So Much Talent, So Immature … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Dwayne Bowe’s four-game suspension from the NFL is just another step in what the Chiefs have to hope is the continuing maturation of the wide receiver.

Bowe better hope so as well. As he sits at home for a month, unable to spend time with his teammates and the Chiefs franchise, Bowe has a chance to decide what direction the rest of his career and life will take. He needs to do some very deep soul searching.

Over the years the Chiefs have had many players who had remarkable athletic talent, and the maturity of a 10-year old. Bowe is one of them. His story of being abandoned as a child by a mother and father distracted and in the clutches of drugs, being raised by his grandparents, running the streets and getting involved in crimes and fights left him without some very important blocks in a solid foundation of being an adult.

That background and then his success in football did lead him away from the drug culture. But there were some stains that could not be erased. Bowe was not suspended for taking illegal drugs or performance enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids. He is gone for four games because he tested positive for a diuretic.

The NFL considers the presence of a diuretic in a player’s urine sample the same as if it was steroids because it has frequently been used as a masking agent.

Bowe didn’t take the diuretic to mask steroids use. He took it to lose water weight; obviously he was in danger of not being at the prescribed weight he was given by Todd Haley and his coaching staff for training camp. There’s no other known reason for him to take a diuretic. A healthy, 25-year old professional athlete has no medical reason to be eliminating fluid.

Bowe wanted to take a pill and make his problem go away. It’s not exactly like running away from your life with the use of illegal drugs, but it’s the same mind-set, one that he grew up in during his formative years. In a situation of stress, he fell back on what he knew, not what he had been shown and coached over the previous six or seven months.

From the time he showed up for the off-season program some 25 pounds overweight, Haley has been all over Bowe. Just about every manner and method of motivation has been tried with him by Haley and his staff. There’s a reason that Bowe was put through the psychological wringer in attempts to change his behavior – he has talent. Haley would not have wasted any time on Bowe if he didn’t see something worth saving in a football sense. If Bowe was an ordinary player, he would have been sent packing long ago, probably the day he weighed in back in March.

Bowe fought the discipline. He didn’t like the heavy hand he was being dealt. His attitude was ‘I’m a No. 1 draft pick, I’ve caught 156 balls for 2,017 yards in two years in the NFL; I know what it takes.” He eventually learned that he wasn’t going to be able to change things by fighting the system. Whether or not he bought into the whole program remains to be seen.

His suspension is evidence that he did not. When Haley sent his players away for their five-week vacation in the middle of June, he told them several things. One was don’t give back all the hard work you’ve done by sitting on your butt and getting fat during the weeks before training camp. His need for a diuretic is a pretty good indication that Bowe wasn’t paying attention to that message.

Now, he has four weeks to think about that, and the fact he’s left his offensive teammates without their best weapon in the passing game. This isn’t just a penalty to be served by Bowe; it’s going to be served by the entire team. The 2009 Chiefs do not have many good players, and they certainly don’t have enough to lose one of their best.

The problem that the current coaching staff and the one that came before it had with Bowe was his reliability. He does not always do what he’s supposed to do on the field. He does not always get to where the route is designed for him to be. Everyone has seen that his hands are not reliable given the number of drops he’s had over his 41-game career.

And now, his availability has proven unreliable. It won’t happen in the next four weeks, but the Chiefs need Bowe to grow up. More importantly, Dwayne Bowe needs Dwayne Bowe to grow up. His talents would not be the first wasted because of immaturity.

But, he can do something about it


  • BENGALS – signed RB Larry Johnson; released DT Orien Harris.
  • BUCCANEERS – re-signed G Arron Sears.
  • BILLS – fired head coach Dick Jauron – in three-plus seasons he had a 24-33 record; Perry Fewell named interim head coach.
  • CHIEFS – the NFL suspended WR Dwayne Bowe four games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
  • DOLPHINS – RB Ronnie Brown will not play Thursday night against the Panthers because of his foot injury.
  • JAGUARS – placed WR Jarrett Dillard on the injured-reserve list: signed WR Nate Hughes.
  • PANTHERS – placed OT Jordan Gross on the injured-reserve list; promoted WR Charly Martin from the practice squad.
  • RAVENS – released K Steve Hauschka.
  • SAINTS – signed CB Chris McAlister; released QB Chase Daniel.
  • STEELERS – released LB Arnold Harrison; promoted LB Donovan Woods from the practice squad; it’s unlikely that S Troy Polamalu will play against the Chiefs because of a knee injury suffered last Sunday.


