Tennessee Titans: Dexter McCluster…the forgotten man


If head coach Ken Whisenhunt was the biggest offseason acquisition for the Tennessee Titans last year, then free agent running back Dexter McCluster was second. After releasing Chris Johnson, Tennessee desperately needed a versatile running back with the speed and agility to turn the routine play into a game changing play.

And McCluster had grown a reputation of being just that.

In his four years with the Kansas City Chiefs, McCluster averaged 4.6 yards a carry. His final two seasons in KC, he hauled in 105 receptions (9 yards per catch), while leading the NFL in punt return yards (686) and tds (2) his final season in 2013.

All while playing behind bell cow running back Jamaal Charles.

But all of that went out of the window when McCluster made his debut with the Titans last season. And for the life of me…I still can’t figure out why.

Its not like he was buried behind productive starters. Bishop Sankey and Shonn Greene combined for less than a thousand yards, and totaled only 3 tds. Yet and still, McCluster had only 40 attempts on the season, less than half of Greene’s attempts (92)…and less than a third of Sankey’s team leading 152.

But…the Titans used him in the passing game right?

Well…not exactly.

After averaging 80 targets his last two years in KC, McCluster was targeted only 36 times last year in Tennessee. A mindboggling stat given the fact the he averaged just under 8 yards per reception when he was involved.

And did I mention the injuries and lack of production out of the wide receiver position last year? Still…no sign of McCluster.

I even saw Bishop Sankey, not Dexter McCluster, returning kickoffs late in the season.


He never got a chance to really contribute…while his teammates were struggling on offense. A head scratcher for sure.

On the flip side, it was probably the easiest money McCluster ever earned as a professional football player.

But I digress.

Fast forward to today, and McCluster’s role is even cloudier with the addition of rookie rb David Cobb and fb Jalston Fowler. The addition of several receivers this offseason diminishes his value there as well. Hopefully McCluster’s arsenal of skills mesh better with Marcus Mariota.

That is…if the Titans remember that he’s still on the roster.

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