Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, in recent comments made to the Kansa City Star, said he has some special plans for WR Dexter McCluster.
From the Star:
Slot receiver Dexter McCluster has provided few big plays for the Chiefs since he was picked in the second round of the 2010 draft.
But, without divulging specifics, Reid indicated he had plans for McCluster.
“I like McCluster,” Reid said. “I think he’s a good football player and he has a role on this football team. I’ve got some things in mind for him.”
McCluster has been a bit of a disappointment since being taken by the Chiefs in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. While at Mississippi, McCluster played running back but the Chiefs made it clear they wanted to use him primarily as a WR.
McCluster started his career with a bang, returning a punt for 94-yards against the San Diego Chargers in his first game with the Chiefs. The return helped spark a Chiefs win, and KC would go on to win the AFC West.
Still, McCluster missed a great deal of his rookie season with an injury. When all was said and done, he finished his rookie season with only 21 receptions for 209 yards and one TD.
In 2011, the Chiefs decided to use McCluster more out of the backfield. He received 114 carries for 516 yards and one TD. His average of 4.5 yards per-carry was pretty good for a role player. He also was targeted more in the passing game, catching 46 balls for 328 yards and one TD.
In 2012, McCluster was moved back to WR, setting a career high in receptions, catching 52 balls for 452 yards and one TD.
While McCluster has never had a breakout season as a receiver, he has a very similar skill set to former New England Patriot and current Denver Bronco (vomit) Wes Welker. Both players are small and quick in small areas. While neither possesses blazing speed, they can be dangerous if they get the ball in space or in stride.
Welker didn’t have a breakout season until he teamed up with QB Tom Brady. It may be that what McCluster needs to be effective is a more accurate QB and the right system. Alex Smith and the West Coast Offense could be just what the doctor ordered.