Tag:Dexter McCluster
Posted on: September 13, 2010 6:54 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 7:08 pm
 

Chiefs v. Chargers: Monday Night Football Preview

Posted by Will Brinson



First things first -- I recorded a podcast preview for tonight's second game with Joel Thorman of ArrowheadPride.com and Kansas City SB Nation . Give it a listen now and go and Subscribe via iTunes to the award-winning* CBS Sports Football Podcast.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .

Now, onto what we'll be watching for in the second matchup:

1. Left Tackle Loss
Two of the biggest weapons for San Diego -- Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill -- will be absent Monday night. The latter is far more concerning, because the Bolts can't just plug-and-play a Pro Bowl offensive lineman, though. If Philip Rivers' blindside gets, um, blindsided against the Chiefs, it's only going to be tougher for San Diego to maintain their stance that McNeill should sign his (now lowered) tender.

2. Jack of All Trades
Dexter McCluster is primed for a big year. I'd be willing to bet not-so-hard-earned money on it. Even if he doesn't catch a ton of passes or rush the ball like crazy or lead the league in return yards, he'll do enough of everything in route to sparking the Chiefs' offense to draw rave reviews. That needs to start tonight, though.

3. Franchising
Matt Cassel had a monster year for the Patriots when Tom Brady went down, and then he got straight paid. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much to justify that pay day since -- a lot of people, myself included, think Charle Weis joining Cassel in KC can result in a big year. He gets to start justifying his contract tonight.

4. D-Line Redemption
The Chiefs (still) hope that Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey can become the anchors of a dominant defensive line. Jackson's time obviously isn't running as short as Dorsey's, but they'd still like to see a significant uptick in production for their 2009 investment. If both guys can produce, the Chiefs can really be dangerous.

5. Replacing LT
Ryan Mathews has some serious hype heading into 2010 -- there's no question that he can succeed at this level, but can he adequately replace LaDainian Tomlinson? No, not the 2009 LdT -- the one who became a Hall of Famer in San Diego.

*My mother said it was awesome.
Posted on: September 12, 2010 10:28 am
 

Hot Routes 09.12.10: Gameday No. 1

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- According to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, Tim Tebow has won the No. 2 QB spot in Denver behind Kyle Orton. He also will have a package of plays to run today in Jacksonville.

-The Akron Beacon Journal came up with 20 questions about the Browns this year. The most important one in my eyes: How well will QB Jake Delhomme fit in with the offense?

- It’s unclear if Kansas City rookie Dexter McCluster will play in Monday’s season opener against San Diego. He practiced in front of the media Saturday, but the team listed him as doubtful with an unspecified illness.

- Each of the Raiders top-three picks (LB Rolando McClain, DE Lamarr Houston, and C Jared Veldheer) of the 2010 NFL Draft will start today against the Titans.

- A nice column by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bryan Burwell on Rams starting QB Sam Bradford. Burwell writes that Bradford is ready for the job.

-Steelers WR Hines Ward isn’t done talking about QB Ben Roethlisberger quite yet. Ward, who has been a critic of Roethlisberger in the past but has publicly lent support during Roethlisberger’s latest off-field troubles, said his teammates are the ones suffering through the QB’s four-game suspension.

- The Texans will have a chance to improve upon their 1-15 alltime record against the Colts when they play host to Indianapolis today. “We’re tired of losing ,” SS Bernard Pollard said. “It’s to the point now where it has to hurt.”

- Jaguars WR Jarett Dillard’s season is over before it began. Jacksonville placed him on the IR list Saturday. He missed most of training camp with a foot injury.

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 9:31 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:46 am
 

