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Old 06-01-2013, 12:09 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Special teams coach thinks Dexter McCluster has unlocked potential as a returner

Chiefs’ new special teams coach thinks Dexter McCluster has unlocked potential as a returner
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star
Dexter McCluster brought back a punt 94 yards for a touchdown in his first NFL game for the Chiefs in 2010, sparking hope he could surpass Chicago’s Devin Hester as the NFL’s next great return specialist.

That hasn’t happened yet, but the Chiefs aren’t giving up on the idea. This offseason they hired away the Bears’ Dave Toub, the special teams coach who worked with Hester and helped him become one of the all-time greats with 17 career return touchdowns.

And Toub is a fan of McCluster’s.

“McCluster is somebody that’s very intriguing to me,’’ Toub said. “He can really make you miss and I just think he’s got a lot of untapped potential as a punt returner.’’

A McCluster revival is just part of what the Chiefs have planned for their return game. They’re also looking at rookie running back Knile Davis to return kickoffs, though Davis never brought back a kick in college at Arkansas.

That plan, too, is part of the effort to awaken a long dormant return game. The Chiefs haven’t returned a kickoff for a touchdown since 2009 or a punt for a score since McCluster did it in the season-opening game in 2010 against the Chargers.

The Chiefs traded one of their main return specialists from the past couple of seasons, Javier Arenas. They have others working in the mix, including wide receiver Devon Wylie. But for the time being, at least, they appear to have settled on McCluster and Davis.

McCluster hasn’t had many chances to return punts since his rookie season in part to keep the 5-foot-8, 170-pound McCluster fresh for offensive plays. But the new coaching staff led by Andy Reid doesn’t have that idea.

“We’re kind of dusting him off in that area,’’ Toub said. “He has all the skills that you like to see as a punt returner.’’

Davis is an interesting option as a kickoff returner. He hasn’t returned a kick in a live game since he was in high school and was a frequent fumbler at running back last season.

But the Chiefs see a fast runner with a big body who could be difficult for opponents to bring down in the open field.

“He’s a big guy and he can run (fast),’’ McCluster said. “He just needs a little more repetition and I think he’ll be really good.’’

Reid said Davis has good vision, which is key for a returner.

“That position, you want the guys that are willing to hit it up the field,” Reid said. “We’ll see how he does. I’m not saying he’s the guy necessarily right now. But he’s working at it and we’ll see how he does through training camp.’’

Judging from offseason practice, Davis will get plenty of work at running back in the regular season even though Jamaal Charles is the starter. But he said returning kickoffs would be another way for him to contribute.

“Any way I can touch the field,’’ he said. “It’s no fun sitting on the sideline.

“I like the idea. The biggest difference from college to the league is that here, they want you to catch it forward so you can have that momentum going up the field.

“The key is hitting it full speed. But it’s a lot harder to judge it and catch it that way. You’ve got to judge it just right or it will be a big mistake. In college, you can kind of stand there and judge it and catch it on your back leg. I’ve pretty much got it down, for the most part.’’

The Chiefs are withholding judgment on that last part.

“We’ve got a long way to go,’’ Toub said. “We’ve got to find out when the (games) start whether this guy will be able to hold on to the ball. That’s going to be the key for him on kickoff return.’’

“There’s a lot for him to learn. It’s a totally different feel (than at running back). He’s got the ball in his hand like at running back but still it’s totally different. It’s about closing the distance. It’s about (getting up the field) real quick. There are a lot of collisions out there. You’ve got guys running 10, 15 yards running full speed at you. There will be a learning curve for him.’’
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:10 AM   #2
Hammock Parties Hammock Parties is offline
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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I bet Davis beats DMC out in preseason. They'll probably put both of them back there for kickoffs though. Would like to see Davis on punt returns.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
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yeah prolly not
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:28 AM   #5
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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yeah prolly not
This.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:45 AM   #7
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these people just talk out of their ass.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:55 AM   #8
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these people just talk out of their ass.
It's truly sad that coaches, scouts, front office personnel, etc. aren't truly allowed to speak their mind about things.

Now, I'm not sure that I want our new ST coach ripping DMC but this is literally the same rhetoric we've heard since he's been drafted.
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:03 AM   #9
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D-MacRib is back?

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Old 06-01-2013, 01:03 AM   #10
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D-MacRib is back?

With a new bionic elbow baby!!!!
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I have completely given up on Alex Smith as a qb. Its painful to watch. Like, worse than watching Colt McCoy.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:06 AM   #11
Mother****erJones Mother****erJones is offline
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DMC isn't tapping shit except maybe a beer at a bar. Davis will be better than DMC in KR for the simple fact he can break a tackle.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:13 AM   #12
Hammock Parties Hammock Parties is offline
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Here's BOTH of Dexter's 2012 punt returns:





Here's one from 2011:



And don't forget kickoffs:





But he did make a 250-pound Charger LB slip on wet grass, once, though...so that's a positive.
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My name is Clay. I am a clueless moron when it comes to evaluating football talent. I thought that Pat Mahomes was unworthy of being drafted in the first round, also, I wanted Geno Smith first overall. I also claimed that tyreek hill was undeserving of even being in the CFL. I am wrong 20x more than I'm right and I will troll this site with my uneducated football takes.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:50 AM   #13
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Here's BOTH of Dexter's 2012 punt returns:





Here's one from 2011:



And don't forget kickoffs:





But he did make a 250-pound Charger LB slip on wet grass, once, though...so that's a positive.
This makes me so happy we got Toub. DMC sucked, but our ST's coverage was shitty too.
I expect our ST's to be much better and more organized this year.
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Clay's take on Patrick Mahomes

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Old 06-01-2013, 03:09 AM   #14
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So when does the ban hammer strike for anyone posting ADAM TEICHER articles?
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:40 AM   #15
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