Chiefs defense takes notice of TE Cameron

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Cleveland Browns offense, now on its third quarterback through seven weeks, has experienced turmoil this season.

But the one constant has been third-year tight end Jordan Cameron, who has 45 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns on 63 targets.

Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (84) catches a touchdown pass against Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) during the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 22, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron (84) catches a touchdown pass against Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) during the fourth quarter at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Browns defeated the Vikings 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs have already faced and held their own against tight ends Jason Witten and Brent Celek, among others.

But while the Chiefs limited Witten to three catches for 12 yards in Week Two and Celek to two catches for 18 yards in Week Three, Cameron, who stands 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, offers a unique challenge.

“He has good size and good speed, it’s a rare combination,” Chiefs safety Eric Berry said. “So anytime you got somebody that big moving that fast, it’s always a challenge for me. But I just try to rely on my technique and try to have a good week of practice.”

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Cooper said he didn’t believe the Browns going with quarterback Jason Campbell in Week Eight will affect the Browns offense or how the team uses Cameron.

“He’s already a major part of their offense and he’ll continue to do that,” Cooper said.

Meanwhile, ask Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who started his NFL coaching career with the tight end position, what he sees in Cameron and the floodgates open with praise.

“Size, speed and ability to adjust to the ball in the air,” Reid said during Wednesday’s media session. “He looks like he loves to play the game. He’s one of those conversion players that had played basketball, heck of a basketball player, good athlete, for sure.”

Heading into Week Eight, Cameron has blossomed to become one of the league’s top tight ends.

His 45 catches places him fourth in the league where he leads all tight ends in receptions and only New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham has more receiving yards (593).

“He’s definitely opened my eyes,” Chiefs safety Quintin Demps said of Cameron. “He’s definitely coming up to being one of the best in the league.”

Cameron’s size and athleticism have contributed to drastically improved numbers from a year ago when he posted 20 catches for 226 yards and a touchdown on the season.

It probably also doesn’t hurt that his current head coach, Rob Chudzinski, played tight end at the University of Miami and coached the position with the San Diego Chargers (2005-06, 2009-10). Additionally, Cameron’s offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, has a history of incorporating the tight end in his offense.

Still, having the pieces in place requires a player to take advantage and Cameron has apparently seized the opportunity.

Chudzinski said during Wednesday’s media conference call that Cameron has worked hard and is committed to constant improvement.

“He has a lot of raw ability and tools and his focus on the game, he gets better every week,” Chudzinski said. “You see the athleticism and the playmaking ability. I think he’s really improved as a blocker.”

In the meantime, the Chiefs defenders know they have a player to keep an eye on whenever the Browns are on offense.

Linebacker Akeem Jordan called Cameron “one of the top tight ends” the Chiefs defense will face this season.

Jordan said the Browns leading receiver is a complete player and the key to defending him will be attempting to limit his production.

“It’s all about containing him and not really trying to completely shut him down,” Jordan said of Cameron. “A lot of the defenses know he’s their top guy, but he still produces. It’s all about trying to limit his production.”

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