DBowe Show Continues In K.C. … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs

Somewhere Monday afternoon, Todd Haley was smiling.

There could be no other reaction for the former head coach of the Chiefs than a lip curl of satisfaction when he heard that his former team had tagged WR Dwayne Bowe with the franchise player designation.

Haley was probably in his new office at Steelers headquarters in the Southside of Pittsburgh, hard against the south shore of the Monongahela River. He can look out his window and watch the barges move up and down the river in their daily cruise of commerce.

He would have every reason to feel satisfied with Bowe having reached a status with the Chiefs that they did not want to expose him to the free agent market. He had become too important to risk losing, so GM Scott Pioli put what amounts to a placeholder on the receiver.

Three years ago that possibility seemed an utterly impossible goal; having franchise player and Bowe in the same sentence would have been laughable when Pioli and Haley came in the front door of the Chiefs franchise. At that time Bowe was an undisciplined wide receiver, surviving purely on his physical skills, prone to saying silly things and talking in the third person about the DBowe Show. He had more bluster than work ethic and in the off-season he tended to sit back and allow his weight to balloon.

Bowe would become the first resident of the Haley Doghouse, actually the Doghouse Condos, as there would be more than one player bunking there during that 2009 season. He earned a four-game NFL suspension for testing positive for a diet drug, something he took in hopes of reaching his prescribed weight before training camp began. He failed and got an unwanted four-game vacation.

Still, Bowe was the first one to get it, to understand the message being delivered by Haley. Others, particularly Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson would also come to understand the type of commitment that the new coach sought from his best players. If the top guys buy in, then everyone will eventually be on board. And, they all eventually were, with major attitude adjustments and renewed commitment. Those three have all been to the Pro Bowl since that tough first season.

Since returning from suspension late in the ’09 season, Bowe played in 37 games, catching 167 passes for 2,444 yards and 20 touchdowns. Those are numbers as good as any that can be found in franchise history.

Bowe is not one of the NFL’s top five receivers, but he is certainly the closest thing to a big-play receiver that the Chiefs currently control. They could not afford to allow him to leave.

The franchise player tag does not designate a player as the team’s most valuable or best talent. It’s a negotiating tool that allows NFL clubs to keep control over one of their players that’s about to become an unrestricted free agent. The franchise player provides the ultimate restrictions on a free agent, requiring a team to make an offer to Bowe that would be so big the Chiefs wouldn’t match and then would get two first round draft choices in exchange.

The decision to use the tag was a nod to how important he is to an offensive roster that’s largely devoid of playmakers. Whether his future remains just the 2012 season as the franchise player, or for several seasons on a long-term contract that can still be negotiated, Bowe is a valuable commodity.

Maybe somebody else would have eventually gotten through to Bowe and forced a change in his approach to the game and his career. But what’s true is that the man who got it done was the former head coach; it’s one of the accomplishments of Todd Haley’s time with the Chiefs. His GM may like to paint a picture in his off-the-record conversations with the media about a head coach out of control, who lacked commitment and was unable to reach his players.

On Monday, Pioli had to bite the bullet and keep one of Haley’s success stories.

That alone was reason enough for Todd Haley to smile.

12 Responses to “DBowe Show Continues In K.C. … Tuesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • March 6, 2012  - Justin Dyer says:


    You statement at the end of the article: “His GM may like to paint a picture in his off-the-record conversations with the media about a head coach out of control, who lacked commitment and was unable to reach his players.” has piqued my curiosity. Can you give some context to that?

  • March 6, 2012  - el cid says:

    Sorry Bob, but Haley had issues. He worked with some players and succeeded but could not find a OC if his life depended on it. Overall, Haley was a waste of time and effort and I could care less if he smiles or not.

    About Bowe, is he a complete player, not close but he is the best WR on the roster, Pioli’s roster. A roster Pioli has been unable to make a major difference in in three years. The team was bad when he got here,well, 2/3 of the better players are from that bad team. Where is the genius in drafting replacements or free agency? That is more the story over Bowe and his getting his head on straight.

  • March 6, 2012  - el cid says:

    Just read Brees is angry with his tag with NO. How about a trade, Cassel and Bowe for Brees?

