Veteran center Casey Wiegmann's consecutive starts streak stands at 175 games, second-longest among active NFL offensive linemen. Wiegmann, who turns 39 in July, is a free agent and is unlikely to continue his NFL career, leaving the Kansas City Chiefs' center position in the hands of 2011 second-round pick Rodney Hudson.
Hudson played in over 130 snaps as a rookie, but none at center. Hudson filled in at left guard, a position he dominated at Florida State, for an injured Ryan Lilja last season. Still, the Chiefs are confident the 6-foot-2, 299-pound Hudson can step in right away and replace a mainstay of the offensive line, Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star reported Monday.
"During this offseason program, he's taken to it," head coach Romeo Crennel said. "He's taken control and command, and he's making the proper calls in practice. Physically, he'll be able to make the blocks and pass protect the way we need him to. I'm encouraged by what I see. When we get to training camp, we'll find out with the pads."
Don't overlook Crennel's caveat about waiting to see how Hudson operates once the pads are on. The scaled-down workouts this offseason won't accurately show if the somewhat undersized Hudson is ready to handle the likes of Jonathan Babineaux, Kyle Williams, Brodrick Bunkley, Antonio Garay and Haloti Ngata, five defensive tackles he'll see right off the bat this season.
"It shocked me because he seems so natural at it," Asamoah said. "He spent last year watching and picking Casey's brain, and he's picked up a lot of things. He's amazed me how quickly he's picked everything up from the second he got here last year."