KC's defense getting an attitude adjustment
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Warpaint Illustrated Columnist
Posted May 8, 2008


Shortly after the Chiefs selected Dwayne Bowe last year, Herm Edwards addressed the media about his team’s first-round pick.

"He brings energy," the head coach said of his new receiver. "He brings a lot of energy when you watch him play. You need that."

For fans who weren’t familiar with Bowe’s career at LSU, a quote like that probably didn’t offer much insight. Energy? Don’t most players play with energy? After all, it’s not often that you see a receiver stretching and yawning at the line of scrimmage before slowly jogging along his route.

But after a season of watching Bowe on the field, Edwards' words now make plenty of sense. Instead of saying "energy", he could have just as easily said "swagger," or maybe even "attitude." Bowe plays with a noticeable sense of confidence, a trait that’s found in many of the league’s best receivers.

Rather than being a selfish "me-first" type of player, however, Bowe’s attitude seems like the kind of thing that can permeate throughout the team. In crunch time, the confident swagger he plays with could end up giving his teammates a lift.

Last season, even through the dark cloud of misery that hung over Kansas City's offense, we all saw the kind of impact a talented, self-assured player like Bowe can have - and he’s just one person. How would the Chiefs’ offense look with three players like Bowe on the field at any given time?

Well, it may take a while before we get the answer to that specific question. But on the other side of the ball, the answers may be coming much faster.

Somewhat lost in all the excitement surrounding Kansas City’s recent draft was the profile of several players the Chiefs added. Specifically, the first three defensive picks: Glenn Dorsey, Brandon Flowers, and DaJuan Morgan.

A model citizen off the field, Dorsey plays with a certain attitude that the Chiefs have been lacking on defense for years. He’s a leader – some pre-draft reports likened his fiery leadership to that of Ray Lewis – and, like his former LSU teammate Bowe, he has the confidence of a winner.

The Tigers have averaged just over two losses a season in the past four years, and Dorsey himself was the team captain of the defending national champions.

In terms of playing with "energy," Flowers may become the Dwayne Bowe of the defense. Watch any highlight package of the Chiefs’ second-round pick and you’ll come away with an immediate sense of the sort of attitude he can bring. Flowers’ confidence and his hard-hitting style make him exactly the kind of player who can help bring back the swagger to the Chiefs’ defensive unit.

And speaking of swagger, one of the most cited criticisms of third-round pick DaJuan Morgan was that he may have played with too much of it. His frequent celebrations after making big plays brought up questions about his attitude and maturity, though he was still considered one of the top safeties in the 2008 class.

With these three players on the field at once, KC's defense won't lack in leadership, toughness, or attitude. And as Edwards works to bring an identity back to that side of the ball, it’s not a coincidence that he’s begun drafting the types of players who can bring those traits to a team.

The Chiefs used to have a defense that struck fear into opponents, the sort of defense that punched you in the face and then talked trash while you sulked away. With the additions he’s made this year, it’s clear Edwards is working to bring that same attitude back to the Chiefs.


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