For every owner who can say "I told you so" about Dwayne Bowe, there are at least 10 others kicking themselves thinking they could have grabbed him at some point in their fantasy drafts, but didn’t.
The fact is, the writing was on the wall concerning Bowe’s ascent into the top echelon of wide receivers this past year. Dwayne proved to be on the verge of dominance throughout his first three years in the league, and if it weren’t for his four-game suspension in 2009 (for taking a diuretic), he might have arrived a year sooner.
What’s interesting is the key to his emergence didn’t have anything to do with what happened during an NFL season, but what Bowe chose to do in the offseason leading up to 2010.
For the past couple of off-seasons, All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has held a wide receivers camp up in Minneapolis where he assembles mostly young NFL receivers looking to learn more about their position. At this camp, players enjoy the privilege of learning from all-time greats Jerry Rice and Cris Carter about the various nuances within the game, along with the skills needed to excel at their position.
In 2009, players such as Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Lee Evans and most notably, Sidney Rice, all attended the camp. I highlight Sidney Rice here because after being frustrated throughout his first two years in the league, Rice specifically attributed his 2009 breakout season to the lessons he learned at Larry’s camp the offseason before.
When the 2009 season ended, Bowe knew he needed to do something to vault his game up to the next level. What did he do? He followed in Sidney Rice’s footsteps and enrolled himself in Fitzgerald’s WR camp.
This is what I meant when I said "The writing was on the wall" for Bowe.
Players who attend this camp with obvious, untapped potential to begin with all come away from the experience a much better player. Bowe proved this by setting nearly every career mark for himself in 2010 while coming up with his first Pro-Bowl bid.
His 72 receptions may not have been particularly overwhelming (tied for 16th in the league), but his 1,162 yards (seventh) ended up being 25 more yards than Fitzgerald himself collected while his league-leading 15 TDs were absolutely staggering. And of course, the most important stat for fantasy footballers, Bowe placed second in WR fantasy points with 206.6 (12.9 per game).
Kansas City is a much improved team and clearly on the immediate rise. With the amount of talent they have dispersed throughout the offense, along with the drafting of WR Jonathan Baldwin, Bowe should have the freedom to reproduce his numbers from the year before.
And he will.
Click your heels, fantasy lovers, because Somewhere Over the Dwayne Bowe has found his way home and it looks like he’s here to stay.
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2011 Pros & Cons
(+) Looks like the wide receivers camp Bowe attended last offseason (the Larry Fitz WR camp that he runs with Cris Carter) worked like a charm. Plan on Dwayne being here to stay.
(+) Last season, Bowe had more TDs during a seven-game stretch (13) than any other wide receiver had over the entire year.
(+) Besides his great size and strength, he can run like a freakin’ Gazelle.
(+) Though he has since moved on, it looks like OC Charlie Weis didn’t have a problem turning Bowe into a bona fide Pro Bowler before he left.
(+) The Chiefs had been rumored to be looking for a wide receiver in the first round of the draft to help take the pressure off of Bowe in 2011...and they did.
(–) If rookie WR Jonathan Baldwin has a tough first season, Bowe's supporting cast of WRs will be one of the worst in the NFL.
(–) Roger Goodell suspended Bowe for five games in 2009 for substance abuse (diuretic). Hopefully he can continue to stay clean.
(–) Might spend more time on Facebook/MySpace "importing" women than in the video room.
(–) Dwayne is an emotional player who is easily discouraged and has a tendency to disappear for full games/weeks at a time.
For the rest of Dwayne Bowe's Player Profile, CLICK HERE
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