From America’s highways and byways
It’s a busy Memorial Day weekend for your intrepid scribe. We busted out of the Chiefs locker room Thursday afternoon, jumped in the family truckster and headed on down the highway.
But a lot happened before we put K.C. in our rearview mirror, and thus a lot to write about. Here goes a potpourri of thoughts and information, starting with the man who always seems to be weaving in and out of trouble like the old man I passed on I-70 outside out of St. Charles.
IT’S ALWAYS THE SECOND ONE THAT HURTS MOST
Every year the F.A.A. puts together a report on every airplane/helicopter accidents in the world. This ranges from passenger jets that crash and kill hundreds, to some guy who is flying is Piper Cub, runs out of gas and has to land on an interstate highway.
Over the years, what the FAA’s investigations have shown is this β the accident or crash is seldom caused by the first mistake made by the pilot. It comes from the second mistake, generally made in the tense moments when problems have shown themselves.
If the F.A.A. would investigate the Dwayne Bowe matter involving ESPN the Magazine and comments about his teammates importing female companionship on a 2007 road trip, they would find one big mistake, followed by another one, maybe even bigger. That’s from Bowe’s statement on Thursday that he was misquoted from an interview he doesn’t remember giving.
How you can claim being misquoted or taken out of context from an interview that you can’t recall having done? That is beyond funny. It’s sad. When that discrepancy was pointed out to Bowe, he was smart enough at that time to realize his plane had crashed and he went ahead and got out as fast as he could by changing the subject.
“I’m just not going to go back into that,” Bowe said. “I’m all football now. If you want to talk about football, I’m open to any football questions. You can’t look back to yesterday.”
The folks at ESPN the Magazine say they have a tape of Bowe’s conversation with their reporter and that he was quoted accurately in the story that appears in the latest issue about athletes on the road. Seldom these days does anyone have less credibility than the media in general, but in this case it’s far easier to believe the magazine than it is Bowe.
That’s not to say that the media doesn’t at times distort, take out of context or misquote athletes to make stories more juicy and sensational. There’s no question that happens and has for decades. But it doesn’t make sense in this case.
Bowe’s comments were not part of a cover story, intent on selling the magazine with salacious headlines. It was buried inside the current edition, just one of about a dozen stories from athletes about things that happened on the road. It wasn’t even the featured moment in the story. ESPN the Magazine did not sensationalize Bowe’s comments.
After hiding earlier this week when the media had access to the Chiefs locker room, Bowe was waiting for everyone on Thursday. Somebody obviously counseled him this week that it was time to put the matter to rest and make a public statement. All well and good; Bowe apologized to the Hunt Family and the fans before saying he didn’t have anything to apologize for.
It is another example of Bowe running away from standing up and taking responsibility. That’s the only thing about this that should concern Chiefs management, his teammates and fans. Maturity is coming slowly for young Mr. Bowe – it seems at a pace of one step forward, three steps back.
The only thing that Bowe said that was right on the money was that it’s time to move on. Bowe gave the talk show yakkers, TV tin throats and yes, internet bloggers a week’s worth of material. For that he media horde is eternally grateful.
But on this holiday weekend it’s time to put some other bumbling athlete on the spit and let him turn over the fire for a few days. Put a fork in Dwayne Bowe. He’s done.
CAN A QUARTERBACK BE TOO COMPETITIVE?
During Thursday’s OTA session, the Chiefs offense ran the two-minute drill. They had 90 seconds, 70 yards to go and two timeouts to score a touchdown. On the second play of the possession, QB Matt Cassel and WR Dexter McCluster connected on a short slant pass that McCluster took to the end zone.
Only Todd Haley didn’t see it that way. As the on-field official for this drill, Haley blew his whistle and ruled McCluster had been tackled after a 30 to 40-yard gain. It was a first down, but the clock was still rolling.
Rather than get his team on the line of scrimmage to run another play, or to stop the clock by downing the ball, Cassel was intent on arguing for the touchdown. Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was yelling at him to get set and ready to run another play, but Cassel was steamed and he was letting Haley know about it. Eventually, Weis called a timeout.
Haley loves the competitiveness of his quarterback, but in this case Cassel let things get away from him. As soon as Haley signaled the play dead, the quarterback has to get his team ready for the next play, especially in short-time frame of the two-minute drill at the end of the game. It was not a time to be arguing about a call.
“He’s an excitable guy,” Haley said of Cassel. “You like that about him. You love the enthusiasm. At the same time, he’s got to keep control. He was yelling at the official, and the official happened to be me. He thought I made a bad call.”
A quarterback must be many things to a football team. It’s important for him to show his leadership and willingness to support his teammates. But most of all, he must keep his head about him.
A HOLIDAY WEEKEND AND THEN A BUSY TWO WEEKS FOR CHIEFS
Wrapping up their second week of OTA sessions on Thursday, the Chiefs have had six practices and will return to the field on Tuesday, June 1st for No. 7.
That will kick off a very busy first two weeks of the month, as they have eight OTAs and a three-day mandatory mini-camp scheduled before the middle of the month.
There will be some changes for the rookies when they return after Memorial Day. Instead of doing strength and conditioning on their own playground so to speak, they are moving into the sessions populated by the veterans.
“All of those young guys have been making steady progress,” Haley said on Thursday. “We have still kept them separated from the vets on the weight room side. Starting next week they will all be together and they are going to have to work even harder to stay up.
“We tried to integrate them in to give them the best chance to succeed, but it is going to continue to pick up for them.”
NFL PERSONNEL FILE/THURSDAY, MAY 27
- BILLS β signed 5th-round draft choice OT Ed Wang to a 4-year contract. Wang is the first Chinese-American player to be selected in the NFL Draft.
- COWBOYS β RFA SS Gerald Sensabaugh signed his tender offer, a 1-year contract for $1,815,000.
- DOLPHINS β released LB Reggie Torbor. The 29-year old veteran was set to make over $3 million this season in base salary and with the additions of Karlos Dansby and Tim Dobbins, there was no spot for him to play.
- EAGLES β signed S Ryan Hamilton, who previously was with the Saints; released CB Josh Morris, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Weber State.
- JETS β released K Clint Stitser.
- PATRIOTS β re-signed UFA DE Derrick Burgess to a 1-year contract; released WR/QB Isaiah Stanback and OLB Bruce Davis. Stanback was New England’s 3rd QB last year while working on the practice squad and he eventually played in six games as a WR, catching 3 passes. Davis was trying to make the conversion to OLB in the 3-4 after playing defensive end in college; he spent the year on the practice squad.
- RAIDERS β filed a grievance against former QB JaMarcus Russell seeking the return o f $9.5 million in salary advances. Russell’s agent said on Thursday that the money was fully guaranteed under the player’s contract with the team. He received t his money in 2008
- SAINTS β TE Jeremy Shockey suffered a seizure during a weightlifting session at the team’s facility and was taken to a New Orleans hospital. The early indication is dehydration may have caused t he problem. He was scheduled to spend the night in Ochsner Hospital and should be released on Friday.
- SEAHAWKS β released DT DeMarcus Granger, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Oklahoma.
- STEELERS β NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Thursday that QB Ben Roethlisberger can return to the team next week and participate in OTA practice sessions. Roethlisberger was banned from the team’s facility until he underwent a behavioral evaluation as part of the six-game suspension he was handed last month.
- TEXANS β signed 5th-round draft choice CB Sherrick McManis to a 4-year, $1,982,000 contract. He’s expected to have some immediate role in Houston’s nickel defense.
- TITANS β placed RB Dominique Lindsay on the injured-reserve list because of an Achilles injury.