On November 18, 1960, the Dallas Texans lost to the Boston Patriots 42-14 in a Friday night game played at Boston University Field. More details later today.

On November 18, 1962, the Dallas Texans beat the Denver Broncos 24-3 at Bears Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 23,523 fans. The Texans scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to wrap up the victory. QB Len Dawson (left) threw three touchdown passes, including a 92-yarder to TE Tommy Brooker. Dawson also connected on a 47-yard pass to TE Fred Arbanas and 26 yards to WR Chris Burford. Booker kicked a 13-yard FG. Dawson was 11 of 17 for 275 yards, while Arbanas caught three passes for 117 yards. RB Abner Haynes had 74 yards rushing.

On November 18, 1973, the Chiefs beat the Houston Oilers 38-14 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs built a 24-0 lead and never trailed the Oilers, as they played in front of 68,444 fans. Mike Livingston started at quarterback and threw a pair of early TD passes, one of five yards to TE Gary Butler and a 24-yarder to WR Otis Taylor. Livingston also scored on a three-yard run. The Chiefs got fourth quarter TDs on a one-yard run by RB Willie Ellison and a 19-yard fumble return by DE John Lohmeyer. S Jim Kearney and LB Willie Lanier picked off a pair of QB Lynn Dickey passes. DTs Curley Culp and Buck Buchanan had sacks for the Chiefs defense.

On November 18, 1974, the Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 42-34 in a Monday night game at Mile High Stadium. It was a prime-time shootout in Denver, with the big yardage belonging to the Broncos but the victory going to the Chiefs. Denver QB Charley Johnson threw for 445 yards and a pair of TD passes, but Kansas city had three interceptions, two by CB Emmitt Thomas and the other from LB Willie Lanier. QB Len Dawson threw TD passes to WR Otis Taylor and RB Ed Podolak. On the ground, Podolak, Woody Green and Wendell Hayes had TD runs. Green finished the game with 114 yards on 18 carries.

On November 18, 1979, the Chiefs beat the Raiders 24-21 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Chiefs ended a five-game losing streak and got some help from Oakland kicker Jim Breech, who missed his 19-yard FG attempt with five seconds left that would have sent the game into overtime. The Raiders were down 24-7 late in the third quarter when they began a comeback directed by QB Ken Stabler. He connected with TE Derrick Ramsey for a 16-yard score and then WR Cliff Branch (right) on three-yard TD pass to move within a field goal. Branch should have had another touchdown catch but he dropped Stabler’s pass in the end zone. The Chiefs got their touchdowns early, as RB Horace Belton scored on a three-yard run, WR Henry Marshall had a 23-yard scoring run and TE Tony Samuels fell on a fumble in the end zone. Jan Stenerud added a 41-yard FG. First-year RB Mike Williams ran 20 times for 109 yards and caught four passes for 54 yards.

On November 18, 1984, the Chiefs lost to the Raiders 17-7 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a crowd of 48,575 fans. The Raiders jumped to a 14-0 lead at half-time and rode that to the victory. The Chiefs only score came on a three-yard TD pass from QB Bill Kenney to TE Willie Scott. The Raiders defense held KC to just 182 offensive yards, including just 20 rushing yards on 16 carries. Oakland LB Rod Martin got the scoring started when he returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown. The Chiefs defense picked off Raiders QB Marc Wilson one and sacked him three times; CB Albert Lewis had the pick and DEs Art Still (two) and Mike Bell had the sacks.

On November 18, 1990, the Chiefs beat the San Diego Chargers 27-10 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs jumped to a 17-3 lead at half-time and never trailed San Diego in front of 63,717 fans. In the first quarter, QB Steve DeBerg and WR J.J. Birden (left) hooked up on a 90-yard TD pass. Later, FB Bill Jones caught two scoring passes of two and six yards. DeBerg finished 11 of 24 for just 171 yards, but three TDs. The Chiefs defense had three interceptions from CBs Kevin Ross and Stan Petry and S Lloyd Burruss. K Nick Lowery had a pair of FGs.


