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 Gillberry Aims to be Total Defender

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PostSubject: Gillberry Aims to be Total Defender   Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:22 pm

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/05...-defender.html

ST. JOSEPH | Chiefs pass rusher Wallace Gilberry, visibly thicker after an offseason devoted to bulking up, said Friday that he had worked on reshaping his body so that he might someday be known as a complete defensive end.

“To be called a pass rusher in this league means a lot to me,” Gilberry said. “But at the same time, I want to be a defensive end. When I leave here, I want to be known as a defensive end.

Later, he said he wanted to “improve my whole game.”

Gilberry, a former undrafted free agent from Alabama, had seven sacks in 2010, when he was mostly used as a pass-rush specialist. Coach Todd Haley said Friday that specialists are nice, but players need to be versatile.

Haley said Gilberry weighs only two pounds more than last year, and he’s listed at 268 pounds, but Haley said Gilberry’s weight had been redistributed into more bulk, which could help him help stop the run and plug gaps instead of being relegated only to a pass-rushing role.

“He has been a rotational player for us,” Haley said, “and when you get into game-day roster numbers, that’s a very important factor. I don’t know that we can have just a pass-rush guy, that that’s all he does.”

After Friday morning’s walk-through, Gilberry said he was interested to see how he felt after the afternoon’s full-speed practice. He said he was eager to learn how it affected his speed and agility, which contributed to his ability to get after quarterbacks last year and trail only outside linebacker Tamba Hali in sacks.

Gilberry practiced for the first time Thursday afternoon. He had been unable to participate with the team earlier in camp in accordance with new collective-bargaining rules, which state that free agents couldn’t join team workouts before Aug. 4. Gilberry signed his restricted free-agent tender July 31.

A day after his first practice, he said that if he was sluggish through practices, he might have to shed the weight.

I may have to lose it; you never know,” he said. “I just came in prepared for whatever, so hopefully I can keep it on. But if not, I’m willing to lose it.”

Gilberry added that he hoped the pursuit of being a complete defender wouldn’t undercut what he does so well.

“Right now, I feel good. I feel comfortable,” he said. “But at the same time, that’s what I do. The reason why I’m here is because I’m good at rushing the passer, so I can’t forget that myself. I think I’ve got it under control.”

Veteran official talks about rule changes

Veteran NFL referee Ed Hochuli was at camp and discussed eight rule changes that go into effect this season.

The most noteworthy change might be that teams will no longer be allowed to intentionally commit a penalty, such as a false start, to buy more time to consider challenging officials’ ruling. Now, if teams commit a penalty directly after a play, they will be ineligible from a replay challenge on that play.

Also among the changes is a rule that prohibits illegal launching into a defenseless opponent and a rule that states that hits to quarterbacks’ heads by an opponent’s hands, arms or other parts of the body will not be fouls unless forcible contact is made.

Coaches try to balance number of snaps

Now that the Chiefs’ camp roster is full, Haley said a new challenge has emerged: Finding a way to get everyone enough snaps, instead of making certain that players aren’t practicing too much, as was the case when veteran free agents were unable to practice.

“Just trying to get the right balance,” Haley said. “It’s a better situation than what we were in. You can get short pretty quick. Now we’re … just balancing the reps and making sure you’re getting guys the work that they need and the work we need to see in order to make good evaluations.”

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