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Goldmember
08-05-2010, 12:16 PM
Regarding the switch to the 3-4, I was told by many people to go kill myself in an aids tree while drinking anti-freeze for even questioning why the Chiefs are switching to a 3-4 (preseason 2009) when you have 4-3 players on the team, plus many other teams are competing for the same types of players now and colleges produce mostly 4-3 players. Maybe it'll be a good thing in the long run but it sucks right now.

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Originally Published: August 5, 2010
Dexter McCluster: KC's X factor

Is the electric rookie RB/WR too small to make a big difference in Chiefs' attack?


<script type="text/javascript"> jQuery.getScriptCache('http://a.espncdn.com/combiner/c/?js=espn.tools.r3.js', function() { espn.core.init.tools('5437193','http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp10/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john%26id=5437193'); }); </script> <cite class="source"> http://a.espncdn.com/i/columnists/Clayton_John_35.jpg (http://search.espn.go.com/john-clayton/) By John Clayton
ESPN.com
Archive (http://search.espn.go.com/john-clayton/) </cite>

<!-- end mod-article-title --> <!-- begin story body --> <!-- photo wide photo -->
http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2010/0804/nfl_u_mccluster12_576.jpg<cite>John Rieger/US Presswire</cite>Dexter McCluster rushed for 1,169 yards last season for Ole Miss, but he's being used primarily as a slot receiver in Chiefs' practices.
<!-- end wide photo -->ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Todd Haley's first offseason as Kansas City Chiefs (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=kan) coach was akin to the "Biggest Loser" reality show.
Haley targeted overweight players and berated them until they got his message. The result: The team overall lost more than 700 pounds of excess weight. This summer, Haley turned up the heat. After years of spending summers in the cooler climate in River Falls, Wis., the Chiefs moved their camp into the 100-degree heat of northwest Missouri. Ownership planned the camp move to the Missouri Western State University campus, but Haley and general manager Scott Pioli welcomed it. A hot camp reinforces the discipline being emphasized by the Haley-Pioli brain trust. In rebuilding the Chiefs, they are trying to rebuild the mindset of this franchise. Years of success caught up to the Chiefs after they allowed the roster to age. The young talent base wasn't being developed. Young studs had guts. Bodies softened. That forced Haley to use his first season as coach reconstructing the bodies of his players. This year, he's working on their minds, and you can see the progress. The Chiefs had great attendance in offseason workouts, and Haley didn't have to order instant diets because the players stayed in shape since the end of the season. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, the talent base has not developed enough for the team to completely shed the "Biggest Loser" tag. It's reasonable to think the noticeable improvements should take the Chiefs from four wins to about six victories. With a few breaks, maybe the Chiefs can get to 8-8. The good news is that if the Chiefs climb out of the NFL's losing basement, they should stay in contention. While it's nice to throw together talent, the key in the NFL is developing that talent. Haley and Pioli are trying to do it the right way.Here are three observations from Chiefs training camp:

1. Dexter McCluster (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=13207) is the most exciting addition to the Chiefs' offense in the past two years, but it's hard to say how much he can affect the offense. He is only 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 179 pounds, but, wow, is he electric. The former Ole Miss running back has return skills that should put him among the best special teams players as a rookie. Working out of the slot, he looks like a pinball version of Chicago Bears (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=chi) speedster Devin Hester (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=9643). McCluster will provide some of the run-after-catch skills needed to improve quarterback Matt Cassel (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8644)'s numbers. In 2008, Cassel was good enough filling in for an injured Tom Brady (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2330) to pace the New England Patriots (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=nwe) to 10 wins playing pitch and catch with YAC specialists Wes Welker (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=5941), Randy Moss (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=1433) and Kevin Faulk (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=1798). Last season, Cassel came to a Chiefs team that didn't have any YAC threats. Worse, they couldn't catch. The Chiefs had more than 50 dropped passes by Haley's count. The season was hard on Cassel, who during his collegiate career sat behind other USC quarterbacks. He didn't get a chance with the Patriots until Brady's knee popped in Week 1 in 2008. Although he doesn't have the strongest arm, Cassel can be as effective as Kyle "Pro Bowl" Orton (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8520), David Garrard (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=3636), Jason Campbell (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8440) and others if he gets the right mix of talent around him. The pass offense is a work in progress. Last season, Cassel began with No. 1 wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=10467) and whomever Pioli could find off the street to start on the other side of the field. Cassel's numbers picked up when the Chiefs grabbed Chris Chambers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2600) after the receiver was released by the San Diego Chargers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=sdg). One interesting rookie to follow is third-round pick Tony Moeaki (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=13289). The former Iowa star offers some speed and pass-catching ability from the tight end position. As long as the Chiefs hold on to the throws, Cassel's numbers should improve.

