The Disappearing Act of Steve Breaston


September 23, 2012; The Chiefs defeated the Saints 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

I’m starting to think that Romeo Crennel may have missed his first calling as a magician. He is a master at making relevant things disappear.

Coming out of high school, Steve Breaston was rated very highly across the nation. Sites like Rivals100.com had him as high as the eighth prospect in the nation. He went on to play for the Michigan Wolverines in college where he was a stellar return man and had 156 receptions during his four year tenure. That ranks him fifth all-time in receptions for the Wolverines. He was in good company on that list with Jason Avant and Braylon Edwards being two of the people above him. Breaston is also Michigan’s all-time leading punt returner with 127 attempts for 1,599 yards. Not to mention, he has the record for the most special teams touchdowns with a total of five; four punt returns and one kick-off.

But yet, how many punt returns does he have for the Chiefs? He has one attempt for 21 yards and that didn’t come until this season. This is just one example of how the coaching staff is misusing a very talented roster.

Breaston had clocked a decent 40 speed prior to the draft, running a 4.46. Being 6’ 193 lbs obviously did not impress to many scouts and he ended up dropping to the 142nd pick in the draft. One stand-up thing that I always liked about Breaston was when Anquan Boldin went down in 2008, he would never allow them to introduce him as the starting wide receiver before games. This was an excellent showing of respect that Steve displayed and this really impressed me about him as a person.

Besides his rookie campaign, Steve Breaston caught 47 or more balls in each of his seasons since he entered the NFL in 2007. The Michigan native was able to haul in 61 passes for 785 yards in his 2011-12 campaign. This year, he has amassed a whopping 7 receptions for 74 yards. He has not been injured this season, but received his first “healthy scratch” against Pittsburgh a few weeks back. At this point in the season, I can understand the logic behind benching Breaston to see what Devon Wylie could bring to the table. But, where has he been the rest of the season?

Breaston came here on a five year contract that could be worth up to $25 million. He received an initial $5 million signing bonus on this contract. What is our highest paid bench warmer making this season? Breaston is pulling in $1.8 million as his base salary and is entitled to a $1.3 million roster bonus for 2012. It grows substantially from here on out but judging by the current regimes use of him, he won’t be in Kansas City much longer.

Breaston has shown flashes of being a great player. I don’t believe that there is any defense for the way that Romeo and Daboll have decided to use him this year. Although the quarterback play has not been there, I have seen Terrance Copper lining up at wide receiver one too many times this season. If Copper wasn’t such a stellar special teams player, I’d find it hard to see him making any NFL roster. When there was 1:30 left in the Steelers game and we were trying to go downfield, wouldn’t it benefit us much more to be shooting for Breaston over Copper? To me, this sums up the ineptitude of the entire offensive coaching staff.