Column: Bowe Show Returns From Ashes

From Reliant Stadium, Houston

He’s a person and player that will test the outer limits of patience.

Job never met Dwayne Bowe.

So many times when he’s stepped on another land mine, or tossed a verbal grenade or had a touchdown pass trickle off his fingers, everyone asked why the Chiefs put up with Bowe and his antics?

Sunday was one of the reasons why he’s still wearing red and gold. A week after dropping a very important touchdown pass in the loss to Indianapolis, Bowe had a redemption game. Against the Texans with the worst pass defense in the NFL at this point in the season, the fourth-year receiver caught six passes for 108 yards, including a pair of touchdown passes.

One of those scores was a 17-yard combination with Matt Cassel where the quarterback threw a laser in to the end zone and Bowe held onto the ball. The other was a 42-yard touchdown play that was Bowe at his best, making the catch across the middle and then taking off in a weaving run through the Houston secondary and reaching the end zone.

It was the longest play Bowe has put on the board in almost exactly three years, going back to a 58-yard catch against Oakland in his rookie season (October 21, 2007).

“I’ve got a tremendous amount of confidence in Dwayne Bowe,” said Cassel. “Week in, week out, he’s shown me that. Obviously last week he had a few mishaps and that’s just one of those rarities that happen in football. He came back this week and I was really happy for him. He showed up like I thought he would and he made great plays.”

Cassel calls Bowe’s travails rarities, but they have become more than norm in the last two years and afternoon’s like Sunday against the Texans are the rarities. Through the firsts four games of the season, he was averaging 2.25 catches and 38 receiving yards per game. That after his disappointing ’09 season when he caught 47 passes for 589 yards for four TDs in 11 games.

Before Sunday, Bowe had in the last two seasons caught 56 passes for 741 yards and five TDs. That’s an average of 3.7 catches for 49.4 yards and .33 touchdown catches per game.

It was an ugly stretch where there was lack of production, lack of maturity and lack of common sense. It would have been easier for the Chiefs and especially head coach Todd Haley to have sent him packing and allowed him to be somebody else’s headache.

But even though his performance did not come in a victory, Bowe’s efforts against the Texans proved again what he’s capable of doing every week. What’s never been part of his resume is consistency, stringing together games where he catches the ball, gains yardage, finds the end zone and does all the other things Haley demands from his wide receivers.

What happened against Houston provided Haley no sense of vindication for his efforts to mold and re-create No. 82.

“I’m not in that business,” said Haley. “We have a lot of guys that like to work and like to do all the things that good teams do. I push and I prod, I push and I prod and I push some more because … it’s hard to keep it up. The easy thing is to back down and let these guys have their fun. That’s not what I believe in.

“I’ve been saying for some amount of time, that Dwayne has made nothing but progress. I told him during the game and then here in the locker room that this isn’t about plays that he made out there today. This is what he’s been doing every day. Because he’s been doing the things he needs to do as a football player, besides being a wide receiver, you see results like today.

“I’m happy the kid continues to work and wants to be good. But he doesn’t feel good because of that performance in a game with this outcome.”

What Bowe thought about his day remains unknown. Wisely, for his sake, he’s not talking with the media right now. It would have been a good example of the lack of Bowe maturity had he stood up in the Reliant Stadium locker room and fielded questions about his day.

When he’s dropping touchdown passes, or talking publicly about his teammates habits on the road, or trying to lose weight with his grandmother’s diet pills, Bowe is at his most exasperating.

When he’s wheeling his way through a defense and finding the end zone and catching just about everything thrown his way, there’s some understanding of why he’s still wearing a red and gold uniform.

If Haley is correct, and Bowe is improving and working hard every day, then it should become visible this next Sunday against Jacksonville and the next week against Buffalo. It’s time for Bowe to string together some performances like the Texans game.

5 Responses to “Column: Bowe Show Returns From Ashes”

  • October 17, 2010  - Chiefs Blow 10-Point Lead Twice In 35-31 Loss | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] COLUMN – One game of redemption for DBowe. [...]

  • October 17, 2010  - Edward says:

    Yea all I’ve been reading all offseason is how much progress he’s been making if he continues to play like he did all season it will give Cassel a true #1 receiving threat and open things up for other guys. I’ve said all along this offensive passing game can’t survive with Moeaki trying to carry it. We need Bowe to do like DJ, Dorsey, Tamba, and all the other 1st rd picks are doing producing.

  • October 18, 2010  - Tracy says:

    Impatience comes easily, particularly since the advent of the personal computer has made instant response readily available. But many of us overlook the axiom that you have to walk before you can run. It could be called experience, maturation, growth or what have you.

    In Dwayne Bowe’s case, the ability to run outpaced his capacity to concentrate, or perhaps think. Was there any member of Chiefs’ Nation who did not whoop with excitement when Bowe caught his first TD pass yesterday? Followed, naturally, with “What took you so long?”

    We should be grateful to Todd Haley for having enough patience with Bowe to keep him on a positive course of development. Haley, of course, has experience in this and sees Bowe up close on a daily basis so perhaps this says as much about Haley’s ability to teach and to coach as it does about Bowe’s apparent emergence as a promising wide receiver.

    The loss in Houston was extremely hard to swallow but at least it elevated the opinion of many as to the abilities and potential of Bowe and Matt Cassel.

  • October 18, 2010  - Butler says:

    Well I owe Dwayne Bowe a Big Applolgy for my
    thrahing him so Bad last Week well he Got-R-Done
    this WEEK Good Job
    Offense looked good Defense looked good until late
    Okay now its BAD NEWS Jacksonville Go CHIEFS Go

  • October 18, 2010  - robotfighter says:

    You can’t produce if they do not call your number. If they call his number early he is going to be in the game and focused instead of waiting around 3 quarters for his first opportunity.

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