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Chiefs Special Teams Worse Than Advertised In 2010

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The last two drafts were supposed to make the Chiefs special teams among the best in the NFL. After the emergence of Ryan Succop as the most impressive rookie from the 2009 NFL Draft (although that's more a testament to the poor drafting of Scott Pioli in his first offseason as Chiefs general manager), this year's athletic haul was supposed to provide the icing on the cake.

Javier Arenas was the best punt returner in the 2010 draft class, according to several writers and football experts. The former Alabama star was a force on special teams throughout college and the nickel corner was supposed to provide a second-round level of punch to the KC return team. The same could be said of Dexter McCluster, whose speed and agility had Chiefs fans dreaming of Dante Hall all over again. Combined with Succop's solid game and the excellence of Dustin Colquitt, the Chiefs were expected to have revolutionized their special teams play.

Yet with the latest release of Rick Gosselin's annual special teams rankings, the Chiefs rate as not so special after all. This year, the Chiefs rank 24th on a list where five divisional winners rank in the Top 10. Of course, Gosselin's list isn't the end-all and special teams overall is a difficult category to rank with one number. Yet Gosselin's list shows the Patriots as the league's best overall special teams unit with other playoff teams like the Seahawks, Bears, Jets, Ravens, Steelers and Falcons all coming in the Top 10.

Perhaps with another year of seasoning, the Chiefs should expect some more game-changing plays in the return game especially, but I think it's safe to say that some of those plays were also expected in 2010. Granted, the Chiefs did better than expected without those contributions, but with a much tougher schedule in 2011, the Chiefs have to hope that Arenas and McCluster can swing a game or two with a breakthrough return.