Business wasn’t usual for Chiefs on Monday in wake of tragedy

  • People stand by a small shrine outside the Long Island home of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher on Dec. 3, 2012, in West Babylon, N.Y. People living at and visiting the home stopped and recited a prayer at the shrine. Two days earlier, Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself in Kansas City, Mo. (Associated Press)People stand by a small shrine outside the Long Island home of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher on Dec. 3, 2012, in West Babylon, N.Y. People living at and visiting the home stopped and recited a prayer at the shrine. Two days earlier, Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself in Kansas City, Mo. (Associated Press)
  • Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeno Crennel pauses while talking about the murder-suicide committed by linebacker Jovan Belcher during a news conference on Dec. 3, 2012, at the team's practice facility in Kansas City, Mo. (Associated Press)Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeno Crennel pauses while talking about the murder-suicide committed by linebacker Jovan Belcher during a news conference on Dec. 3, 2012, at the team's practice facility in Kansas City, Mo. (Associated Press)
  • A Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign during the first half of the Chiefs' 27-21 win against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 2, 2012. The Chiefs' ended an eight-game losing streak with the win, one day after their linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself. (Associated Press)A Kansas City Chiefs fan holds a sign during the first half of the Chiefs' 27-21 win against the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 2, 2012. The Chiefs' ended an eight-game losing streak with the win, one day after their linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and himself. (Associated Press)
  • An unidentified man carries items out of a Kansas City home shared by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins on Dec. 3, 2012. Belcher killed Perkins and himself two days earlier. (Associated Press)An unidentified man carries items out of a Kansas City home shared by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins on Dec. 3, 2012. Belcher killed Perkins and himself two days earlier. (Associated Press)
  • Yamiesse Lawrence (left) and Quaresha Boston (center), a cousin and niece, respectively, of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, read a statement to the media on Dec. 3, 2012, in West Babylon, N.Y. Kansas City, Mo., police said Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide on Dec. 1. In the rear are Belcher's sisters Charmaine Shepherd (second from right) and Jeanine Shepherd. (Associated Press)Yamiesse Lawrence (left) and Quaresha Boston (center), a cousin and niece, respectively, of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, read a statement to the media on Dec. 3, 2012, in West Babylon, N.Y. Kansas City, Mo., police said Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide on Dec. 1. In the rear are Belcher's sisters Charmaine Shepherd (second from right) and Jeanine Shepherd. (Associated Press)
  • Clouds pass above Arrowhead Stadium, home to the Kansas City Chiefs, on Dec. 3, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. The team is still recovering from a murder-suicide committed by linebacker Jovan Belcher two days earlier. (Associated Press)Clouds pass above Arrowhead Stadium, home to the Kansas City Chiefs, on Dec. 3, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. The team is still recovering from a murder-suicide committed by linebacker Jovan Belcher two days earlier. (Associated Press)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs returned to work Monday at their practice facility near Arrowhead Stadium, trying to find a sense of normalcy after two days of unimaginable heartache.

It proved nearly impossible to do.

The locker that once belong to Jovan Belcher, the linebacker who killed his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself Saturday, still had all his belongings in it. His shoes were piled up on the floor and freshly laundered clothes hung from a hook.

To enter the building, Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli had to walk past the place in the parking lot where Belcher put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. Crennel acknowledged an unsettling feeling had come over him.

Teammates gathered in meetings and to watch film from Sunday’s emotional 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers, one that ended an eight-game losing streak. They couldn’t help but notice the empty seat that once belonged to their close friend.

“We have to deal with the events of the last few days, and it’s not over, and it may not be over for some of us for most of our lives, but time heals all wounds, and so we’re going to start working on the time thing,” said Crennel, who’s been a rock for everyone in the organization.

“It was like coming to work like you normally do,” he said. “Now you think about the events as you walk through the door and walk through the parking lot, but you know the events are over, and you can’t undo them. All you can do is work for the future and toward the future.”

That’s what the Chiefs tried to do Monday.

They gathered for their normal team meetings in the morning, and watched video of their win over Carolina. They broke midafternoon to begin planning for next Sunday’s game at Cleveland.

Still, there were signs at every turn that nothing was quite as usual.

Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt routinely sticks around the day after a game, but this time he was there to lend support to an organization in mourning. Chaplains also were at the facility, as were grief counselors brought in to help players and staff come to grips with tragedy.

“Its new territory for everyone,” tight end Tony Moeaki said. “We’re all trying to figure out how to handle the situation. We’re just trying to take it one day at a time, come into meetings — it’s nice to be in meetings, watching film. Your mind’s not on it as much.”

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