Chiefs practices: Coming to a field near you, maybe

In this most unusual of offseasons, neither the Chiefs nor other clubs will be allowed their normal offseason practices unless the owners and players come to a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires in early March.

So don't be surprised, barring a quick agreement that right now seems unlikely, if some Chiefs players gather in the spring for some workouts at a local high school or park. These workouts certainly won't be at the Chiefs practice facility if the players are locked out.

Matt Cassel said recently he might organize some workouts in the spring if they become necessary.

''You're going to have to start thinking about it,'' Cassel said. ''Coming off a good season for us, one that we need to be able to build off, to not be able to have the off-season and the time to be in there with your teammates working out and building the team chemistry by being together on a consistent basis, it's going to be a little bit of a different off-season for us.''

Teams that hold these informal workouts will have the advantage over those that don't once the season gets started. As teams have decreased the frequency and intensity of training camp workouts in recent seasons, the off-season practices have become increasingly more important.

This year, with all the labor uncertainty, they might be more crucial than ever.