Rookie Dexter McCluster hasn’t seen the field much on offense for the Kansas City Chiefs, but odds are the 49ers best defender — LB Patrick Willis — will know where he is at all times and not because he’s worried about the diminutive wide receiver’s big-play ability.
Willis, a teammate of McCluster’s at Ole Miss, told CSN Bay Area he still remembers the story the Chiefs rookie told during the NFL scouting combine.
“We were in the open field. He was pursuing me at an angle, I was running, and I did sort of a drop step and got underneath him and kind of made him look a little silly.”
Willis said Thursday he does not remember that play from a long-forgotten practice during college.
“If you’re a defensive player and playing football all your life and you’ve never been juked, something’s wrong,” said Willis, the 49ers’ leading tackler.
“A lot has to do with being here four years. I don’t remember us going 1-on-1 a lot.”
Is that a non-denial, denial? Willis says everyone’s been juked, but refused to say that McCluster did it to him. That sounds a whole lot like confirmation of the story to me. It also makes me believe that Willis — for my money, the best linebacker in the league — will have a special bulls-eye on No. 22 all night long.
If Willis does decide he wants to take a shot at McCluster, he isn’t likely to get many chances. If the Chiefs rookie sees 15 snaps, that would be on the high side. So unless Niners head coach Mike Singletary puts his best player on special teams — file that under “not going to happen” — Willis isn’t likely to avenge the “juking” incident.