Coach Andy Reid has -- from the day he joined the Chiefs in January -- eagerly awaited the time he could get Dexter McCluster on the field in a regular-season game. The feeling is mutual and that time finally arrives Sunday when the Chiefs play against the Jaguars in Jacksonville.
Kansas City Chiefs
“I know my abilities,’’ said McCluster, a slot receiver. “I know what I can do. I think now, with this new coaching staff and the new offense we bring to the table, it’s going to allow a lot of opportunity.’’
The trouble is, McCluster has felt this way in the past and his two previous coaches with the Chiefs have felt much the same way. He has tantalized the Chiefs before with his quickness and big-play ability, but, other than a 94-yard touchdown on a punt return in his first game as a rookie in 2010 and a handful of plays since, he hasn’t delivered.
Impact plays have been few, to the frustration of McCluster and the Chiefs. Part of the problem for the past couple of seasons has been a lethargic Chiefs passing game that dragged other players down as well.
“I’ve been doing everything I can to contribute,’’ he said. “When opportunities came, I did what I had to do. We were predominantly a running team last year. This year, we’re passing it and we’re running it. It’s equal opportunity.
“You can sense a difference in this offense. The fast movement is fun. Change is going to be great this year. My role is pretty good in this offense.’’
McCluster will also get a chance to contribute as the punt returner. But this could be the last time the Chiefs are content to wait for him to become an impact player. His contract is up at the end of the season, and if he’s not a more consistent product by then, the patience of the Chiefs might be up as well.