Montana. A nasty man on the field but could not be nicer off the field. A true leader in the locker room and in the community. Though he was only selected to one Pro Bowl, he is deservedly the newest member of the Chiefs Ring of Honor.
This was not the easiest three-man list to put together with the names listed above, and others, such as EJ Holub, Mike Webster, Jon Gilliam and Ryan Lilja to consider. Let’s keep the discussion going, please comment below on your thoughts and as always go Chiefs.