Hot Routes 8.16.10: Media wants Tebow's autograph

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link we should feature in the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Unsurprisingly, the comments on my "Tebow was impressive" article were all like "WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH?!? HE PLAYED AGAINST SECOND- AND THIRD-STRINGERS!" That's true. But you know what? Tebow is so freaking amazing that he's inspiring media members to ask him for autographs -- according to Alex Marvez on Twitter , two members of the press walked up to Tebow after the game and asked for his signature. That's a big no-no (doi), because not only do you immediately shred any sense of objectivity about the person you're covering, but it's a clear-cut case of abusing the access that press members have. Next thing you know, they'll start serving us delicious food at games too! No, but seriously, this is embarrassing; a quick Twitter-poll reveals that most people agree what they did was quite annoying, etc.
  • Of course, all the Tebow love in the world won't change the top spot on the Broncos' depth chart -- Dave Krieger of the Denver Post writes that "it's not close" when it comes to how far ahead Kyle Orton is. That's true, but as a I mentioned last night, it would be somewhat surprising if Tebow didn't hop Brady Quinn for the No. 2 spot in Denver.
  • There were three No. 1 overall quarterbacks involved in the San Francisco - Indy tilt, with David Carr, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith all getting action during the game. That may be a fact that interests only me. (And it only interests me because I have a weird obsession with Carr, aka "Mister Mittens." )
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has a handy "10 things to watch" list for the Jets preseason opener. You'll never believe it, but a Darrelle Revis-less defense's play is near the top. On a fairly random note, my girlfriend (who does NOT care for football) watched "Hard Knocks" and freaking loved it. Downside: she asked if it was okay to cheer for the Jets in 2010. I begrudgingly said yes.
  • Kent Somers notes that Larry Fitzgerald -- he of the recently sprained MCL -- was prepping to have his best season ever as a pro and wants people to not "write him off." Geez, Larry. That's a lot to ask. From what I hear, he's going undrafted in almost every fantasy league after this injury.
  • Chicago Breaking Sports has video of Jay Cutler stating that the Bears were just "a few blocks away from some big runs." Yeah, and I'm just "a few hundred thousand dollars away from being a millionaire." (10 to be exact.)

Posted on: August 11, 2010 9:07 am
Edited on: August 11, 2010 9:43 am
 

Hot Routes 8.11.10: 'Reppin' the 1's'

Got a link for future Hot Routes? Shout at us on Twitter or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Former Panther Julius Peppers is, according to Brad Biggs , 'going to be a heck of a player to watch this season.' So that's great news for Bears' fans, who now only have to watch every other snap on defense to get full enjoyment out of their big free-agent acquisition.
  • DEAR GOD. There appears to be some sort of "rationale thought" going on in Oakland -- Jerry McDonald reports that Nnamdi Asomugha might actually spend time in 2010 shadowing the best wide receiver for the opposition. Instead of, you know, sitting at the right corner spot and guarding whoever opposing teams line up there. All due respect to the late George Steinbrenner, but the Raiders are operating just like the Yankees did once Big Stein was "less involved." I think we need some proof Al Davis is still alive.
  • Sean Weatherspoon could start the Falcons' opener . But he doesn't care whether he does or not. For some reason. I do, because I think he ends up winning Defensive Rookie of the Year (really active linebackers on contending teams just get so much more exposure than anyone else).
  • In news that produces negative emoticons (Cry ) for an NC State alum, Torry Holt might not even make the Patriots roster . He's listed at sixth on the WR depth chart right now -- maybe -- and Pats player personnel fella Nick Caserio won't tie down how many they'll keep. My take? If they cut him, the Panthers should bring him on to mentor their young guys. But I've only been saying that for three years.
Posted on: August 9, 2010 10:02 am
Edited on: August 9, 2010 10:32 am
 

Hot Routes 8.9.10: 'Drew, Barry. Barry, Drew.'

