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Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Chiefs add important cog to backfield

By Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to make under-the-radar moves. Yet, the defending AFC West champions continue to improve their team.

The Chiefs’ latest move was signing former Baltimore fullback Le'Ron McClain for a one-year deal. This is an interesting signing.

McClain has value as both as a runner and a blocker, so he isn’t a typical fullback although his weight is usually in the 250 -270 range. He had 920 rushing yards in 2008. His carries went down in the past two seasons.

In Kansas City, he gives bulk behind star Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Charles is expected to get more carries than Jones this season, so I can see a situation in which Jones and McClain split Jones’ carries from last season. In 2010, Jones had 245 carries and Charles had 230 carries. I could see Charles getting a few more carries than last year, although the Chiefs like to keep him fresh. Jones’ production slipped at the end of the season. With McClain in the mix, it could refresh all three players.

The Chiefs have been selective in free agency. They know they have a good, young roster. Yet, they have cherry picked valuable veterans when they see a good fit. McClain joins receiver Steve Breaston, nose tackle Kelly Gregg and linebacker Brandon Siler as new Chiefs.

Again, there are no headlines stars in the group, but they should make Kansas City a better team.