Essentially, the Chiefs want to find a way for the electric McCluster to help. After playing mostly receiver as a rookie, the former second-round pick was primarily a running back last season. However, as Brian Daboll takes over as offensive coordinator, McCluster is getting more work as a receiver as they hope he truly becomes an offensive weapon.
McCluster was working at receiver last week during the Chiefs’ OTAs. Kansas City head coach Romeo Crennel said the Chiefs feel comfortable with what McCluster can do as a change-of-pace runner, but they want to see him as a receiver in Daboll’s offense.
“We’ve given Dexter reps at the wide receiver position in this new offense, because we feel like he knows how to play running back and we can put him over at running back at any point in time, but we felt like he needed the work at wide receiver,” Crennel told reporters last week. “Probably what that will do is open it up for us to be able to use him however and whenever. We need him at whatever position. He’s taken to it really well. He’s been enthusiastic about it, so that is working out pretty well for us.”
I checked in with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. to get his thoughts on McCluster becoming a receiver again. The Chiefs have many offensive weapons, including fourth-round pick Devon Wylie. Like McCluster, Wylie is a small receiver, who is best suited for the slot position.
“I am torn on McCluster,” Williamson said. “I really want to see more. I am sure he will still get some carries here and there, but it seems to me that (Kansas City general manager Scott) Pioli wants a very wide range of receiving type options, from very small like McCluster to very big like tight end Kevin Boss, and a little something in between from small to large: Steve Breaston, Dwayne Bowe, Jon Baldwin and Tony Moeaki. Coming out of college, I thought McCluster was best as a slot receiver. We shall see. I expect Wylie to be quite good in that role as well.”
While the Chiefs have many options, it is time for McCluster to show where he best belongs in the equation.