Shortly after Todd Haley was hired as Chiefs head coach he clashed with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. Bowe told Kent Babb at The Kansas City Star those early days were humbling, demeaning and confusing among other things.
“Now it’s better,” he said.
Bowe entered this season as an overconfident, unreliable and supremely talented receiver. Haley approached Bowe and, perhaps for the first time in his career, forced him to forget the show and just catch the ball. That wasn’t easy. Bowe likes to put on a show.
“One of the first things I said to Dwayne was: ‘Don’t give me your numbers,’ ” Haley said. “If a receiver is on a losing team and has a thousand yards, it really doesn’t count in my mind.”
Months have passed since those first meetings and a Chiefs training camp in which Bowe, in his third season after being a first-round pick in 2007, was stripped of his starting job and moved to third-team wideout. But even as Bowe reclaimed the role of starter, as his skills improved and his trust in Haley strengthened, it has become clear that Bowe remains one of Haley’s most hands-on projects.
And I hope he remains that way through the season and well into the off season until Haley has new draft picks to work with. Bowe has come a long way since Haley was hired and still has work to do. So far the Chiefs coaching staff has done an amazing job with their handling of Bowe.
There were some people in the media that were so sure Haley was mishandling the situation.
Speaking of which…
A new sign popped up in the Chiefs locker room this week that many thought was aimed at Larry Johnson’s now infamous tweets and outburst towards the media. Jason Whitlock thinks it’s a much more devious plan.
Their sign read: “Losers assemble in small groups and complain about the coaches and other players. Winners assemble as a team and find ways to win.”
You might think the sign is intended for Larry “Tweet Tweet” Johnson’s edification. Not true. Larry isn’t around. He’s still suspended. You might think it’s simply a hostile reminder to players to keep their mouths shut about any glaring errors made by Egoli and Haley. There’s some truth in that.
But Pioli and Haley were thinking big picture when they hung the sign. It was for everyone’s edification.
Don’t buy Haley’s Thursday excuse that the hallway where the sign was posted is “sacred” and that the media shouldn’t have reported what the sign said. A Chiefs employee tweeted a picture of the sign. At one point Thursday, Haley said he didn’t even know what Twitter is.
These guys are in over their heads. Haley is taking the bullet for a sign that I’d almost guarantee came from Egoli’s head. No way the sign went up without Pioli’s approval. It took 24 hours for Pioli and Haley to figure out the sign makes them look Mickey Mouse and hypocritical.
Some things never change with Whitlock.
I have received a couple dozen emails on the sign and all of them have been positive or if not positive at least understanding the need for the message to be delivered. All of them. I understand it’s Whitlock’s job to try and stir the pot, but it’s amazing that every single article on the Chiefs is negative. It’s to the point that Haley could say in his press conference that the sky is blue and the story tomorrow would be “Chiefs coach tells players he created the sky!”
Let me know when he writes something that isn’t typical.
The Jaguars gave up more than 300 yards on the ground last week to the Titans, but just as important as their defense against the run is getting pressure on Matt Cassel.
Kansas City’s overall offense and passing offense rank 30th in the league in yardage gained.
The Jaguars’ run defense figures to improve this week because Rashean Mathis is back practicing with a cast on his broken left index finger and has said it’s not giving him any problems. His return enables Reggie Nelson to switch back to his safety spot after struggling at corner in Tennessee.
Also, the Chiefs’ best running back, Larry Johnson, is suspended for the game.
But the Jaguars’ pass rush, ranked last in the league in sacks per pass play, could have an opportunity in this game because Cassel has been sacked 24 times.
“That brings a smile to our DL face when they said that [Cassel's 24 sacks],” rookie defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. They’ve got a new quarterback, a new system, and we know Cassel likes to hold on to the ball a bit longer [than most quarterbacks].”
The Jaguars have five sacks this season.
I’m a little surprised Knighton’s comments haven’t gotten more play. I imagine that has a lot to do the team’s combined record of 4-10, but it sure should get up on the Chiefs bulletin board. For a team looking for as much help as possible on the offensive line it couldn’t hurt to have a rallying cry this weekend.