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View Full Version : McCleon: "I'll be back"


Saulbadguy
08-01-2005, 06:39 AM
http://www.cjonline.com/stories/080105/chi_mccleon.shtml

Published Monday, August 1, 2005

McCleon: 'I'll be back'

Corner returns healthy

By Rick Dean
The Capital-Journal

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- He never offered it as an excuse for his dismal showing in 2004.

Maybe he should have.

Officially, Dexter McCleon lost his starting spot in the Chiefs secondary last year because of a hamstring strain sustained in the Week Six rout of Atlanta. Unofficially, McCleon didn't start that Falcons game because he'd been burned for too many big plays the previous week in a loss at Jacksonville.

In actuality, McCleon had been nursing a right shoulder injury since training camp. The injury made it difficult to pump his arms while running, to play bump-and-run defense, to tackle or raise his right arm to defend a pass.

It was difficult even to shower in the morning or after a practice.


Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Dexter McCleon struggled mightily last season while battling through a shoulder injury, but he expects to bounce back in 2005 now that he's healthy. McCleon is a probable starter at corner while Eric Warfield serves his four-game suspension.
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"I could barely (touch) my left shoulder with my right arm. I was doing this just to be able to wash," he said, twisting and gyrating into uncomfortable positions to demonstrate.

His coaches and teammates knew this, of course. They understood.

The public, however, knew nothing of his shoulder problems. Football teams often don't reveal shoulder injuries to defensive players whose shoulders usually are the first point of contact when making a tackle.

"I wasn't going to use it as an excuse," McCleon said. "It limited me in a lot of ways, but I just kept taking shots to numb it up and tried to go about my business. But it got to the point where the bones in the shoulder were so locked up, I couldn't do anything else."

So McCleon played on. When he didn't play to his standards of 2003 -- his first year in Kansas City, the year his six interceptions tied for the team lead -- most fans just figured he was a washed-up corner at the age of 31.

Well, McCleon now hopes to deliver a message to anyone ready to write him off.

"I'll be back," he promised after the second practice of the Chiefs' Wisconsin training camp. "The shoulder is night and day compared to last year. I'm feeling much better, and I plan on delivering."

The Chiefs are counting on that delivery. With starter Eric Warfield suspended for the season's killer first month for violating the NFL's alcohol abuse policy, Kansas City is turning to McCleon again as its first line of defense in Warfield's absence.

Though he missed spring drills while recovering from the surgery that cleaned up several painful bone chips and shaved down some bone in his shoulder, Warfield now works daily in the starting right corner spot opposite newcomer Patrick Surtain, Kansas City's biggest offseason acquisition.

Should McCleon struggle again in his ninth season, the Chiefs will have to try Ashley Ambrose, who will turn 35 before the Week Two game in Oakland this year, recently signed Dewayne Washington, 32, or 24-year-old second-year player Bennie Sapp.

Coach Dick Vermeil, who knew McCleon as a contributor on his 1999 Super Bowl champion Rams, insists that McCleon is up to the challenge.

"If he gets back to where he was (in 2003) and he does what I know he's capable of doing, he'll play very well," Vermeil said. "It could be tough to replace him when Eric comes back."

McCleon, suddenly carrying expectations he wouldn't have thought possible again after he was written off by the Rams and hired as a nickel-back candidate in KC, believes he's ready to be a consistent contributor again.

"I think the guy Kansas City people saw (in 2003) is the norm. That's the guy I want people to see this year," he said. "If you play in this league long enough, you're going to have some bad years. It's how you bounce back from them that counts."

ZootedGranny
08-01-2005, 06:45 AM
I wasn't impressed by him in 2003, and I sure as **** wasn't impressed by him in 04. I don't doubt the extent of his shoulder injury, but I don't think he's going to come into this season and do anything other than get burned or simply outjumped time and time again.

I thought he should've been cut after that Jacksonville game.

