How Much Is Too Much For Dex? … Monday Cup O’Chiefs

From the Truman Sports Complex

From the moment he first stepped on the field in the rookie mini-camp, it was apparent that Dexter McCluster was something different, a player with abilities unlike anybody else on the Chiefs roster.

Since then, he’s done nothing to dispel that notion. Whether it’s lining up at wide receiver, or the slot receiver, or the wing back, or the single back, or the halfback in a two-back set, or as the Wildcat QB, or returning punts, or returning kickoffs … whatever he’s been asked to do, McCluster has done it.

“It’s not too much, it really isn’t,” McCluster said after he finished the game against the Eagles with 16 touches – eight runs, three catches, two punt returns and three kick returns. He produced 177 yards or more than 10 yards every time he touched the ball. Another 23 yards was wiped out by a penalty, or he would have had 200 total yards.

“I don’t think they are going to give me anything more than I can handle and I can handle whatever they give me and more,” McCluster said. “They haven’t gotten close to wearing me out.”

That’s a cocky statement that was said in the least cocky manner imaginable. At 5-8, 180 pounds McCluster is one of the smallest players in the NFL. But like all little men who survive to play in pro football, his pride and belief in his abilities is huge. When nobody else believes, they always do. That’s what keeps them going.  

In three pre-season games, McCluster has 26 touches for 241 yards. That’s just nine touches a game, which does not seem like much. But McCluster was almost invisible in pre-season game No. 2 against Tampa Bay, when he had only two touches. So the number is more like an average of 12 per game. Over a 16-game season, that’s 192 touches.

Keeping track of McCluster’s touches and time is the duty of head coach Todd Haley.

“When you have players that look like they have a chance to be dynamic players or good players, the coaches have their agenda,” said Haley. “Charlie Weis would want to use him every play in some way or another. Maurice Carthon is going to want to use him in as many plays as he can get at running back. Richie Anderson wants to use him in as many plays as he can at receiver. Steve Hoffman is going to want to use him as many times as he can on returns.

“My job becomes, ‘OK, the guy can’t play 120 plays in a game.’ What can he play? What is the best thing for the team? That is the process we are in. He is not the only one; there are a bunch of these guys that look like they have a chance to contribute. Not just rookies, guys in general like Jamaal (Charles.) We have created competition and guys are developing, getting better and it comes down to managing them all.”

What’s remarkable about McCluster is how well he’s handle the mental side of the game. Among the rookies, only SS Eric Berry has been given more information to process each week than McCluster. He gets the running back plays, the wide receiver plays and assorted other “special” plays that become part of the game plan each week because of his skills.

“I’ve got to give the coaches credit for keeping me prepared,” said McCluster. “They work with me all the time, extra time before practice, extra time after practice and time on off days. They make sure I’m on top of what we are doing.”

Said Haley: “He is a young player coming into the league and he has no idea what he doesn’t know, he really doesn’t. That’s alright because he is working every day and he seems to me to be the same type of guy every day. There are not a lot of ups and downs with him in many areas and that is a good thing.”

The head coach saw that once again Friday night against the Eagles, when McCluster got smashed by CB Asante Samuel in one of those hits that made all the highlight shows for the weekend.

“He took that hit from CB Asante (Samuel) and I looked back at him and asked him if he was alright and he was like, ‘I’m ready, put me back in’,” said Haley. “I think he is a tough guy with quickness and speed that knows how to play football, likes playing football. This guy is quickly becoming someone you like to be around. Those are the kind of guys you like and he just has to keep doing the things that we are telling him to do and it appears he wants to do those things. He is not afraid to make a play.”

And until they find out just how much their diminutive rookie can handle, McCluster says has a message for Haley, Weis, Carthon, Anderson and Hoffman.

“I can do more.”


There are not a lot of players that can be compared to Dexter McCluster. There are players in the league that are just as tall, but are bigger in size. There are guys who are the same size, but stand a few inches taller. Here’s a collection of smaller offensive players and the number of times they touched the ball last year.

