How Dwayne Bowe's Return Helps Kansas City Chiefs
It took a long time, but Dwayne Bowe finally signed his franchise tender with the Kansas City Chiefs last Friday. The former LSU standout is already behind and has no knowledge of Brian Daboll's new offense due to his absence from OTAs and the St. Joseph proportion of training camp.
The Chiefs will move back to their training facility in Kansas City to wrap up the second half of training camp this month. Now that the Chiefs have Bowe, who was an impact player while leading the league in receiving touchdowns in 2010, the offense has more reasons to be better.
Matt Cassel Has an Extra Target
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Matt Cassel can use all of the help he can get. His first three seasons in Kansas City have been up and down. He knows that the only way he can form any kind of consistency is by having a lot of targets.
Cassel has Jon Baldwin and Steve Breaston as receivers. At tight end, Cassel has Kevin Boss and Tony Moeaki with running backs Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles set as potential pass catchers.
Add Bowe to that mix, and Cassel has what he needs to be successful with his receiving core. Having first-round picks in Bowe and Baldwin looks good on paper. If the offense stays healthy and if Cassel takes advantage of the tools he has around him, he is poised to surprise a lot of people in 2012.
Running Backs Won Themselves a Good Blocker
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Charles and Hillis have played well thus far in the preseason and hope to bounce back together this season. The two running backs are already appreciative of their offensive line and now they've got themselves one of the better blocking receivers in the NFL.
The Chiefs running game might be the team's biggest strength for many reasons. One of those reasons, which is rarely highlighted, is the blocking that comes from Bowe, who has come up with key blocks to pave the way for running backs.
Now that Bowe is back, the running backs are excited for his help in the running game and hope to return the Chiefs' rushing attack back to its 2010 form.
Jon Baldwin Can Continue to Be Mentored by Bowe
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As we saw Saturday night against the St. Louis Rams, Baldwin still has a lot of growing to do. But when comparing last year's short-lived training camp activity, it does not come close to the amount of progress Baldwin has made.
He is more focused and can only get better with Bowe back. Both receivers can draw defenders away from each other, allowing Cassel to make another read before making a decision.
Baldwin can also use Bowe's experience to his advantage and learn a few pointers as the two prepare for September 9 when the Chiefs host the Atlanta Falcons for their season opener.
Steve Breaston Can Focus as a Slot Receiver
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Due to Baldwin's absence last year, Steve Breaston played a role that he was not familiar with while being part of the Arizona Cardinals franchise. Breaston filled in for Baldwin as a starting receiver and gained 785 yards while working with multiple quarterbacks.
Now that Bowe is back, Breaston can focus more on his role as a receiver behind the starters. When Cassel has three receivers lined up prior to the snap, he knows he has a couple of options he can consider while making his reads, giving him what he needs to be able to make the pass. Breaston could be another guy who excels if he stays with his role.
Bowe Will Be Needed in Clutch Situations
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Some of Bowe's top receptions have been made late in the game, in the latter parts of the fourth quarter, where he comes away with a big reception in the end zone to either help his team tie or take the lead.
NFL teams seek those kinds of players, and Bowe is a big asset in that area for the Chiefs. When games are tight this season and the Chiefs have the ball, expect Cassel's favorite target to be Bowe late in the game.