The release of defensive Mike Catapano was one of the more notable cuts the Chiefs made over the weekend.
Catapano, 25, is a former seventh-round pick who earned some snaps with the first team in passing situations this preseason, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday that he thinks Catapano is a better fit in a different scheme than the 3-4 the Chiefs run.
“Listen, Mike's a good football player, he'll probably hook on with somebody else,” Reid said. “If we're running a 4-3 and put Mike out as a rush defensive end, hand in the dirt, and get yourself upfield and go, I think that's (the kind of team) he's going to hook on with.”
Catapano, who entered the league at 270 pounds, bulked up to 290 pounds over the last two years in an effort to become a 3-4 defensive end. He logged four tackles as a backup in 2013 but missed all of last season with a concussion and gastrointestinal virus.
“He always fought to keep his weight up and all that so he can be inside there and he'd get bounced around a little bit inside,” Reid said. “I think if we were playing a 4-3 and he could just charge from there … whoever gets him, I think, is getting a good football player. And hopefully he fits on a team that runs a 4-3.”
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey made it sound like the Chiefs opted to keep second-year pro Nick Williams, who was signed from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad a year ago, over Catapano due to his versatility.
Williams is listed at 309 pounds, approximately 20 pounds heavier than Catapano, which makes it easier for him to play inside.
“Any time you have to release a good player, it's hard, but with the competition we had, the beauty of it was that Nicholas Williams, he did a fantastic job,” Dorsey said. “I think he demonstrated he can play multiple positions. He can play the three (technique), he can play the five (technique), and he can help you along the way.
“So at the end of the day, we decided to go with Nicholas Williams, and it's a good choice.”
The Chiefs also opted to keep rookie interior lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches over Catapano. Nunez-Roches, who is listed at 6 feet 2 and 307 pounds, recorded two tackles this preseason.