Born on November 18, 1934 in Modesto, California was former Chiefs head coach Paul Wiggin (right). He joined the franchise as its second head coach in 1975, and had an 11-24 record before he was fired seven games into the ’77 season. Wiggin played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns (1957-67), appearing in 146 games as a defensive end. He was selected to two Pro Bowls and was a starter on the 1964 NFL championship team when the Browns beat Baltimore 27-0. After retiring as a player he was hired to be an assistant coach by the 49ers, where he worked until he was named head coach of the Chiefs on January 23, 1975. After he was fired by the Chiefs, Wiggin spent two seasons in New Orleans working as defensive coordinator and was hired as head coach at Stanford in 1980. He is currently working in the Vikings pro personnel department.

Born on November 18, 1956 in Los Angeles was Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon (left). He joined the Chiefs in 1999, after spending 15 seasons in the NFL with the Oilers, Vikings and Seahawks. Moon spent two years with the Chiefs (1999-2000), appearing in three games, with one start. He completed 16 of 37 passes for 228 yards, one TD and one INT. Those games were the last of his pro football career that began in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos, where he was part of five league champions. Over his CFL-NFL career, Moon threw for 60,553 yards, with 435 touchdown passes and 310 interceptions. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2006.

33 Responses to “So Much Talent, So Immature … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • November 18, 2009  - ThunderChief says:

    From the little I know about him through interviews and the HBO series, I do not believe D Bowe is a bad person. Quite the contrary. He may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer mentally but that’s hardly an indictment in the larger sense.

    As Bob points out, the guy does have a gift, has the talent to be an elite go-to WR, and obviously needs some form of help in getting his priorities sorted out. The question is, will he realize it and do the things necessary to get past this personal issue?

    I think he can and hope he will. Meantime, I remain a fan and supporter of D Bowe.

  • November 18, 2009  - MenInRed says:

    Does D-Bowe stand for Dumb-Bowe? No, thats a story book/carton but it could if he keeps this sh*t up. My first thought was “What the H*ll was He Thinking” but Bob pretty much explained the train of thought he may have had and why, good write Bob.

    Real glad we picked up Chambers now, time to shine Long, Wade & Bradley.

    Go Chiefs!!!

  • November 18, 2009  - Shoe says:

    Thanks for the insight Bob.

    As is, Bowe is a decent WR. The potential is there for him to dominate–if he ever figures a few things out.

    I’m convinced that Eddie Kennison didn’t “get it” about what it takes in the NFL until around the time the Donkeys cut him loose in ’01.

    If we’re lucky, Bowe gets the message soon.

  • November 18, 2009  - Rick says:

    good article. nice insight.

  • November 18, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Dwayne is a likable young man. He made a mistake. I hope he learns from it.

    My impression of Bowe? I think he can be one of the best in the game. Just look at what he’s done…without really trying. It seems to me that he wants to rely on the skills he has, and not put in the extra effort that will take him to the next level. I’m hoping that Haley can bring that desire out in Dwayne.

  • November 18, 2009  - Scott C says:

    If he can’t be with the team for 4 weeks what’s that going to do to his conditioning. Hopefully he has somewhere to go to workout and stay in “Football” condition.

  • November 18, 2009  - Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 11/18 | Kansas City Chiefs Blog says:

    [...] So Much Talent, So Immature … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs from Bob Gretz [...]

  • November 18, 2009  - ED says:

    Hopefully this guy will get it, but my take on the Chiefs organization is if Dez Bryant falls to us in the first round of the draft we need to take him. For a couple reasons. One if Bowe does get it together we have two very good receivers much like what the Cardinals have right now. Second main reason if Bowe doesn’t get it at least we have an insurance policy to take over that #1 spot. Either way its a win/win for the Chiefs.

  • November 18, 2009  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    In my opinion, the Chiefs better not go with a WR in the first round. Obviously we need another good receiver, but we need about 3 new starting offensive linemen more.
    If we have a great o-line that makes average receivers become good receivers. If we have great receivers but no line…it makes no difference. Cassel is being sacked as the receiver takes his 4th step off the line.

  • November 18, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Behind Enemy Lines says:
    “In my opinion, the Chiefs better not go with a WR in the first round.”