 Player  Team













Reggie Bush
(6-0, 200)







Percy Harvin
(5-11, 184)







Devin Hester
(5-11, 190)







M. Jones-Drew
(5-7, 208)







Darren Sproles
(5-6, 185)







Wes Welker
(5-9, 185)








No surprises on the four players that the Chiefs sliced from the roster on Sunday, in anticipation of getting to the NFL limit of 75 players by Tuesday afternoon.

When training camp began, Kestahn Moore was in a good position to be the team’s third running back behind Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Moore had a strong off-season and he had developed into a younger version of Jones. But an injury suffered in the first pre-season game derailed him and missing a week of work both in a game and in daily practices. It also didn’t help him that Jackie Battle was been very good and really has put a hammerlock on the third running back spot.

The other three players released were all undrafted rookies and all may find their way back to the team as members of the practice squad. G/T Tyler Eastman, TE Cody Slate and QB Bill Stull all did not play on Friday night against Philadelphia.

Injuries will probably play a factor in the fifth player released. By the time the Chiefs must turn in a name, they’ll have practiced on Monday and Tuesday and they’ll have a far better idea who could play on Thursday night against Green Bay.


  • BENGALS – released WR Antonio Bryant, who they signed as a free agent and gave $7.85 million in guaranteed money; placed S Gibril Wilson on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; released LS Mike Windt.
  • BROWNS – all tests on S Nick Sorensen were negative after a helmet-to-helmet hit Saturday night against the Lions sent him to a hospital overnight.
  • CHIEFS – released G/T Tyler Eastman, RB Kestahn Moore, TE Cody Slate and QB Bill Stull.
  • 49ERS – released injured LB Brandon Long (knee); released CB Patrick Stoudamire and WR Bakari Grant.
  • JETS – released WR Laveranues Coles, WR Marcus Henry, WR Aundrae Allison and DE Rod Wright; OLB Calvin Pace will undergo foot surgery and will be out four to six weeks.
  • PATRIOTS – re-signed DB Terrence Johnson; released OL Brian Simmons.
  • RAIDERS – RB Michael Bush suffered a broken thumb that will require surgery; how long he’ll be sidelined is unknown.
  • RAMS – placed WR Donnie Avery on the injured-reserve list (knee) ending his season; released RB Jamie McCoy, G Joe Gibbs and CB Marcus Brown.
  • SAINTS – re-signed DL Kendrick Clancy.
  • TEXANS – released CB Fred Bennett, DE Pannel Egboh and WR London Crawford.

7 Responses to “How Much Is Too Much For Dex? … Monday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • August 30, 2010  - Tim says:

    What was the story with Antonio Bryant?

  • August 30, 2010  - Michael says:

    Bring in Marcus Henry, we need a good size WR.

  • August 30, 2010  - el cid says:

    Might be the case of what happened during the last of Marty. Teams who really want to win it all get to a point all their efforts have not delivered… they reach out to that “special” addition and the experiment fails.

    I guess we are not there yet.

  • August 30, 2010  - Dave says:

    using dex in punt/kick returns scares me a little. i know the reward of a td is great, but not at the expense of an injury to a guy with so much potential.

  • August 30, 2010  - William says:

    Couldn’t agree more with you, Dave. The collisions are too fast in the KR game. Teams are forced to game plan against Dex. We need him on offense. Remember the Atlanta game, when Horne caught the TD? That was because Dex was running a curl pattern around the 15 yd line, and he drew all the coverage, leaving Horne wide open in the end zone. That is the value of Dex, even when he doesn’t get the ball.

  • August 30, 2010  - Dave says:

    Good point, William.

  • August 30, 2010  - Edward says:

    We can use this kid everyhwere and anywhere. Like he said he’s an OW. I think Arenas can be special in the return game but so can Dex. I think Haley will manage this kid touches much like he did Charles last yr. The good thing about this year’s team unlike like last we had Charles as the only big play threat. NOw we have him, Dex, and Arenas as big play threats any time they touch the football. I’m telling you guys this team is going to shock the league by it’s success this season.

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News