Part of being a successful wide receiver is having good hands, which Gilyard says is a message he’s heard from a very early age.
“As a receiver, you’ve heard it all the time,” Gilyard said. “They tell you on TV, they tell you in college, elementary or little league, whatever, ‘That guy has good hands;’ they always tell you that to be a good receiver you have to have good hands, because if you catch it with your hands, you can do so much after that.”
Another factor in being a productive wide receiver is having great players with you on the field, and in Gilyard’s case, off the field, as well.
“(Dwayne) Bowe, he’s become a big brother to me,” Gilyard said. “I’m over at his house every day; me and him literally wake up and talk to each other about what’s going to go on with the day. We come in, we’re a couple lockers down from each other and just his work ethic, how he carries himself on and off the field, he shows you how to be a true pro and he’s been successful at it.”
Chiefs free safety Husain Abdullah backpedaled with the receiver, recognized the route, broke on the ball and deflected the pass thrown by rookie Tyler Bray.
Abdullah pounded his hands in frustration at not making the interception. After spending a year away from football while on a religious pilgrimage, he knows every play counts in his NFL comeback, so he had to be satisfied with merely breaking up the pass.
“To get back out here and to have a second chance, not a lot of people get one,” Abdullah said after one of the Chiefs’ offseason workout sessions this week. “So this is a blessing.”
Abdullah, a practicing Muslim, elected not to return to the Minnesota Vikings last season and instead took his wife, parents and two older brothers on a monthlong spiritual journey to Saudi Arabia last October.
“I think the offense is very friendly for a tight end,’’ said Fasano, signed from Miami as a free agent. “You can tell they’re becoming a very valuable position in this offense. We ultimately determine (how many passes they catch) by how we play, if we make plays, exploit mismatches. The tight ends have a good opportunity in this offense.’’
The Chiefs will need big receiving numbers from the tight ends this year because, other than Dwayne Bowe, they have little in proven ability at wide receiver. This marks a change for the Chiefs, who since trading Tony Gonzalez before the 2009 season got 46, 61, 35 and 44 catches from their tight ends in the four years since.