If it seems like you haven’t heard much from Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe much this season, that is by design. He told The Star that he won’t speak to the media at any point this season, instead choosing to keep his focus on the field. That improved focus — including consistent blocking — has impressed fellow WR Chris Chambers and QB Matt Cassel.
“Some receivers are a little bit more reluctant than others,” quarterback Matt Cassel said. “But at the same time, I know that a lot of the good ones go in there and they put their nose in there and they get after it.
“Dwayne has come in and worked tremendously hard this year and you can probably see it just with his physical look and what he brings. … You see him blocking on certain plays and he is doing everything that the coaches ask of him.”
“I don’t see that it bothers him too much,” Chambers said. “He’s matured. Sometimes it takes a little while. T his being his fourth year, I’m happy to see that.”
Chambers said Bowe has been patient. He blocks and has no problem with it. Then against San Francisco, Haley called a flea flicker out of the Wildcat formation, and Bowe was the deep target. The 49ers had gotten used to Bowe being a blocker, and that’s about the time that Cassel took the pitch from Dexter McCluster, and Bowe went running toward the end zone.
“Everybody came up thinking that was a run,” Chambers said. “Next thing you know, the ball is going over their heads.”
During Bowe’s first two seasons, he was an average blocker at best but it clearly wasn’t due to any lack of ability. We saw things start to turn for his blocking almost immediately under Todd Haley. During the second game of the preseason last year, Bowe stayed on a key block to help free Quinten Lawrence for a big gain on a reverse, showing what he was capable of. He continued to show flashes throughout the year, but needed more consistency.
Now this season, on the heels of his embarrassing suspension for using a banned substance and the infamous ESPN The Magazine article about “importing” women, Bowe has seemingly turned things around. He only has 119 yards over three games, but as Todd Haley mentioned this week look at most of the Chiefs big runs and you’ll see #82 right in the middle of the play.
With Kansas City looking to run the ball more than ever this week, Bowe will need to really be on his game. Who knows, maybe he’ll get rewarded with another flea flicker.