  • March 6, 2012  - johnfromwichita says:

    Cid, I don’t think it was so much as Haley couldn’t find an OC, but he couldn’t find one who thought exactly like him. As for the trade, let’s sweeten the pot and throw in Barry Richardson. Otherwise Brees should escape to Mexico until the Chiefs find a RT.

  • March 6, 2012  - Blake Ast says:

    I think what Haley did with Bowe, Charles, and DJ was one of the best things that he did in his time here, they were all talented players but he made them into team players and made them play up to their potential!

    el cid you might want to look at some of the names on the roster that Pioli inherited before you say that he hasn’t improved the roster! Herm had guys like Jeff Webb, Rocky Boiman and Tank Tyler starting for him, they don’t even play in the NFL anymore!

  • March 6, 2012  - el cid says:

    Or you could look at his first draft but my point is he has done no more than any average GM could have. Did Pioli improve the roster, ABSOLUTELY. Did he improve it ALL he could have, I would say he falls far short. After 3 years we should have already been better but we stayed away from getting help from free agents like they were snakes. ie if Pioli had found a WR before signing one free agent and drafting another, we would not have been in a bind over the free agency of Bowe.

  • March 6, 2012  - johnfromwichita says:

    Blake, I agree that Haley did a great job on motivating those three and maybe some others. I think his ego was his downfall. He Peter Principaled. He did the tempting move of going up one more ring of the ladder and reached his level of incomptence. He got lucky with the Steelers and went down one step. A lot of people who petered don’t have the chance to climb back.

    Cid, you right about free agencey and Pioli/Hunt.
    Draft picks are gambles; get lucky or not is a chance. Free agent players are a known, but cost more. Hunt should of spent more earlier but this is the year he needs to show fans that he wants to win as much as they do. It won’t be cheap and I’m not sure he will. Do you know he also owns a soccer team? God have mercy.

  • March 6, 2012  - Blake says:

    Pioli has said that he wants to build through the draft and I believe him, it is the right way to build a team but it also takes longer. I do believe that Pioli has done more than the average GM. Pioli’s drafts have been better than most, 2009 was bad but looking back it looks like the whole 2009 draft class was pretty bad. 2010 and 2011 were better than most teams. I see good things in KC future. He should have done more in the 2009 offseason but I think he learned pretty quickly after that season that he messed up. 3 more years with Pioli drafts and the team should be making a serious playoff run…

  • March 6, 2012  - ED J says:

    Some of you guys make good points about Pioli and others doesn’t quite make sense. Bob appreciate you using Bowe as platform of talking up Haley but that foolishness is getting old. Not fact giving Haley credit but butt kissing of every former ex Chief employee and constant shots at Pioli. As far as some of arguments Blake has made about team those were good points. Pioli inherited a team that lacked talent and guys that were talented for most part underachieved prior to his arrival. So IMO he has done excellent job. People keep bringing up 2009 draft it was bad draft that’s very poor example to use. Name me 5 teams that had good draft that yr. Either way we did get starting kicker and linebacker out of that draft. TJax jury still out on him. But Succop and Belcher are paying dividends. Either way to Bob, el cid, and all other Pioli bashers will see in near future how good GM he is. As for team overall it is head shoulders better than where it was when he took over. We went from bottom feeders to contenders for division last 2yrs how isn’t that improvement for a team and organization that had become a doormat.

  • March 6, 2012  - brainsmasher says:

    I agree 100% with el cid and johnfromwichita. Todd Haley ran off two proven NFL offensive coordinators. What Haley has shown when he took full control of the offense is that he is a fraud as an offensive coordinator. The Steelers are going to find out this year what a huge mistake they made.

    For Pioli it is put up or shut up. F the Patriot’s way. Just do your job and aquire some talent.

  • March 7, 2012  - milkman says:

    If the Chiefs sign Bowe to a long contract I hope he’s matured enough to not be one of those players who gets his money and takes his foot off the gas pedal…

  • March 7, 2012  - el cid says:

    That is the chance any team takes with any player. There has to be something more inside of the player to keep his edge. Whether Bowe has that drive, we will know if he gets a long term deal and continues to improve.

    Now let’s see what happens in free agency. And I am not talking about level 3 guys or one last contract types. Starters who deserve our support, not castoffs.

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