Dexter McCluster: KC's X factor
Is the electric rookie RB/WR too small to make a big difference in Chiefs' attack?
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Todd Haley's first offseason as Kansas City Chiefs coach was akin to the "Biggest Loser" reality show.Haley targeted overweight players and berated them until they got his message. The result: The team overall lost more than 700 pounds of excess weight. This summer, Haley turned up the heat. After years of spending summers in the cooler climate in River Falls, Wis., the Chiefs moved their camp into the 100-degree heat of northwest Missouri. Ownership planned the camp move to the Missouri Western State University campus, but Haley and general manager Scott Pioli welcomed it. A hot camp reinforces the discipline being emphasized by the Haley-Pioli brain trust. In rebuilding the Chiefs, they are trying to rebuild the mindset of this franchise. Years of success caught up to the Chiefs after they allowed the roster to age. The young talent base wasn't being developed. Young studs had guts. Bodies softened. That forced Haley to use his first season as coach reconstructing the bodies of his players. This year, he's working on their minds, and you can see the progress. The Chiefs had great attendance in offseason workouts, and Haley didn't have to order instant diets because the players stayed in shape since the end of the season. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, the talent base has not developed enough for the team to completely shed the "Biggest Loser" tag. It's reasonable to think the noticeable improvements should take the Chiefs from four wins to about six victories. With a few breaks, maybe the Chiefs can get to 8-8. The good news is that if the Chiefs climb out of the NFL's losing basement, they should stay in contention. While it's nice to throw together talent, the key in the NFL is developing that talent. Haley and Pioli are trying to do it the right way.
Here are three observations from Chiefs training camp:
John Clayton, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.