King_Chief_Fan
08-01-2005, 06:54 AM
It is those kind of comments from DV that makes me happy to see him cash it in after this year.......his blind effin loyalty. No way in Dextor's best days does he ever replace EW. That statement about hard to replace him when EW comes back makes no sense.

Malcor
08-01-2005, 07:21 AM
At the risk of sounding like a Homer, that comment translates in my head as "You better work hard and stay in shape, Warfield, or you won't get your job back." JMHO, of course ;)

Rukdafaidas
08-01-2005, 07:38 AM
No way in Dextor's best days does he ever replace EW. That statement about hard to replace him when EW comes back makes no sense.
I'm definitely going against the grain here, but I thought Dexter outplayed Warfield in 2003, by a good margin.

Dr. Facebook Fever
08-01-2005, 07:40 AM
sign Ty Law.








:D

Chiefnj
08-01-2005, 07:46 AM
Sometimes fans don't put enough stock into a players injury. Especially when a player is hurt worse than he and the team is letting on. 3 years ago Warfield didn't have a great year. There was talk about him having back problems, but not a lot was made out of it. He had surgery that offseason and since then his play has been a lot better.

I'm not saying McLeon's play is going to improve dramatically, but his injury might have hampered his ability a lot more than we realize. What's sad is that even in his injured form, where he is taking shots, etc., nobody else on the roster was really able to step up.

siberian khatru
08-01-2005, 07:47 AM
McCleon: 'I'll be back'

http://www.fortifyservices.com/images/Schwarzenegger%20terminator.jpg

Dr. Facebook Fever
08-01-2005, 07:51 AM
What's sad is that even in his injured form, where he is taking shots, etc., nobody else on the roster was really able to step up.
word

Iowanian
08-01-2005, 07:55 AM
sign Ty Law.








:D



Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin cooooooooooooooooooooming!

jidar1
08-01-2005, 08:21 AM
I'm definitely going against the grain here, but I thought Dexter outplayed Warfield in 2003, by a good margin.


...? Are you serious? That is nowhere near true.
There is no comparison. You might as well have said Plummer out plays Green.

Rukdafaidas
08-01-2005, 08:24 AM
...? Are you serious? That is nowhere near true.
There is no comparison. You might as well have said Plummer out plays Green.
Yep, I'm dead serious. I thought Dexter was the only bright spot of the 2003 _efense.

Cormac
08-01-2005, 08:29 AM
Sometimes fans don't put enough stock into a players injury. Especially when a player is hurt worse than he and the team is letting on

Read.....Scott Fujita. His season last year was destroyed by that ankle injury. His mobility was lost and I think he can be a player again (if he gets a chance to start at all).

JMO.

morphius
08-01-2005, 08:30 AM
Well, at this point we are going to need him to step up, 'cause we don't have a lot of options for those first 4 games. Would be nice if Sapp or one of the rookies would step up though.

crispystl420
08-01-2005, 08:36 AM
Yep, I'm dead serious. I thought Dexter was the only bright spot of the 2003 _efense.
Dude what team where you watching? Mcleon got freaking toasted all the time last year!

Dr. Facebook Fever
08-01-2005, 08:42 AM
Dude what team where you watching? Mcleon got freaking toasted all the time last year!
He said 2003...when Dex was the defensive MVP.

htismaqe
08-01-2005, 08:45 AM
Dude what team where you watching? Mcleon got freaking toasted all the time last year!

You did notice he said 2003? Last year was 2004.

BigChiefFan
08-01-2005, 09:00 AM
I don't give a shit if he was injured last year-he still played like shit. How is that supposed to instill confidence in the player, because he isn't injured this year? Plain and simple McCleon is a ZONE corner, not a man to man corner. He's too damn small, to knock WRs off their routes and can't understand why anybody would continue to put a zone corner in man coverage and expect him to excel.

WilliamTheIrish
08-01-2005, 09:16 AM
McLeon does MacArthur. Let's hope so.