2. Haley isn't saying how he will use running backs Thomas Jones (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=2138) and Jamaal Charles (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11307), the question most fantasy fans are asking. Charles is currently running with the first team because of his tenure with the Chiefs, but you have to figure Jones will eventually take over as the starter. Jones is coming off a 1,402-yard season with the New York Jets, and even though 30 is a scary age for running backs, Jones isn't ready to retire. Haley labels Jones one of the best locker room leaders he's ever been around. Just as Jones led the Jets' resurgence, he's been invaluable to the Chiefs. Haley said he's been one of the leaders in the offseason training program. But leaders stay leaders only if they play. You have to figure Haley and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will find a way for Jones and Charles to share enough of the position for both to get around 15 or 16 carries a game. Charles is coming off shoulder surgery and he's not as big and sturdy as Jones, but he is explosive, finishing in a flurry with 1,120 rushing yards in 2009. Charles is an example of how this coaching staff is developing the players on the roster. Charles was a talent coming into the league, but now he works with Maurice Carthon, one of the best running back coaches in the league. Jones should eventually start, but Charles will be a big part of the Chiefs' offense.

3. Chiefs fans might have to be a little more patient for the development of the defense. It's not easy building 3-4 defenses these days because more than 14 teams are using them. What slows down the Chiefs is they are competing against the Cleveland Browns (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=cle), Miami Dolphins (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=mia), Denver Broncos (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=den) and Patriots for the same type of 3-4 players. These five teams follow the same model of 3-4 players used by Bill Belichick of the Patriots and Bill Parcells of the Dolphins. In the early 2000s, Belichick had an easier time grabbing the type of players who fit his scheme because no one else followed his defensive formula of success. The successes of the Patriots and Parcells teams have made the talent competition intense. The key additions for the Chiefs this season are first-round safety Eric Berry (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=13252) and second-round cornerback Javier Arenas (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=13259). Berry has Pro Bowl potential for his range and play-making ability. Arenas already has established himself as a nickel corner and will eventually press Brandon Carr (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11363) for a starting job. The challenge for defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel is getting more out of the front seven, particularly defensive linemen Tyson Jackson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=12435) and Glenn Dorsey (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=11239). Haley has a top-flight staff of coaches. Sometimes, it's not a matter of the acquisitions as much as it is the development of the talent that is there.John Clayton, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

teedubya
08-05-2010, 12:19 PM
paragraphs are my friend.

http://th04.deviantart.com/fs38/300W/i/2008/322/6/c/Grammar_Natzee__Wall_O___Text_by_dinyctis.jpg

Dayze
08-05-2010, 12:19 PM
god, I hope he doesn't get the X-FActor nickname.

Dumbest nickname in recent memory.

Mr. Arrowhead
08-05-2010, 12:19 PM
nope Knowshit says since the broncos didnt draft him, he is gonna suck

KcMizzou
08-05-2010, 12:31 PM
god, I hope he doesn't get the X-FActor nickname.

Dumbest nickname in recent memory.The Human Joystick and the Centaur disagree.

Goldmember
08-05-2010, 12:33 PM
That's the way it copied and pasted. I fixed it, a little.

KCrockaholic
08-05-2010, 12:36 PM
Uh..Clayton is a retard.