    I tend to agree. I’d rather see them explore a WR in Free Agency.

    And I agree 100% about the pass protection. We could have Fitz over there…but if Cassel has half a second to throw, it wouldn’t make a difference.

  • November 18, 2009  - jimbo says:

    Dwayne Bowe has done more than let his team, staff & fans down. He has let himself down. This banned drug suspension will be on his resume forever. When or if he becomes a free agent, many prospective teams will be concerned & a little bit skeptical of who & what Dwayne Bowe is all about. Unless he quickly turns into an elite WR he has cost himself a serious amount of future earnings as well.
    I really felt that our addition of Chris Chambers, would be giving opposing defenses 2 game changing threats for them to worry about.
    Oh well, it is what it is. It’s not like we lost a chance at a playoff berth because of it.
    I really would like to see Dwayne Bowe as a Chief for many years to come.

  • November 18, 2009  - el cid says:

    First pick should be at the elite level of position players. RB, WR, QB, monster ILB, or shut down CB. We are past desparate for OL but dedicate the next 3 picks on the OL and hopefully two free agents. To many 1st round picks do not make it (we know only to well), so you go for a cannot miss if you can id one. I know it does not make much sense but I hope you get what I mean.

  • November 18, 2009  - el cid says:

    As for Bowe, some of the blame might be on Haley’s shoulders with the need for massive weight loss during training camp. Bowe should have been prepared for this season but he was not. Hope they both learn from this. Bowe taking 4 games off really does not matter at 2-7 and it answers why Wade was sitting on the inactive list, good backup plan. The Chiefs knew it was coming.

  • November 18, 2009  - Jody says:

    I blame Todd haley’s weight obsession as much as anything, Albert hasn’t been the same since.

  • November 18, 2009  - el cid says:

    The next four games will be very interesting. We have traveled over the piles of semi washed up WR and so many TEs, now we see how Haley’s effort to improve the roster. Will Bowe missing effect much or is he just a piece not really part of the future? I do not believe any one player will effect what the Chiefs do. Even at QB, Haley will proceed as he started the season no matter who the player or position is.

  • November 18, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    Blaming Haley for Dwayne Bowe making a bad decision is absolutley insane. I knew there would be some that would, though….predicted it yesterday. He has become the “whipping boy” for everything for some people.

    There is no one to blame but Bowe himself. Period.

  • November 18, 2009  - richinpa says:

    This is a poorly reasoned entry. There is no need for the amateur psychological analysis. This morning I learned from J. Whitlock that Mark Mangino has anger management problems because of his weight. Now I learn from B. Gretz that Dwayne Bowe is immature because of his unstable childhood environment. Since when did sports writers become so insightful into the nuances of the human psyche? I also wonder if B. Gretz would be so willing to link the failed drug tests of white football players to an immaturity that somehow has its roots in the players’ poor childhood environments. Somehow, I doubt it. Normally, I enjoy B. Gretz’s insights into the Chiefs and the NFL. This, however, isn’t a good entry. Get off the moral soapbox and leave the psychology to others.

  • November 18, 2009  - el cid says:

    Mad Chiefs ever read of “the path not taken” or the butterfly effect? Not going into depth, nothing happens in a vaccum and different things effect end results. If Bowe had not been treated as the second coming, maybe he would be different now. And on it goes. Yes, Bowe is the final decider of himself but to say “no one to blame but Bowe” is not part of the real world. It must be nice to get everything black and white in our gray world.

  • November 18, 2009  - Stiv says:

    If we could get any pick in the first round, even if it’s as low as the #32 selection for Bowe, I’d take it right now and not bat an eye.

  • November 18, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    Lets be real. We are so bad right now what difference is it really gonna make that Bowe is not playing.

    My prediction: Bowe will not be a Chief much longer.

  • November 18, 2009  - True Red & Gold says:

    Of course Haley gets the blame for everything, as it should be. That is part of his job description.

  • November 18, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    el cid says:
    “Yes, Bowe is the final decider of himself but to say “no one to blame but Bowe” is not part of the real world. It must be nice to get everything black and white in our gray world.”

    Bowe came in overwieght, and Haley demanded that he get down to playing weight. Bowe took a shortcut, by taking a banned substance…and got caught. Now, he pays the price. Not everything may be “black and white” in the “real world”, but THAT is.

