Once news of Dwayne Bowe’s arrest broke earlier this week, it sure didn’t take long to see where he stood in the court of public opinion. Put it this way: I’m pretty sure they felt the same way I did after viewing “The Best Man Holiday” last night — saddened and a little betrayed.^ While I continued to tweet news about his arrest for alleged marijuana possession, people literally jumped at the chance to excoriate him for being selfish or downright foolish, while also poking fun at his decline in production.^^
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
^When it was over, let’s just say we all filed out of the theater like we’d been treated to a VIP tour of a puppy mill. Not good times.
^^I thought about posting some of the tamer ones on my mentions, but thought better of it. Seems like piling on.
I, for one, happen to think Bowe gets somewhat of a bad rap. I do not think he is selfish, and I think most of his teammates genuinely like him. People who know him say he’s good-hearted. But he also has had a long list of missteps, and with the biggest game of the year coming up, he couldn’t have picked a worse time to become a distraction.
Players and coaches said different Wednesday (of course they did), but I really don’t see any way around it. And in a parity-driven league where teams try to avoid distractions, it sure doesn't take much these days to tip the scales on Sunday.
The good news for Chiefs fans is this: I think there's a good chance Bowe is embarrassed by the incident, whether he takes responsibility for it or not. If he’s a competitor, he should be champing at the bit to make it right and remind everyone why the Chiefs’ braintrust — one that didn’t draft him and thus, had no real allegiance to him — still decided to hand him a five-year, $56 million contract this offseason.
Considering the Chiefs will absolutely need to score points against a 37-year old quarterback that has somehow channeled “Robo QB” from past Madden video games, I'd say that's something to hope for if your fan. Needless to say, I'll be watching his effort on Sunday, and I expect to learn a lot about the way he's wired, for better or worse.
Now, on to the Bowe-centric portion of the mailbag. Like always, we’ll start with some leftover questions from my live chat on Wednesday, so if you missed that, be sure to read the transcript here.
• Adison N Kayla Waterman: I was reading the CBA and it states that four-game suspension can be enforced by the league for a first-time offender. If the league sticks Bowe with a suspension, do you think it will be this season or next season?
I think it will be next season. Bowe’s lawyer is surely good enough to get his court date, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 18, pushed back until after the season.
• Adison N Kayla Waterman: Do you believe (Rashad Ross) will be called up to the active roster if Bowe is suspended this season?
I doubt he’ll be suspended this season, so no.
• JM: Do you think that Bowe’s lack of performance is because of a new style of QB or more because of his lack of effort due to a new large contract?
He looks a tad slower this year, but I’m not sure it's due to some newfound lack of effort caused by an influx of cash. He’s always had issues with his consistency, and Alex Smith rarely throws the ball unless a guy is in single coverage (he’ll check it down unless a guy is borderline alone in space like, say, former WWE “superstar” Virgil). So the combination of that, plus coach Andy Reid’s insistence on throwing to the running back, has led to a sub-par statistical season from Bowe.
@TerezPaylor What about for "conduct detrimental" I thought they could suspend for a game at team discretion?— Alex Scott (@amsdkc) November 13, 2013
Bowe’s arrest falls under the league’s substance-abuse policy, and the collective bargaining agreement prohibits teams from “disciplining” a player for violating that. Now, they could always sit him if they wanted — coaches control playing time, and there’s some wiggle room for interpretation there — but my guess is the Chiefs didn't feel Bowe's situation is serious enough to go that route.
I should have some fun with this but the first two jokes I typed fell flat. I got nothing. Sorry. Let’s try another one...
I'd love to call someone like Snoop Dogg^ for the 4-1-1 about this but I imagine he's blazed out of his mind right now (and has no idea who I am), so MSNBC.com will have to do. This article states that Colorado citizens can carry up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. Bowe allegedly possessed 10 grams and a little googling reveals that translates to about a half-ounce, which is well under the limit in Colorado.
^Yeah, I know he's going by Snoop Lion or Snoopzilla or whatever the hell he calls himself these days, but I'm going to call him the name he went by at the peak of his powers, back when he inexplicably rocked a freaking Springfield Indians hockey jersey in the “Gin and Juice” video. I know you know what I'm talking about, and I know you asked your parents for that jersey for Christmas, too. Wait, that was just me? You sure? Hands? Please? OK, let's just move on.
@TerezPaylor Are players still upbeat despite the recent Bowe situation?— Reach (@emceereach) November 13, 2013
I think they are. At the stadium Thursday, it almost felt like the Bowe thing never happened. No one was talking about it and no one was asking about it. I just think the energy the organization spent having to deal with this issue Tuesday and Wednesday would have been better spent somewhere else. On to non-Bowe topics, finally...