"Charles is currently running with the first team because of his tenure with the Chiefs, but you have to figure Jones will eventually take over as the starter."

Obviously he doesn't know that Jones was the starter to begin camp and because Jones sat out the practice, Charles took over.

If he seriously thinks TJ is going to get the majority of the snaps, he is a fool.

Goldmember
08-05-2010, 12:39 PM
Probably not but IF TJ is a better blocker, they may want him in there more often to protect Cassel.

Frosty
08-05-2010, 12:42 PM
Cassel can be as effective as Kyle "Pro Bowl" Orton (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8520), David Garrard (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=3636), Jason Campbell (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8440) and others if he gets the right mix of talent around him.

Gah! :shake:

Hydrae
08-05-2010, 12:48 PM
Uh..Clayton is a retard.

"Charles is currently running with the first team because of his tenure with the Chiefs, but you have to figure Jones will eventually take over as the starter."

Obviously he doesn't know that Jones was the starter to begin camp and because Jones sat out the practice, Charles took over.

If he seriously thinks TJ is going to get the majority of the snaps, he is a fool.

True but I would love to see us start TJ to pound the piss out of the defense then bring in Jamal for the change of pace. Get those defenders slowing a little then bring in the lightning and watch them try to scramble. Then go play-action with Jamal back there and hope we can find someone fast enough to get deep.

KCUnited
08-05-2010, 12:51 PM
DeX-Factor.

CaliforniaChief
08-05-2010, 12:52 PM
The term "starter" is kind of antiquated with the exception of QB.

There are so many substitutions/numerous packages/schemes that it's virtually impossible to say who the #1 guy is at RB/WR.

With versatile guys like DMC and Charles (who also can make some great catches) along with Jones, there's going to be a lot of looks and switches.

CaliforniaChief
08-05-2010, 12:52 PM
The term "starter" is kind of antiquated with the exception of QB.

There are so many substitutions/numerous packages/schemes that it's virtually impossible to say who the #1 guy is at RB/WR.

With versatile guys like DMC and Charles (who also can make some great catches) along with Jones, there's going to be a lot of looks and switches.

DJ's left nut
08-05-2010, 12:53 PM
Cassel can be as effective as Kyle "Pro Bowl" Orton, David Garrard, Jason Campbell

I'm not so sure I've ever seen a more effective example of "Damning with faint praise..."

Really?

If everything works out and you surround him with weapons, John Clayton thinks Matt Cassel can rise to the level of absolute mediocrity.

****ing. Awsome.

EDIT: Note to Clayton - there are these things called game logs and they often prove useful when researching or writing on a specific player. I only mention this because Matt Cassel most assuredly did NOT get better after Chris Chambers arrived.

Goldmember
08-05-2010, 01:11 PM
DeX-Factor.

:clap: clever

bowener
08-05-2010, 01:12 PM
DeX-Factor.

Nice. This has true potential.

I believe I like this. A lot!

Dayze
08-05-2010, 01:13 PM
The Human Joystick and the Centaur disagree.

:doh!:
I forgot about those.

tomahawk kid
08-05-2010, 01:13 PM
I expected to open up this thread and see some dude in his pajamas.

Reerun_KC
08-05-2010, 01:14 PM
nope Knowshit says since the broncos didnt draft him, he is gonna suck

Or Since the Chiefs drafted him, its a wasted pick, back pick and Pioli should be fired...

Sofa King
08-05-2010, 01:23 PM
I expected to open up this thread and see some dude in his pajamas.

you sound disappointed.

tomahawk kid
08-05-2010, 01:24 PM
you sound disappointed.

Not at all.

:)

Tuckdaddy
08-05-2010, 01:31 PM
Why the hell would KC not have Charles start? He should touch the ball 15 times a game. What the hell did he do but kick ass? For that he should ride the pine behind Jones?

When the "O" initially takes the field on Monday Night Football it had better be JC out there or Haley and Charlie have lost it.

Extra Point
08-05-2010, 04:29 PM
Jones would be better for play action, IMHO. I'd look for Charles with the bubble screen.