Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas Not Too Small for the NFL

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 27: Dexter McCluster #22 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for yardage against the Philadelphia Eagles during a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium on August 27, 2010 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images

Dexter McCluster and Javier Arenas both stand under six feet tall and weigh less than 200 pounds. In some people's eyes, that's a very convenient way of saying, "Oh, well I guess they can't be very good at the professional level."

The two rookies proved those people wrong in their first game for the Kansas City Chiefs. The dynamic punt return duo combined for an astounding 160 punt return yards in the Monday night game against the San Diego Chargers. 

McCluster and Arenas have already vaulted to the top of the all-time Kansas City return game charts. That magic 160 is the highest such number in franchise history, but with the two of them returning game after game, it will probably soon be broken yet again. 

McCluster stands a tiny 5'8" and weighs just 165 pounds. Against the 300-pounders that play in the NFL, that makes him seem like just a baby. But then you see him run. 

The blazing speed of the first year player out of Ole Miss is incredible. He ran a 4.46 at the NFL combine for the 40 yard dash, but he seemed like he would blow that out of the water Monday night.

Just prior to halftime, he fielded a punt and blazed down the field en route to a 94-yard touchdown to extend the Chiefs' lead to 21-7 over the Chargers. He was never even touched as he broke free down the left sideline and simply outran everyone on the field. 

That 94-yard return also broke the Chiefs' franchise record for longest punt return, previously held by Dante Hall at 93 yards. 

As Mike Maycock, a current analyst for the NFL Network, said, McCluster is "quicker than fast," and when a player fits that description, size simply doesn't matter anymore. 

The other half of the rookie team is Javier Arenas, a 5'9" 195-pounder out of Alabama. 

Arenas produced the other half of the yards earned in the return game. He would have helped to shatter the Chiefs' record by even more had San Diego punter Mike Scifres not made two tackles. One was in the open field and barely prevented what was sure to be a touchdown. The other saw Scifres force Arenas out of bounds on the left sideline. 

Neither of these rookies has seemed to small for the NFL, nor has the stage seemed to big for them. It's too early to tell if the Chiefs are for real, but it isn't too soon to realize that they have two dynamic and undersized rookies who will bolster their return game for quite some time. 


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