(yes, yea... I know it was "I shall return")

whoman69
08-01-2005, 01:41 PM
I have to believe that McCleon could not play well last year because he's not the right player for the scheme. I hope I'm wrong, but even this injury notice does not change my opinion that I am worried about these games where we have to depend on McCleon.

philfree
08-01-2005, 02:17 PM
I have no reason to doubt that McCleon's injuries played a big part in his performance last year. He did have the 6 ints in 2003 and even though it was a different style of D he was in single coverege when he made some of those. If he can stay healthy for the 1st 4 games and play like he did in 2003 we'll be fine if the rest of the D does it's job. We'll find out pretty quick because teams are gonna pick on him early and often those 1st four games. The thing is he knows it and I gotta feeling he'll be ready for'em.

PhilFree:arrow:

tk13
08-01-2005, 02:25 PM
I'm definitely going against the grain here, but I thought Dexter outplayed Warfield in 2003, by a good margin.
I'd agree with you. He was probably our defensive MVP, if not team MVP, at the point where we were 9-0. He was playing well. I'm not sure if he'll be any better this year, although it does go to show all the things that go on behind the scenes that fans complain over.... and really have no clue about. It does make all those times where somebody threw over his head and he stood there helpless make a lot more sense though...

Count Zarth
08-01-2005, 02:37 PM
I still remember Dexter running step for step with Andre Johnson and Javon Walker in one-on-one coverage deep down the field....and pwning them both.

Hope he returns to form.

mikey23545
08-01-2005, 03:22 PM
I almost brought up McCleon's shoulder injury a few times this offseason when some of you were acting like he had killed your firstborn children, though as the article says the severity of it was never revealed last year. It is a terrible injury for a defensive player who leads with his shoulder to tackle and is trying to fight off blocks. And I guess from what this article says he couldn't even swing his arm while running which is definitely going to cost you a split second of speed in pursuit or catch up.

I think some of you (and myself) are going to owe him an apology after this season....

Pants
08-01-2005, 03:31 PM
I don't give a shit if he was injured last year-he still played like shit.

Huh? He played like shit BECAUSE he was injured. I too think we'll owe him an apology pretty soon.

buddha
08-01-2005, 03:32 PM
Yep, I'm dead serious. I thought Dexter was the only bright spot of the 2003 _efense.

Everybody is entitled to their own view, but Dexter was AWFUL, and I mean awful to biblical proportions. I guess he played better than Bartee, but so did my dead grandmother.

Even the Chiefs defense, as bad as it was, had better players on it than Dexter last season!

Pants
08-01-2005, 03:48 PM
Everybody is entitled to their own view, but Dexter was AWFUL, and I mean awful to biblical proportions. I guess he played better than Bartee, but so did my dead grandmother.

Even the Chiefs defense, as bad as it was, had better players on it than Dexter last season!

Last season was 2004. Did you even read the thread?

mikey23545
08-01-2005, 04:21 PM
Everybody is entitled to their own view, but Dexter was AWFUL, and I mean awful to biblical proportions. I guess he played better than Bartee, but so did my dead grandmother.

Even the Chiefs defense, as bad as it was, had better players on it than Dexter last season!

I think your dead grandmother has better reading comprehension than you, too....

Pants
08-01-2005, 04:24 PM
I think your dead grandmother has better reading comprehension than you, too....

Hahahaha.

htismaqe
08-01-2005, 06:15 PM
Everybody is entitled to their own view, but Dexter was AWFUL, and I mean awful to biblical proportions. I guess he played better than Bartee, but so did my dead grandmother.

Even the Chiefs defense, as bad as it was, had better players on it than Dexter last season!

Dude, you're not really THAT dumb, are you?

milkman
08-01-2005, 07:44 PM
I have to believe that McCleon could not play well last year because he's not the right player for the scheme. I hope I'm wrong, but even this injury notice does not change my opinion that I am worried about these games where we have to depend on McCleon.

I agree with you on this, but I will say that if his injury was as bad as this article leads us to believe, then he won't be quite as terrible as last season.

Bottom line here, while he has had his moments in man coverage, he's a zone corner that has always struggled in man.