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TMP settles for split -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Shields strikes out 12 as Royals complete sweep -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

Indian swimmers seventh in Salina -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

HHS softball splits with Salina South -4/18/2014, 10:23 AM

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Tiger softball No. 8 in first region rankings -4/18/2014, 10:13 AM

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Hayes is KSU's next big 'Cat -4/17/2014, 10:44 AM

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Otis track team deals with injuries, illness -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Jets land former Titan Chris Johnson -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

HDN Area Track & Field honor roll, April 17 -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Freeman winds up with N.Y. Giants -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Tigers win on grand slam -4/17/2014, 10:16 AM

Weber gets extension at K-State -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

HHS' Weigel becomes a Cowboy -4/17/2014, 10:15 AM

Humburg jumping well for Ness City -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Doubles team rolls at HHS Invitational -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

HHS soccer improves to 6-2, beats Great Bend -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Prep golf results, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger tennis ends MIAA season in loss -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Tiger golfers ninth in St. Charles, Mo. -4/16/2014, 9:59 AM

Track results, Redmen Relays, April 15 -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys win at Ellsworth -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP softball sweeps Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP soccer suffers loss at Garden City -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP boys' golf third at Goodland -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

TMP baseball rolls past Ellis -4/16/2014, 9:58 AM

HHS baseball splits with Junction City -4/15/2014, 9:53 AM

TMP softball swept at Colby -4/15/2014, 10:10 AM

TMP golf begins season today -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

HHS soccer rallies for victory -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Rare time off for Tiger softball -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

KSU, WSU Barnstormers coming to Hays -4/15/2014, 10:09 AM

Watson wins Masters -4/14/2014, 10:08 AM

Royals swept by Twins -4/14/2014, 10:07 AM

Harvick wins at Darlington -4/13/2014, 6:51 AM

Royals ace James Shields struggles in loss to Twins -4/13/2014, 6:42 AM

K-State's Deante Burton feels ready to take his game up a notch -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

Former Jayhawks address football team about facing struggles -4/13/2014, 6:39 AM

HHS basketball camp May 27 to 29 -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

Tigers’ Wolf second at K.T. Woodman -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

FHSU tennis drops pair of MIAA outings -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

FHSU softball 3-1 in weekend -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger offense shines in Spring Game -4/13/2014, 6:31 AM

Tiger baseball 1-3 in series -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

Mattheyer jumps onto scene at Ellis -4/13/2014, 6:30 AM

HHS golf finishes second in Garden City -4/13/2014, 6:32 AM

HHS pitcher, catcher share chemistry -4/13/2014, 7:56 AM

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Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Special teams feeling special again in Kansas City

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Special teams feeling special again in Kansas City

Published on -8/14/2013, 9:40 AM

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By DAVE SKRETTA

Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Dexter McCluster faded back as if he was in slow motion, the Chiefs wide receiver settling under a booming ball off the foot of Saints punter Thomas Morstead in the middle of the Superdome.

Once he had secured it, McCluster started up field. He angled to his right and found a crease to the sideline, running almost untouched 55 yards before he was finally brought down.

McCluster popped right up with a grin visible through his facemask.

"It's been a while since I returned punts and I wanted it. I was anxious and nervous but at the same time, I was excited," McCluster said after practice this week. "When the hard work pays off, it makes you come back and work harder."

Even on special teams, which so often hasn't been all that special in Kansas City.

The Chiefs haven't returned a punt for a touchdown since McCluster took one back against the Chargers in September 2010. The last time they brought back a kickoff for a touchdown was November 2011, when Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles was still forging his name in the league.

Everything about this season is a fresh start, though.

The Chiefs have a new general manager in John Dorsey, a new coach in Andy Reid and, quite naturally, a new person directing special teams. That would be Dave Toub, whose name may not be well known to the casual football fan but whose work is extremely well known: He's the guy who tutored dangerous Chicago Bears returner Devin Hester.

Toub was hired by Reid while he was assembling the rest of his coaching staff, and so far he's been busily piecing together the Chiefs' special teams units. McCluster appears to be the choice to return punts, but there are still half a dozen options for returning kickoffs.

He hopes to settle on a couple of primary options by the third preseason game.

"We have high expectations for this group," Toub said. "They've worked their butts off and it's good to see guys work hard and reap rewards in the game."

The rewards were plain to see last Friday night in New Orleans.

McCluster began the proceedings with a bang. Devon Wylie brought another punt back 22 yards early in the second quarter, and then had a nice kickoff return to start the second half.

Knile Davis provided an exclamation mark on the Chiefs' preseason opener when the rookie running back, who had never before fielded a kickoff, returned one 79 yards late in the game.

"Probably the most important thing is we had 11 guys on the field every time. That's the hardest part," Toub said. "You have so much turnover and so many guys you want to look at. But I was really happy with the way the guys responded. It's a pretty good start."

Toub brings a unique perspective to the job of coaching special teams.

He spent time as a strength coach early in his career, and then was a defensive line coach at Missouri in the late '90s. But for the past 13 years, Toub has been dedicated solely to special teams, working with Reid in Philadelphia before joining the Bears from 2004-12.

"The thing with him is he's a guy who really, really loves special teams," McCluster said.

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