|03-23-2013, 09:22 PM||Topic Starter|
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Teicher:DeVito, an addition to the Chiefs’ defensive line, can’t wait to get started
DeVito, an addition to the Chiefs’ defensive line, can’t wait to get started
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Mike DeVito won’t be on the field for the plays that fans pay good money to see, the ones featured on highlight shows.
He won’t play much for his new team, the Chiefs, on passing plays. But DeVito, a veteran defensive lineman, signed recently after six seasons with the New York Jets, wouldn’t have it any other way.
He prefers the dirty work of playing on running downs.
“There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing,” DeVito said. “I want to hit and be physical every play. If I don’t hit somebody, I know something is wrong. That first- and second-down run game, that’s where I live. That’s what I enjoy. I want to continue to try to get better at that and improve my craft.”
With the Jets, DeVito was good enough against the run that the Chiefs signed him on the day the free-agent market opened. One of New York’s coaches last season was Bob Sutton, the new Chiefs’ defensive coordinator.
“He played a big part in me coming here,” DeVito said. “I played for Bob for six years, and he’s somebody I have a ton of respect for. He’s a guy you want to give your all for.
“He’s a guy who really helped me progress. He took an interest in me even though he was a defensive coordinator, and then a linebackers coach, and I was a defensive lineman, and he helped me get better. He’s make sure I was keeping up on my techniques and my habits.”
The Chiefs relied on Sutton’s recommendation in signing DeVito.
“DeVito is one of those blue-collar guys,” general manager John Dorsey said. “He lines up. He plays. He gives you everything he’s got. He’s tenacious. Football is very important for him.”
DeVito can play all the defensive-line positions. He will most likely wind up at end in the starting spot vacated when Glenn Dorsey signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers.
DeVito’s football background is about as far from Glenn Dorsey’s as can be. Dorsey was drafted by the Chiefs with the fifth overall pick in 2008; DeVito joined the Jets the previous season as an undrafted free agent.
Dorsey played in college at LSU, where he was a member of a national championship team.
DeVito played at Maine, a Division I-AA school.
“I remember when I first came into the league, it was like, ‘Lord, just let me just make practice squad for one year,’ ” DeVito said. “Then it was, ‘Lord, let me just make the team this year.’ Then it was, ‘Lord, let me just sign this new contract.’ To hit this point in my career, to get this contract and to be a part of this organization, I can’t speak enough about how blessed I am.”
The Chiefs will ask DeVito to help improve a weak run defense. They were among the weakest teams in the NFL last season in yards allowed per opponent’s rushing attempt.
DeVito will usually come out of the lineup on obvious passing downs. But he will be asked to rush the quarterback when the opponent throws on early downs, and that’s where he wants to show improvement.
DeVito had just 2½ sacks in six seasons with New York.
“I want to continue to bring an aspect of the pass rush, as well,” DeVito said. “I have some things set up to help me grow as a pass rusher, as well. I’ve got a lot of great pass-rush tape. Sometimes the best way to work on the pass rush is to watch guys do it. I’ve got some tape of guys going out there making plays and rushing the passer and just see what guys are using and what’s working.”
The Chiefs begin their offseason conditioning program April 1, with practices beginning later in the month.
They can’t start soon enough for DeVito.
“I’m going to continue to work out and be ready to hit the ground running when I get here,” DeVito said. “I want to be in great shape. I’m going to go back and study some of that pass-rush stuff. I think it’s really important to go back and grade myself from the film from last year, see where I went wrong, see what I can improve on.
“Trust me, I’m ready to roll today. If they opened this thing up today, I’m ready to go. I’m excited about it. I’m going to be on the edge of my seat every night.”