View Full Version : Chiefs Babb:Dorsey, Tyler will be veterans on the Chiefs’ defensive line

Tribal Warfare
11-15-2008, 04:58 AM
Dorsey, Tyler will be veterans on the Chiefs’ defensive line (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/891563.html)
The Kansas City Star

Tank Tyler and Glenn Dorsey sat together in the locker room this week, exchanging jokes and stories for a moment before meetings.

Tyler covered his lips and whispered something to Dorsey, who turned his head toward his locker and laughed. They sat there on stools two feet apart, not unlike the distance between them on the defensive line Sunday, and took stock in the comfort that time and familiarity can bring.

“They’re the veteran guys,” Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said.

It was a strange thing to call a pair of young defensive tackles, Dorsey a rookie and Tyler a second-year player. But with Kansas City’s battered defense, and in particular its line, the Chiefs will rely on the youngsters with experience while up to a half-dozen new starters try to get their footing.

The Chiefs will be without three defensive starters against New Orleans, and four more have injuries that could limit their participation. Left end Tamba Hali’s knee injury will keep him out, and right end Turk McBride said this week he’s confident he’ll play — even a few days after the Chiefs thought McBride’s injury would end his season.

Regardless, McBride won’t be 100 percent, and the defense will have a constant rotation at end, shuffling Alfonso Boone and a pair of ends signed in the last 10 days, Wallace Gilberry and Jason Babin. And that’s just if McBride is healthy enough to start at right end.

“It’s like a family,” McBride said. “If someone goes down, you have to have that other person in the family. This is what you’ve got distant cousins for.”

Dorsey took his biggest steps forward the last two Sundays. He had seven tackles total the last two weeks — he’d combined for 18 the previous seven games — and his first NFL sack in a loss last week at San Diego. The Chiefs liked what they saw out of Dorsey, whose slow start had begun to draw questions whether the team’s top draft pick was not progressing as the team hoped.

A week later, Dorsey faces what Edwards agreed is his most important game yet, and the Chiefs cannot afford a step back. Dorsey said he’s not adding more pressure to himself, even if coaches have done it for him.

“I’ve just got to come out and play hard,” he said. “That’s what you want. That’s what you play football for. You’ve got to do your job; that’s just the way it is. If you can’t handle it, then you need to find another profession.”

Edwards said Dorsey’s performance might depend on those new faces at the end of the Chiefs’ line. Babin was a Houston Texans first-round pick in 2004, and he performed individual drills late this week with the first-team line. Boone is expected to start at left end Sunday, with Gilberry joining in the rotation.

Babin and Gilberry still are learning the finer points of the Chiefs’ defense. Tyler and Dorsey know it from all angles, and that’s why coaches expect them to act like old captains Sunday, even if their years don’t prove it. But for that to happen, Edwards said those ends have to take care of their blockers; if the ends are easily contained, then that would free the Saints to double-team Dorsey or Tyler.

“That’s what you don’t want,” Edwards said.

Tyler said he hadn’t changed his approach this week, and he didn’t think Dorsey had, either. Tyler said he acknowledged the tackles’ added responsibility, or at least the perception of it, but that they needed to enter Sunday’s game with a relaxed demeanor if a pair of youngsters can anchor the Chiefs’ defensive line. He said they’ll work hard and try to lead this defense through one of its most turbulent weeks yet.

It’s what a pair of veterans would do.

“We definitely need to step up and lead by example,” Tyler said. “We’ve all got to play our parts right now.”