Dexter McCluster: Chiefs Must Give Versatile RB Chance to Shine

Joseph HealyCorrespondent ISeptember 25, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - SETEMBER 11:  Wide receiver Dexter McCluster #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a pass against pressure from defensive back Aaron Williams #23 of the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter on September 11, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Bills beat the Chiefs 41-7.(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

There is only doom and gloom around the Kansas City Chiefs this season.

They are 0-2, they have lost those games by a combined 89-10 score and they have lost their biggest star, running back Jamaal Charles.

Sure, their playoff hopes are all but dead and they will be non-competitive in many games, but not all is lost. It might sound like I'm being facetious when I say that, but I believe it.

The Chiefs will have a chance to develop untapped potential they have on their roster, namely running back/wide receiver hybrid Dexter McCluster.

Players with the skill set McCluster has are few and far between in the NFL. McCluster has a really rare combination of speed, agility, route-running ability and toughness.

If the Chiefs commit to using him correctly, they could have something really special. They just have to use him in the right way.

They can't use him as a true running back or a true wide receiver and expect him to flourish. That's not what he does. You have to move him around and try to hide him from the defense. He is most dangerous when the defense isn't sure where he is coming from.

Players like him are a big part of offenses in college football right now. Spread offenses and variations of the spread allow players similar to McCluster to shine. Those types of offenses have have given us college stars like Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin.

The NFL has yet to really embrace players in roles like that. That's part of the reason why Bush hasn't been a star in the league like he was in college.

The closest we have come to seeing a team using these types of "utility" players is the Dolphins with the Wildcat offense and that really wasn't all that revolutionary.

The Chiefs could be ahead of the curve in the NFL if they commit to using McCluster in a new, inventive way. Line him up in the slot, stack an I-formation with both McCluster and Thomas Jones, give the ball to him on direct snaps, run the option with him as the quarterback or the running back. Just find ways to make use of his talents.

The Chiefs have absolutely nothing to lose. They don't have any hotshot young players whose growth will be stunted if they are blocked by McCluster and they certainly won't be hurting their playoff hopes. Why not try and make Dexter McCluster a breakout star?