It’s not often that an undrafted free agent can take snaps away from two players that will have been guaranteed $54 million, but that’s exactly what Wallace Gilberry is doing for the Chiefs. The AP talked to the unsung, undersized defensive end about his emergence as a vital part of Kansas City defense even though he wasn’t drafted.
“You can’t measure a man’s heart,” Gilberry said. “That’s what I play on, emotions and heart. But at the same time, I know it takes more than heart. It also takes the physical attributes and the mental attributes and the football instincts. But I don’t even think about all that any more. I came in the way I came in and I’m here to stay.
“I’m going to show them I’m here to stay.”
Gilberry’s teammates, perhaps with the understandable exception of Dorsey and Jackson, are rooting for him. One of his closest friends on the team is four-time Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters, another player who made good after coming in as an undrafted free agent.
“Wallace is a great example of a guy who’s making the best of a bad situation,” Waters said. “He came here to play a different type of defense and he’s been able to stay through all the changes. There’s not a lot of guys who were here three years ago. I cheer for guys like Wallace.”
It’s safe to say that everyone cheers for guys like Gilberry. The players that have to fight and claw their way into the league will always hold a special place in most fan’s hearts.
I am not nearly as down on Dorsey and Jackson, but there’s no denying that Gilberry has forced his way into the conversation about who should start on the ends. Just like Derrick Johnson at linebacker, it seemed every time he was on the field, Gilberry was making a play.
The Chiefs nickel package has the potential to be very impressive this season with Tamba Hali, Johnson, Mike Vrabel and Andy Studebaker at linebacker but it’s Gilberry playing in front of them that is the key for me. If he can continue to be a disruptive force, the linebackers should have a field day.