Chiefs’ No. 1 pick Bowe working hard to catch up


The Kansas City Star


RIVER FALLS, Wis. | After missing most of training camp, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is trying to do three weeks’ worth of work in a couple of days. And he’s taking his teammates’ advice in keeping his mouth shut about it.

“The older guys told me I should do something before I talk,” said Bowe, the Chiefs’ first-round pick in the April draft. “I want to establish myself first.”

He’ll get that chance Thursday night when the Chiefs play the Miami Dolphins in a preseason game at Arrowhead Stadium. Head coach Herm Edwards said he expects Bowe to play, although probably not extensively. But considering the number of snaps Bowe took Tuesday in the final practice of camp, it would appear the Chiefs intend to give him some work against Miami.

“We’ll bring him along slow,” Edwards said. “We’ll try to get him in the game and get him the ball, but next week will be a bigger week for him.”

Indeed, Bowe will have been through a full week’s worth of practices by the time the Chiefs take on New Orleans on Aug. 23 in Kansas City. By then, Edwards said, Bowe should be closer to being in “football shape.”

Bowe participated in organized team activities and minicamps with the Chiefs in May and June. After that, he worked out on his own until signing a five-year contract last week.

“He’s OK now,” Edwards said. “But at first he wasn’t in football shape because he missed some time. It’s different from just running on your own and practicing football.

“You can do all the running you want, but there’s a difference when you practice football. It’s going to take him a week or so to get his legs underneath him.”
Bowe saw plenty of action during his first workout Monday, which was conducted without pads. Although his number was rarely called on pass plays, Bowe capitalized on the few opportunities he was given.

In fact, the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Bowe made one of the top offensive plays of the day when he snared an over-the-shoulder pass from Casey Printers in the right corner of the end zone.

“Seeing the young guy out here is a great thing,” safety Bernard Pollard said. “There’s a reason he went in the first round. He really goes after balls, and he’s bigger than most of the people defending him.

“It’s going to be fun watching him grow and fight for the chance to play. Now he’s just got to hit that playbook.”

Edwards said Bowe demonstrated a solid grasp of the Chiefs’ playbook in the spring.

“He knows enough,” Edwards said. “It’s tough for him because we’re asking him to do a lot of things. He’s going to a slot guy on third downs, but on first and second down he can play outside at Z. He’s a smart guy. He’ll learn it.”

One thing Bowe does appear to have mastered is camaraderie. He’s already become one of the more vocal players on the field and in the huddle. Bowe also earned brownie points when he didn’t try to resist the Gatorade bath his teammates gave him after taping him to the goal posts last week.

“He’s a cool dude,” Pollard said. “That’s something that Herm wants. Everyone keeps talking about how this team is so young. It is, but that’s what makes it fun.”