McCluster is being used at wideout this offseason after carrying the ball 114 times in 2011. He has shown some spark in both roles, but coach Romeo Crennel and his staff are committed to growing McCluster at receiver. For now.
"We feel like he knows how to play running back, and we can put him over at running back at any point in time, but we felt like he needed the work at wide receiver," Crennel told The Kansas City Star. "So we gave him the work at wide receiver. If we need him at running back, then we'll put him at running back. Probably what that will do is open it up for us to be able to use him however and whenever we need him at whatever position."
The versatility is a plus, but the Chiefs want to see production. And shifting McCluster to wideout makes sense on a roster thin at the position. Dwayne Bowe is unsigned and absent from organized team activities. Steve Breaston and Jonathan Baldwin are lining up with the starters, but behind that pair, the list is uninspiring. At running back, Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis figure to shoulder the load.
In two seasons, McCluster has shown flashes - his wheels alone keep him on the field -- but the Chiefs haven't found a way to unleash him. Refining his role might lead to success, but for all his speed, McCluster averaged just 7.1 yards per catch in 2011.
McCluster has produced just three touchdowns in two seasons, and that's part of the problem. He was drafted to be a home-run hitter. Here in May, the Chiefs still are looking for a way to fit him into the lineup.