Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Dexter McCluster enters an elite domain
By Adam Teicher
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With one punt return, albeit a spectacular one, Dexter McCluster suddenly has people looking differently at him. His 89-yard touchdown in last week’s game against the New York Giants, one that earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, was that kind of play.
It’s the kind of play that can transform a career because it was one on which few other players could have scored. The blocking was nothing special. The Giants had bodies in place. It was McCluster, by himself with a variety of moves, who not only made them miss but left them looking foolish.
“That was a pretty good one,’’ said coach Andy Reid, who has seen his share of punt returns over the years. “He made a whole lot of folks miss. It ranks up there I guess with some of the better ones. He actually had to make more people miss to get to [the end zone]."
McCluster isn’t particularly fast, but he’s the quickest player on the field every time he’s on it. So the ingredients are there for him to be one of the NFL’s elite return specialists. He put that quickness to use on his punt return, first with a spin move that got him started, then some stutter step moves that left the Giants flailing at air.
It’s probably a good sign that McCluster didn’t remember much of the return. It was unplanned, spontaneous and McCluster at his best.
“I watched it probably about 500 times already," he said. “I didn’t remember that spin move. Sometimes you just have to react to what you see. I was doing a lot of reacting and it worked out for me."