Smiling Sacker …Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

From St. Joseph, Missouri

The smile creases Wallace Gilberry’s face all the time. It’s big and wide and full of life.

When he’s showing those pearly whites, it’s hard to believe that this same man has turned into one of the NFL’s most productive No. 2 pass rushers. When he’s got his hand on the ground and lining up to take off after the quarterback there’s not a lot of smiling. That comes when he gets the passer on the ground, something he did seven times last year.

Just check out the photo to the right, with Gilberry sitting on top a St. Louis QB sam Bradford. He’s not smiling at that instant but that’s only because the camera shutter clicked a few milliseconds too quickly. It appears like he’s trying to shove Bradford’s head through the turf.

But pictures can’t tell the whole story; he could have just been trying to get the guy’s attention, something he did seven times, with 15 pressures and two forced fumbles.

While that was half of teammate Tamba Hali’s AFC leading total of 14.5 sacks, Gilberry’s season was enough to have led eight teams in sacks last year (Arizona, Buffalo, Denver, Jacksonville, New England, New Orleans, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay.)

And it was the type of season that put his name among some of the better known pass rushers in the league, names like Julius Pepper, Osi Umenyiora and Dwight Freeney. (See chart below.)

Gilberry loves being known as a pass rusher. It’s just that he wants to be known as a complete NFL defensive end, a guy that can play on first down and help stop the run, along with getting after the passer.

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

There are those around the team that would say Gilberry has gotten play time at the level of a starter. During the 2010 season, only DE Glenn Dorsey was on the field for more defensive snaps.

“I don’t know that we can have just a pass rush guy,” said head coach Todd Haley. “He already has been a rotational player for us, and when you get into (game day) numbers, that’s a very important factor

“We went to games last year with five defensive linemen, and you’ve got to have some versatility in that. That’s why you would see Wallace Gilberry playing.”

Gilberry worked hard during the lockout, spending most of that time back in Alabama. Visually he looks bigger than his listed 268 pounds.

“He’s two pounds off of what he was last year,” Haley said. “It might just be redistributed a little differently.”

Gilberry said: “I feel good. My weight feels good; I’m moving around pretty good, I feel like I’m in good shape.

“I know why I’m here. I’m here because I’m good at rushing the passer, so I can’t forget that myself.”

But can he become a full-time defensive end?

“We’ll see what he can do this year,” said Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel. “I know that he’s been working hard and I think that he’s conscientious about trying to be an every-down player. We’ll see.”

No. 2 Productive Pass Rushers during the 2010 season:







NFL Entry


Justin Tuck/

Osi Umenyiora








3rd (74) ’05/

2nd (56) ’03


Dwight Freeney





1st (11) ’02

  LaMarr Woodley





2nd (46) ’07


Raheem Brock





7th (238) ’02


Cliff Avril





3rd (92) ’08

  Chris Long





1st (2) ’08


Israel Idonije/

Julius Peppers








UDFA ’03/

1st (2) ’02


Wallace Gilberry





UDFA ’08

  Cullen jenkins





UDFA ’03

  Dave Ball





5th (133) ’04

  Matt Shaughnessy/

Tommy Kelly








3rd (71) ’09/

UDFA ’04

Tuck/Umenyiora , Idonije/Peppers and Shaughnesssy/Kelly shared their team lead in tackles.

13 Responses to “Smiling Sacker …Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 10, 2011  - Cliff says:

    Bob, I would like to see the comparison on the number of snaps each player on this list played. Gilberry did play a lot, but some of the guy’s ahead of him on this list probably were in for more plays. Just curious of the ratio of sacks to plays.

  • August 10, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    This guy has the “potential” to be another Tamba in my opinion. He’s got the speed, strength, and inner drive to get the job done. I say he’s a WINNER.

  • August 10, 2011  - ED says:

    We need to lock this guy up to a long term contract he’s good young player.

  • August 10, 2011  - brad says:

    Is his hand inside of Bradford’s face mask?

  • August 10, 2011  - SG says:

    Umm does his quote bother anyone else here? Using the words “WHEN I leave here…” Vs. “If”?

    I haven’t heard a word about this, but Allen Bailey being drafted along with no long term deal and this comment seems fodder for some discussion.

  • August 10, 2011  - el cid says:

    I like this kid, just do not know how/if he fits. At the Chiefs get better, marginal guys will slip away. If the Pioli plan works out, by 2015 there will be so much depth college free agents will be practice fodder and cherrypicked for a occasional backup for the roster.

  • August 10, 2011  - Rw says:

    I agree with el cid & his excellent analysis. This team is one in transition from average to good. Going from good to elite will see lots of guys hitting the cutting rm floor.

    Building primarily thru the draft is a lengthy process however and the microwave gen x in many of us continue to lust for more key pieces to be aquired thru free agency but that seems a part of the overall plan to build on a steady as she goes course

  • August 10, 2011  - Michael says:

    When he leaves…whenever that might be; a year from now or five. He doesn’t know, and neither do we. Who is the marginal player you are referring to when you say these guys will start to slip away? Does it make him a marginal player because he didn’t get drafted?

  • August 10, 2011  - el cid says:

    Any player who cannot take over a position as his own, can be recognized as the best on the team at that position is MARGINAL. Why, because if he has no position, he is only there because there is no one better on the current roster. As the team matures/gets better marginal players get replace by better players.

    Marginal has nothing to do about being drafted, I would suggest T Jackson may be a marginal player as he still has not shown the abiltiy to be that building block Pioli likes to talk about.

    If you can get past the name Gilberry, look at what he brings to the team…..he is just another guy. Does he have to remain a marginal player, no. But if he cannot “claim” position, the Chiefs have already started to look for a better body to take his place.

  • August 11, 2011  - Michael says:

    I disagree. These days teams spealize so much. They need good role players and lots of them, which is what Gilberry is, and a very good one. They’re on every part of the team: 3rd down back, slot receiver, blocking tight end, rush linebacker, nickel corner, nickel rusher on the DL, in the box safety, cover safety, cover linebacker, etc. These are positions on the team, and every good team has good players filling them. If Gilberry can earn more playing time, great, but if not he can still be a very good, valuable part of the team if he can produce 7 + sacks.

  • August 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    I’ll agree but if he is a specialty player wouldn’t the Chiefs constantly looking for a “better” specialty player or a kid who can be more than a specialty player. I think he is valuable but until he proves to the Chiefs that his spot on the roster fill most needs, he is subject to replacement. That sort of applies to every player in the NFL from P Manning to Q. Lawrence to one degree or another.

  • August 11, 2011  - Michael says:

    Exactly. Good to hear you talking football again el cid.

  • August 11, 2011  - rufus says:

    I think Gilberry meant when he leaves the game, not really meaning to say when he leaves the Chiefs. Haley has developed a good young core of players now. I wouldn’t expect these players will want to leave until after a championship. I’m sure these guys feel good about getting there under Haley. And Pioli too.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News