Chambers has Bowe's back.
ST. JOSEPH, MO - There’s been plenty of talk about Dwayne Bowe’s production this offseason, but little attention has been given towards his receiving corp counterpart Chris Chambers.
It’s no secret that the Chiefs are hoping to groom Bowe to become the elite wide receiver they hoped he’d be from day one, but there’s been trouble trying to find the perfect mentor for him.
Chambers is entering his first full season with the Chiefs, and if last year was any indication, he’s primed for yet another solid season. Fans were fearful that he would not re-sign with the team, but he agreed to terms on a three-year contract. His deal will end after the 2012 season; Bowe’s rookie contract will have expired the previous year.
After dropping scores of passes over the past few seasons, the Chiefs are hoping to erase memories of mediocre play from the receivers and finally give their quarterback a chance to succeed. Chambers offers just that: a chance to move on. Although he was acquired during the regular season, Chambers had an immediate impact on the field. Now that he’s been with the team long enough to create camaraderie, he’s surely having an impact on his fellow receiver Bowe.
It’s hard to say whether Chambers could be a replacement or a guide for Bowe in his career, but regardless, head coach Todd Haley found a receiver that he can believe in. If Bowe shows substantial improvement this season, he’ll be lining up with Chambers as a Chiefs receiver for years to come. But that’s the key: Bowe has to show his worth before he gets an extension. Chambers all ready showed his worth and it paid off for him. Chambers is just trying to hold the door open for Bowe to let him get out of Haley’s doghouse.
Haley has a knack for stocking up on receivers, and entering camp I predicted that the team would scavenge the waiver wires yet again to find any receivers for depth or to push Bowe. This year, however, that might not be the case. While we’re only a few days into training camp, it seems as if the receivers are locking in on the playbook and grasping onto passes headed their way. Haley might not have to send Scott Pioli on a preseason hunt for wide receivers after all.
Chambers has acknowledged that the wide receivers have spent extra time together with the quarterbacks in order to get a rhythm together, and that the other receivers are showing signs of progress. “We do have guys with tremendous hands,” he said. “We’re working on the timing right now and we’re putting it on ourselves to be a good catching team.”
Bowe has been the teams offensive MVP in camp.
Justin Olson/Warpaint Illustrated
He’s right. In the first few days of camp, Bowe has made a stellar showing for himself, and it’s hard to think that last year the guy was practicing with the second team. I reported that Bowe struggled a bit at the beginning of OTAs and mini-camp, but those days seem so long ago. While some have said that Chambers had an up-and-down start to camp, he’s still capable of being a go-to guy once the games begin. It’s Bowe who needs to stay consistent, and from the looks of it, he may be doing just that.
Chambers recalled sound advice from former NFL receiver Cris Carter, who said: “You make all the plays you’re supposed to make, and make some of the plays you’re not supposed to make.” Chambers added, “You stick with that, you’ll be good.”
Carter and Chambers’ advice can be applied to any player in the NFL, but it can surely be placed on the Chiefs and their receivers. It can also be applied to how they handle themselves off the field.
While Chambers has had his own brush of off-field issues in the past, he’s definitely overcome them to be an influential figure for Bowe. Chambers conducts himself very well for the public while Bowe has had his handful of mistakes.
After his strong showing on the first day of camp, Bowe didn’t speak with the media, letting his gleaming smile and confident strut do the talking. Surely, Bowe has settled down and either has been talking with Haley or Chambers in how to jumpstart his career.
What training camp offers the Chiefs’ offense and their receivers is plenty of time to fix what’s wrong before opposing defenses try and ruin those plans. It also gives ample time for a player like Bowe to get his head put on straight by an influential teammate like Chambers. However, we know what to expect with Chambers – steady production – and if Bowe can complement that with his own skills, then the Chiefs’ offense is in for one heck of a year.