The experiment of using Dexter McCluster primarily as a slot receiver seems over, at least for this season.
The Chiefs have used McCluster almost exclusively at running back throughout training camp, where he’s used in special packages behind Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones.
For whatever reason, the team still lists McCluster at receiver on their official depth chart. But the 170-pounder just didn’t seem to pick up the position naturally and the Chiefs want to play to his strengths.
“There is a clear-cut vision for him right now,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said, via KCChiefs.com.
The Chiefs used McCluster as a third down back the other night, a role in which he was very effective. Don’t be surprised to see him get a reasonable amount of playing time with the first unit, perhaps at the expense of Thomas Jones.
“The other night, that excited me,” Haley said. “Seven touches, to me it’s four or five runs and four or five catches and however many snaps that takes that doesn’t matter to me nearly as much as this guy clearly in space is a hazard to the defense.”
The Chiefs’ wide receivers don’t scare anyone as a group. They need to get the ball in the hands of Jamaal Charles, tight end Tony Moeaki, and McCluster in order to threaten defenses.