Teicher: Breaston sees bigger opportunity with new Chiefs regime
Breaston sees bigger opportunity with new Chiefs regime
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Steve Breaston will turn 30 this summer, and thatís the age at which the skills of many wide receivers decline. He is coming off his worst NFL season, one in which he spent plenty of time anchored on the bench.
But Breaston said Friday he is so energized by the change at head coach from Romeo Crennel to Andy Reid that he can see a bright future for himself with the Chiefs.
ďI do,Ē Breaston said Friday at Central High School, where through his Steve Breaston Foundation he presented a new iPad to each of the 10 winners of an essay-writing contest.
ďIíve never gotten down on myself. Itís a new opportunity so things can change for me. Itís all up to me and what I do on the field. I feel good about (Reid) being here. My big thing is to just show him my work. I feel like thereís a clean slate right now. Iím looking forward to (off-season practice).Ē
The Chiefs could certainly use a bounce-back season from Breaston, who had 1,000-plus yards for Arizona in 2008 and as recently as 2011 caught 61 passes with the Chiefs. Their best wide receiver, Dwayne Bowe, is a potential unrestricted free agent, though the Chiefs could re-sign him or otherwise retain him by designating him as their franchise player.
Otherwise, their receiving group is a collection of underachieving players, led by Jon Baldwin and Dexter McCluster. Other than Bowe, Breaston is the most accomplished of the bunch, though last season he practically disappeared.
Breaston played in just 10 games, started only four and caught seven passes, the lowest total of his career.
Reid saw the decline in Breastonís numbers last season. But Breaston left a lasting impression during a 2008 game between the Cardinals and Eagles, then coached by Reid. Breaston caught six passes and scored a touchdown that day.
ďIím familiar with Steve because we played against him a bunch of times,Ē Reid said. ďI know two years ago he had a good year numbers-wise and this year he was down a bit. Weíll see how things work out for him, but I know that as a slot receiver he was always dynamite against us. Thatís a unique skill to have. He had a nice knack for that, but I just didnít see that much from him last year, didnít see him in that spot.Ē
Breaston said he was also puzzled by his lack of participation last season as a slot receiver. The Chiefs mainly used Baldwin and Bowe as the starters and McCluster as the slot receiver, leaving little work for Breaston.
ďIt was kind of odd,Ē Breaston said. ďI played the slot position my first year here. I didnít get a down in the slot last year. I canít explain it. Nobody explained it to me.Ē
Breaston also had no explanation for his relative lack of playing time last season. When the Chiefs used extra receivers, they often turned to young players Jamar Newsome and Devon Wylie instead.
ďI still donít know what happened last year,Ē Breaston said. ďI canít put a finger on it. Nobody ever said anything to me. I know that one thing I did was work hard every day. My teammates saw me working hard every day. I did what I needed to do.
ďBut last year was last year. As difficult as last year was, thatís in the past. Now itís a fresh start and Iím looking forward to that. Iím going to take advantage of that. Iíve already talked with (new receivers coach David) Culley. I got a feel for what they expect. Itís a new opportunity for me.Ē
Breaston came up with the idea to purchase iPads for inner-city students last year. Initially, he planned to present one new iPad for every 100 of his 2012 receiving yards.
But he had just 74 yards.
ďThat didnít work out but I wanted to do this regardless,Ē he said. ďKids that work hard deserve to have certain tools to help them boost their creativity. This way, theyíre not limited in what they do.
ďHopefully it will make their classes and their lives easier.Ē
any receiver on this team gets better by changing to a competent QB
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