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Old 09-23-2011, 04:26 AM  
Tribal Warfare Tribal Warfare is offline
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Teicher: Chiefs’ backfield will work together to replace Charles

Chiefs’ backfield will work together to replace Charles
By ADAM TEICHER
The Kansas City Star

Le’Ron McClain thought he would have to put aside his desire to be a featured running back over the summer when he signed his one-year contract with the Chiefs.

But Jamaal Charles’ season-ending injury forced the Chiefs to do some shuffling, and now McClain, their fullback, figures in their plans to replace Charles.

They will spread the ball to McClain, Thomas Jones, Dexter McCluster and perhaps even Jackie Battle out of the backfield in Sunday’s game against the Chargers in an attempt to jump-start their ailing offense.

“I’m excited about these guys,” coach Todd Haley said. “We’ve got a good group of running backs. We do have versatility there, which is a good thing.”

McClain and Battle are the power runners. McCluster is small and quick. Jones is the most well-rounded of their backs. The Chiefs will mix and match those abilities to try to regain what they’ve lost now that Charles is out.

“It’s going to take a collective effort,” McCluster said. “We all bring something different to the table.”

McCluster has some breakaway ability, but hasn’t matched Charles in the number of big plays. Charles saved the Chiefs’ season at many points last year with a long run.

None was bigger than a 56-yard touchdown run against the Chargers in the season-opening game. The Chiefs trailed 7-0 at the time. They went on to win the game, and that result set the tone for a successful season.

“This league is about big-play players,” San Diego coach Norv Turner said. “Those are guys that change games. Guys like Jamaal, they break off a 60-yard run, like he did in our first game last year, and it’s an instant score.”

The Chiefs had some running backs in for workouts this week but it’s unclear whether they believe they need to add another runner or whether they’re just doing their homework in the event of another injury.

Even if they sign another back this week, they’ll go to San Diego with the ones they have. Between rushes and pass catches, McCluster had the busiest day of his career last week against the Lions. He had eight carries for 51 yards and caught four passes, totaling negative-2 yards.

He has big-play skills similar to those of Charles. But he’s only 170 pounds and the Chiefs are being careful not to wear him down with a heavy workload.

McCluster has also lost a fumble in each of the last two games while fighting for extra yardage.

“He’s a talented guy but that’s part of being a smart player, knowing when to say when, knowing what you are and what your role is,” Haley said. “He can’t take everybody on every play. That’s something you love about Dexter, but at the same time he needs to and will learn, and I believe he’s learning it. Right now, it’s been under fire and the hard way.”

McCluster said the lesson has already been learned.

“Being a competitor, it’s hard to deal with,” he said. “You always (want) to fight for that extra inch.”

Jones had a streak of five straight 1,000-plus-yard seasons snapped last season. He split the running back carries with Charles but was far less effective.

This year, McCluster is averaging almost 8 yards per carry while Jones is at a lowly 3.1. But as the most versatile of the Chiefs’ backs, he now figures as their main ball carrier.

McClain, who played four seasons with Baltimore before joining the Chiefs this year, wanted to become a featured back and said so as he became a free agent when the lockout ended.

But despite rushing for 902 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns in his one season sharing the featured back spot in 2008, he had no takers other than as a fullback. The Chiefs made it clear McClain was a fullback and thus mainly a blocker, when they signed him.

“I put that behind me when I signed with the Chiefs,” McClain said of his desire to be a featured back.

McClain was in the game for just three plays in the season-opening loss to Buffalo. But he played more last week against Detroit and got the ball six times.

“If they ask me, yes,” McClain said when asked if he still wanted to get the ball. “But the first thing they (said) when I came here is, ‘fullback.’ That’s what I’m doing. We still have Thomas, we still have Dex, we still have Jackie Battle and me to block for them. That’s the goal, that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:41 AM   #2
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:47 AM   #3
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"Teicher: Chiefs’ backfield will work together to replace Charles"


DUH!
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:03 AM   #4
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tribal Warfare View Post
[b][size="5"]
McCluster said the lesson has already been learned.

“Being a competitor, it’s hard to deal with,” he said. “You always (want) to fight for that extra inch.”
???

Does the Star employ editors at all? How does that quote indicated he has learned his lesson?
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:19 AM   #6
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Jackie Battle just fumbled his ACL.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:20 AM   #7
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He has big-play skills similar to those of Charles.

?

based on what?
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:21 AM   #8
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Jackie Battle just fumbled his ACL.
This place would implode if Jackie Battle blew his ACL. Total Chaos.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:24 AM   #9
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:25 AM   #10
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:25 AM   #11
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"McCluster has some breakaway ability, but hasn’t matched Charles in the number of big plays. Charles saved the Chiefs’ season at many points last year with a long run"

I'll be damned,he did catch sports center..Teicher is such a ****ing tool.
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:27 AM   #12
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Old 09-23-2011, 07:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by the Talking Can View Post
?

based on what?
His dreads hanging out of his helmet is my guess.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:13 AM   #14
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:36 AM   #15
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Earth to Teicher... the Chiefs rank 32nd in the NFL in passing offense.

Even without Charles, the running game isn't the issue.
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