Chiefs DL Mike Catapano: "I felt the pulse of the crowd immediately"

After more than a year away from the field, Catapano made his presence known on Friday

It was his first time on the field for a game in almost 20 months, but Kansas City Chiefs third-year defensive lineman Mike Catapano wasn't going to take anything for granted on Friday night.

"When I ran out of the fire and through the cheerleaders, just feeling the crowd out there, I literally ran in the end zone and got on one knee and broke a tear I was so happy," Catapano explained.

"Just to be out there with my guys again."

Catapano missed the entire 2014 preseason and regular season after dealing with a virus and also suffering a concussion, as the combination landed him on IR before he was able to contribute to the Chiefs defense.

A promising rookie year in 2013 for the former seventh-round pick out of Princeton was put on hold.

KCvsSEA-Catapano-Image.jpg

After all that time away, Catapano was excited to get back on the field Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I missed it," he said. "I don't think there's any atmosphere like it in the NFL. Everybody says it, but it's really something special. Even when we first step out there, I always get chills after a while.

"I really, really missed this. It was just so much fun."

Catapano seemed to have a lot of fun on the field, as he was a part of arguably the biggest play of the game.

The Seahawks were driving deep in Chiefs territory and were facing a third-and-goal from the 2-yard line. The Chiefs were leading 14-10 and trying to preserve that lead.

Off the snap, Catapano shot through the backfield and brought down the running back for a loss of 7 yards on the play, forcing a field goal instead of a touchdown.

"You can't explain it," Catapano said of the feeling he had when he made that play. "That's some of the best parts of football. You can't explain that feeling.

"As soon as I got him, I felt the pulse of the crowd immediately. I don't know if it was a cool-looking celebration or what, I just went wild out there."

After the game, coach Andy Reid couldn't tell you much about what he saw from the defense, but he knew Catapano had made some plays.

Photos from the Chiefs second preseason matchup against the Seattle Seahawks

"I didn't see a lot of the defense," Reid explained. "But what I saw him on that board (ArrowVision) a lot, so I figured he was doing the right things. It looked like he played a pretty good game."

Catapano finished his 2015 debut with three tackles and that one key tackle for loss, but even with arguably the biggest play of the game under his belt, Catapano isn't satisfied with his performance.

"I haven't seen the tape yet," he said. "There were a couple of plays I could have done something better, so I just have to keep working. I know I had a couple good plays but this one's done. It's already onto next week and the next practice."

While Catapano and the Chiefs look forward to next Friday's game against the Tennessee Titans, which also won't count towards their final record, that doesn't take anything away from this win for him.

"That's a great team that we just beat, even if it is the preseason," he said. "I don't even care, that's the Seattle Seahawks. That's a great win no matter what, and that makes us better rolling into next week."

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