    And maybe that’s part of what’s wrong with the “real world”. People aren’t always held accountable for their actions. “Well, he did this because…” There’s always an excuse, or a shift of blame. Bullsh*t. So, I’ll say it again…Dwayne Bowe has no one to blame but himself. And I’m pretty sure he WON’T blame anyone but himself. So, it’s amusing to me that others do.

  • November 18, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    True Red & Gold says:
    “Of course Haley gets the blame for everything, as it should be. That is part of his job description.”

    So Herman Edwards was to blame for Jarad Allen’s DWI…and for Merritt getting caught with weed?

    Be serious.

  • November 18, 2009  - Mad Chief says:

    So, if my boss puts a huge workload on me…and I make a stupid decision to take some “speed”, because I think it will help me get done faster…and I get caught…then it’s my bosses fault for being too demanding?

    Seriously…that’s how some people think? That’s sad.

  • November 18, 2009  - Behind Enemy Lines says:

    el cid
    I think I understand what you are saying about the draft. I think I’d agree to disagree. In my opinion, nothing would have a greater impact on this team than solidifying our O-Line. Obviously the Chiefs need a lot of help in other areas too…hence the 2-7 record. Again, I would argue that the entire offense gets better when the line gets better. More time for Cassel and receivers, bigger holes for Charles/Smith/Savage and more potential for TE’s to be receivers instead of pass protectors (even if Haley doesn’t use them often). But again…any 1st round draft pick will probably make us better.

  • November 18, 2009  - Hawaiianchief says:

    fix the offensive line, majority of our problems will improve, including our defense. How many times this year have we seen them play defense with a lead??? I know it is not much. But it does make a difference, in terms of rest, and the ability to be more aggressive and taking more chances.

    Also New England proved that you don’t need an elite set of wide receivers to win the Super Bowl, you need the Quarterback (which I think we have), and a solid offensive line= a decent running game.

    Growing up I was always coached that the offensive line is the heart of the team, as they go your team goes. I think the Kansas City Chiefs for the last 3 years has shown that their is some definite truth to that statement.

  • November 18, 2009  - Randy says:

    Bowe can overcome this setback with hard work. Jared Allen is an example of that, he’s now got a mammoth contract, with play to back it up. I just hope Bowe’s comeback is with KC, and for years to come.

  • November 18, 2009  - SG says:

    “released QB Chase Daniel…”

    Any chance this guy gets a look for the practice squad? (can anyone tell the “don’t waste time talking about the guy who’s not on the field this week” approach is being used?)

  • November 18, 2009  - Stiv says:

    No way on Chase Daniel. He can’t see over an NFL line and has no experience under center.

    We don’t need a midget QB who’s never won anything.

  • November 18, 2009  - brainsmasher says:

    I like D-Bowe. He is a big kid. When I heard him say he admired Soulja Boy I knew that was not a good sign.

  • November 18, 2009  - ED says:

    Bowe will be around because this was just a blip on his career. Deep down he seems to be a good guy and Haley will keep him around. As for the draft we have one 1st rd pick and 2 2nd rd picks. I’m just saying Dez Bryant is going to be an elite receiver. If he’s their in the 1st round take him. We can use the both 2nd round picks on the offensive line. I’m just saying Dez to me from watching alot of college football on him will have a better pro career than even Crabtree.

    Seeing that the offense needs playmakers at wideout as well as guys giving Cassell time to get the ball out take the better pro. My draft philosphy is draft on need but draft the best player at that time based off your team needs. Right now we need to fix this offense. The defense has played well enough in games for us to win, but the offense if awful and leaves the defense on the field too long to be productive. So my opinion first 3 picks need to be dedicated to the offense. Lineman of course need to absorb most of those picks.

  • November 18, 2009  - ED says:

    I’m not saying not to take a offensive lineman in the 1st rd, but if Dez Bryant is there when the Chiefs are on the clock then take him. You can get some good lineman in 2nd round. Other than that if Dez isn’t there take the best lineman on the board unless their is a game changing, pass rushing OLB there then I wouldn’t mine taking him if his skill set far outweighs the offensive lineman thats availble like I said we got 2 picks in the 2nd round we can always pick up two stud lineman then.

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