Can Dexter McCluster be an effective RB?

In a column I wrote last week, Kansas City coach Todd Haley mentioned he wants second-year player Dexter McCluster to run the ball more in 2011 than he did as a rookie.

McClusterMcClusterThe 2010 second-round pick was injured often last season. He had 18 carries for 71 yards. McCluster, who was more of a receiver last season, had 21 catches for 209 yards. Haley thinks if McCluster has success as a runner, it could also help him as a receiver.

I caught up with Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. Monday to get his thoughts on how he thinks McCluster could fare as a runner in the Kansas City’s system. Here are some of Williamson’s thoughts:

“I think Haley has to recognize that Thomas Jones is a very ordinary player now and that (Jamaal) Charles' load needs to be managed with a 'pitch count' so to speak,” Williamson said. “So insert McCluster more so in that role. It also gets McCluster more touches, which he needs in Year Two. But I still don't think he is built for more than maybe a handful of carries per game … I would make him a Wes Welker slot guy first and then, maybe, mix in touches. But this league is going more and more to guys, who, more or less, play two positions.”

The Chiefs clearly know they have a weapon in McCluster. It seems this is the year they will try to figure out how to best use him.