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Dexter McCluster working solely at receiver for Chiefs

  • By Brian McIntyre NFL.com
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Kansas City Chiefs running back Dexter McCluster was back working exclusively with the wide receivers when the team opened up its OTAs on Monday, Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star reports.

The 5-foot-9, 172-pound McCluster played both positions as an all-purpose threat when he starred at Mississippi, and he's demonstrated that versatility during his first two seasons in the league. McCluster started seven of 11 games as a rookie, gaining 71 yards on the ground while catching 21 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown. McCluster also averaged 15.5 yards per punt return in 2010.

In 2011, a season-ending knee injury to Jamaal Charles prompted the Chiefs to lean on McCluster more in the running game. McCluster ranked second on the Chiefs with 516 rushing yards and third with 46 receptions for 328 yards, while playing just over 43 percent of the snaps.

A return to health by Charles and the addition of Peyton Hillis in free agency allows the Chiefs to use McCluster out of the slot to complement a potentially deep receiving corps featuring Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and 2011 first-round pick Jonathan Baldwin.

"It felt great. I'm learning everything I can learn," McCluster said of his new role. "That's the best thing about this sport, you learn as much as you can so whenever you're asked to do something, you know what to do."

One other item of note from Teicher is that McCluster was first in line for punt returns. McCluster averaged 10.8 yards on six returns last season as Javier Arenas handled those duties.

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