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Rough morning for the Saints, huh? 9:05 AM -- sharp! -- is their arrival at the White House to "honor their 2009 season." Did you know that on the new Madden 11 (review coming soon!) if you win the Super Bowl you get to meet Barack Obama? Pretty awesome. Also, Gus Johnson does a monologue about "how far this team HAS COME!" Or something to that effect.  
  • In not-so-shocking news, Marvin Lewis says that his offense's performance was 'not what I wanted.' Really, Marvin. A rookie running back a punt 63-yards for a first-and-goal to set up your only points of the entire preseason game isn't something you like? REALLY. I'd be more interested in his answer to the question, "What happens if Carson Palmer gets hurt this year?"
  • The Cowboys won last night and their defense was spectacular, but it's absolutely worth discussing what the mess went on with the red zone offense , particularly in that four play nightmare that was the the first drive, starting with Felix Jones' fumble on the one. The logic behind throwing the ball three straight times is apparently "We don't want to show the stuff we're using [in the regular season]" according to Tony Romo. Uh, Tony, I think you just did.
  • Rave reviews are floating out of Pittsburgh for Mike Wallace's transition from slot receiver to split end. OC Bruce Arians points out that last year "he had a role for a rookie that was very easy: Go deep, clear the field ..." Now Wallace has the full receiving tree package to manage, in addition to bumps up in the opposing cornerbacks coverage he'll theoretically see. (Although my pal JJ Cooper did a superb job of pointing out that Wallace has already faced elite coverage and handled it well.) Still think he has a breakout year.
  • Cool profile at the KC Star on Dexter McCluster , who, as I told Matt Moore on our AFC North Podcast Preview, I think could end up being a beast this year. Apparently, he's already blown out four pairs of shoes so far in training camp with his explosive feet. There's a line in there that involves something about "The next Dante Hall except also effective on offense."
  • Aaron Schobel is a popular dude. The Patriots have 'strong' interest in him and Seahawks GM John Schneider joined John Clayton's radio show last week to point out that if he doesn't sign with the Texans (who are also very interested, duh), the Seahawks would be a contender for his services. Clearly, this is the type of guy that you want you cut from your team as quickly as humanly possible. SMH at the Bills.
  • Would you like to see Jerry Rice shoot the entire football-watching world the bird during a nationally televised football game? Excellent, I have just the YouTube link for you !
  • If you'd like to break your brain early on a Monday morning, I highly suggest reading J.J. Halsell's Rookie Contract write-up at Football Outsiders . I tried to logically comprehend everything he's saying two minutes after waking up from a post-brunch Sunday afternoon nap and dude, brah, let me tell you. The buzz was amazing . (Seriously though, if you have some free time today, read it. It helps in understanding why you should hate lawyers and agents so much.)
  • If I'm ever in a nationally televised commercial about my blog during halftime of an NFL game and a bunch of my blogging "friends" don't post a link to it, regardless of what network it's being aired on, I will be very disappointed. So, here's a link to Mike Florio's PFT commercial that aired last night .


Posted on: August 3, 2010 9:58 am
 

Cassel looking for a brighter tomorrow

M. Cassel is looking to build upon last year's tough season with Kansas City (Getty). It certainly wasn’t New England, and it certainly wasn’t what the Chiefs wanted. When Kansas City signed QB Matt Cassel – who was coming off a 10-5 year while replacing the injured Tom Brady – the Chiefs could have expected more than what they received from him. Namely, a 69.9 passer rating to go with 16 interceptions (along with 16 touchdowns and less than 3,000 yards passing) as the club went 4-12.

Not that it was all Cassel’s fault. Not that the talent Kansas City surrounded him with was very good.

The Kansas City Star profiles Cassel today and how he’s trying to build upon last year’s disaster of a season.

From the story:

But they worked in the offseason to surround him with better talent. Cassel has no such excuse for another mediocre season, something he seems to be aware of. Coach Todd Haley told the story of having to kick Cassel out of the practice facility in Kansas City on many nights in the offseason, Cassel often staying late at the office to study video.

“I worked and pushed myself hard physically and mentally this offseason,” Cassel said, “and I know I came into this camp as prepared as I’ve ever been to play well.”


The Chiefs didn’t do Cassel any favors when they fired offensive coordinator Chan Gailey in the preseason last year, and his receivers weren’t very good either, dropping pass after pass after pass.

Since then, though, Kansas City seems determined to help Cassel. Haley hired offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and the team added running back Thomas Jones and receivers Jerheme Urban and Dexter McCluster.

“You learn a lot from a season like that,” Cassel told the newspaper. “At the same time, we’ve turned the page as a team. We got back in April and started working for this year. This is a new season. This is a new team. We’ve got a lot of new coaches and we’re ready to move on.

“I’m more at ease with my surroundings, my teammates. I think they’re more comfortable with me. That’s a nice feeling to have that."

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: June 25, 2010 4:01 pm
 

A rookie who could be critical for the Chiefs

Josh Looney reviewed all of the Chiefs rookies for the team website recently. Safety Eric Berry has received the most attention, and rightfully so. Berry, a three-year captain at Tennessee, has been compared to the likes of Ed Reed and Brian Dawkins.

But another name Chief fans will come to know is Dexter McCluster. The second-round pick from Mississippi offers big-play prowess and versatility to Charlie Weiss’s offense. The Chiefs will likely use McCluster similar to how the Vikings use Percy Harvin. Here’s Looney’s analysis:

It doesn’t matter how many games McCluster starts in 2010. He could very well play in all 16 games without starting a single one of them. What we do know, is that the Chiefs will use him in a multitude of ways from week to week. He’s a player who can fit into multiple personnel groupings at multiple positions and we already caught a glimpse of that part of his game during OTA and mini-camp sessions. When the 2010 season is all said and done, McCluster will likely have lined up at wide out, slot, running back, wildcat and return man.

--Andy Benoit

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