The struggling Chiefs offense will get some help this week in the form of receiver Dwayne Bowe, fresh off a suspension. His last game may have been one of his best of the year, but the team says it’s important to limit expectations.
“It’s unreasonable to expect him to come in and play as good or better as he was before he left,” wide receiver Bobby Wade said. “The hardest thing about missing games during the season is the speed of the game. It’s going to be a challenge for him to play within his own realm and make the plays that come to him, but he’s capable of handling it. He’s got to let the game come to him and not stress about making a big play. He just has to play solid.”
Haley wouldn’t specify how much Bowe will play against the Browns. He didn’t waste any time getting new receivers Wade and Chambers into the rotation earlier in the season. But neither of those players had just finished a four-week layoff as Bowe has.
“Just in looking at him, it looks like he’s done a pretty good job of keeping himself in condition,” Haley said. “He says he has, which is what I would expect him to have done. I would expect him to get right back in the mix.”
With Bowe returning, one of the other receivers will get squeezed out. Chambers, Wade, Mark Bradley and Lance Long each played a considerable number of snaps against the Bills and caught at least two passes.
Hopefully Haley will commit to the run the way he should have this past week. And when he does decide to go to the air, Cassel needs to find Bowe early and often. I appreciate the effort of the receiving corps, but outside of Chambers, none of them have proven they can hold on to the ball or make a big play. Yes, Chambers had the huge drop against the Bills but for the most part has been one of the few bright spots for the offense along with Jamaal Charles.
With the Chiefs officially eliminated from playoff contention, a miracle can’t even get them to the Super Bowl. The NFL made sure Kansas City will be represented by announcing that Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson will participate in the Vince Lombardi Trophy ceremony following Super Bowl XLIV.
Dawson will carry the trophy to a stage at midfield and hand it off to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who will then present it to the Super Bowl Champions, once the game has gone final. NFL Films will accompany the presentation with a musical score while CBS carries the presentation live on a national broadcast.
It was 40 years ago that Dawson led the Chiefs to a 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. Dawson will continue the tradition of Super Bowl legends participating in the Lombardi Trophy ceremony, which began with Bart Starr’s participation in Super Bowl XL. Past participants have also included Coach Don Shula (Super Bowl XLI), Doug Williams (Super Bowl XLII) and Joe Namath (Super Bowl XLIII).
It’ll be great to see Len out there holding the Lombardi Trophy. America needs to be reminded that, believe it or not, the Chiefs were winners at some point. Go get ‘em, Lenny!
When the Cleveland Browns come to town Sunday, the Chiefs will have to try and contain the versatile Josh Cribbs. The biggest question each week is how many snaps are enough for Cribbs.
“He gets a lot of plays between the plays that he gets either at receiver or in the Wildcat and then you combine that with the opportunities he has a returner and as a cover player. It’s a significant amount of play time when you look at all those plays combined. What you don’t want to do, too, is use him so much that it now becomes almost the law of diminishing returns. You’re always trying to strike that balance. The plays that he can produce as a returner are so explosive. You’d hate to have drop-off there. It is a case of trying to find the right balance.”
Does this predicament sound familiar? One of Todd Haley’s toughest decisions is how much is too much. Charles touched the ball 27 times last week and I still think they could have put more on his plate. But at the same time you have to walk a very fine line with a guy that has never been a feature back and is not used to taking this kind of beating.
Cribbs (6-1, 215) is a bit bigger than Charles (5-11, 200) and only got his hands on the ball 13 times against the Steelers. Look for that number to be up near 20 this week at Arrowhead.