Plenty of lessons were learned when the Chiefs blew a 38-10 lead at Indianapolis in the playoffs. One guy learned a lesson without actually playing much.
Defensive end Mike Catapano, a seventh-round pick in 2013, participated in only two snaps. As he watched a 28-point lead disintegrate, he vowed that he wouldn’t be a bystander in 2014.
“I remember sitting there and watching, thinking I’m never going to be sitting and watching ever again,” Catapano said, via John Cordes of the Associated Press. “I wanted to be out there hunting.”
Catapano took it upon himself to addresses his weaknesses as a pass-rushing defensive end in a 3-4 defense. After bumping his weight from 270 to 281 last year, he added another 10 pounds this offseason.
“That’s on me, to build the coaches’ trust in me,” Catapano said. “They want to know I’m not a liability against the run. They want to know I’m rocking and rolling on all cylinders.”
One fairly important member of the coaching staff has taken notice.
“He’s worked very hard and stayed in great condition while gaining weight and strength,” defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “He also has some natural pass-rush ability, a feel for that part of the game. He gives us another piece we can move around. He’s capable of playing inside or outside, and he’s got enough old linebacker skills that you can drop him some. He’s a very versatile guy for us.”
He hopes to be versatile — and effective.
“So I have a goal, and it’s definitely a high goal,” Catapano said. “People say, ‘Oh, you made the team, you played substantially last year,’ and I just roll my eyes at that stuff. People have no idea what’s gonna come.”
Remember the name. It’s not Capatano or Capitano or Captain Anno. It’s Catapano, and he plans to catapult into relevance this season.