• Big Sexy: How much credit does Jason Whitlock deserve for the success of this football team? It's my understanding he identified Charles, Hali, DJ as draft targets.
I want to give Whitlock the benefit of the doubt — he was always friendly to me when he worked at The Star, even when he was a big-shot columnist and I was a Northland high school sports reporter seven years ago. But how much credit does he deserve for the Chiefs' success? About as much as I do for creating “The Wire” (though I see enough similarities between myself and Bunk to considering suing for royalties from time-to-time^).
^This is wishful thinking. You're never gonna believe this coming from a guy who draws on worn pop-culture references from the 80s (like the Rocky movies) for humor, but I'm not that cool. Shocking, I know. Hey, speaking of Rocky...
• Guest: Can a new receiver make a difference in the limited time before the start of the game?
Special teams coach Dave Toub said Kyle Williams, who the Chiefs claimed off waivers Wednesday, could serve as a backup kick or punt returner Sunday, so I wouldn't be surprised if he dressed. But with only three days to prepare, I doubt he’ll be ready to contribute offensively.
• Nick: How are they going to handle Peyton Manning?
The Chiefs have to get pressure on him, which is clearly easier said than done, considering his uncanny ability to get the ball out quickly. For more on this, read Randy Covitz’s story on it, which ran today, by clicking right here.
• Ron Cloninger: Why is no one talking about how bad our run defense has been? We’re giving up five yards a carry, worst in the league I believe.
You are correct, sir! The Chiefs are tied with the New Orleans Saints in that category by allowing 5.0 yards per carry. I excused them for getting gashed for 264 yards by the Eagles in Week 3 because they only had three days to prepare for a really unique offense. But Buffalo’s ground game was a little more straightforward, so allowing them to run for 241 yards was pretty much unacceptable. The Chiefs seem to understand this though, so there’s that.
• Darin: Shouldn't the weather play to the Chiefs advantage since Mr. Manning is partial to warmer weather?
Mr. Manning is indeed partial to warmer weather, but he’ll be at home this week. The bigger problem for him might be the fact his ankles have seemingly turned into Grant Hill’s over the last month.
• Jordan: While starting out 9-0 is a huge accomplishment, where do you see our record for the remaining 7?
The schedule gets a bit tougher from here on out. The losable games, in my opinion: both Denver games, San Diego on the road, Indianapolis at home, Washington on the road. Assuming the Chiefs win at home against San Diego and on the road against Oakland and went, say 2-3 in the losable games, they're still looking at 13-3. Just a guess, people. If you don't like it, I got two words for ya...^
^Fill in the blank, late 90s wrestling fans.
@TerezPaylor why was Chad Hall getting played in front of Hemingway if Hall is the one cut? They think Hall is better NOW? JH has upside?— Ian Collinson (@IanC56) November 14, 2013
This is the type of question that makes me glad I do my snap-count feature every week. The assertion that Hall received more offensive snaps than Hemingway is simply untrue. By my count, Hemingway has logged 105 snaps to only 26 for Hall this season. In fact, Hall logged 16 of those snaps against the Tennessee Titans, which was the only game he played more than Hemingway (who played six snaps that day). In the four games since, Hemingway has played 51 snaps to Hall's five.
Interestingly enough, the number of snaps A.J. Jenkins has received over that time frame (11) isn’t much more than Hall’s, which is why I figured one of them would be on the chopping block when news of Kyle Williams’ signing broke Wednesday. Given Jenkins’ status as a former first-round pick, I’m not surprised Hall got the axe.
He was sparsely used against Buffalo, so it’s hard to tell, at this point. I expect Jamaal Charles to easily eclipse 20 touches though, so I doubt there will be a ton of leftover snaps back there.
The Chiefs will be coming off a bye so they should be rested. My best guess is we’ll see Allen Bailey rotate in along the interior in passing situations like he always does. Aside from that, Anthony Toribio will come in when the Chiefs are in goal line. But those are the only backups I really see playing in the front seven Sunday.
Well, he’s on the 53-man roster now, which means he's got a decent shot to be active. But if he is, I’d expect him to help on special teams. I doubt the Chiefs will be looking to screw with their secondary much, especially when other backup safeties like Quintin Demps and Husain Abdullah have had their moments.
Alright folks, time for the question of the week. Let's close this thing out, right...
• Jeremy: Whats the outcome of the game Sunday. Can the Chiefs win?
Can the Chiefs win? Clay Davis thinks so.^
^Feel free to look up his popular catchphrase that I can’t link to.
But will they win? I think the odds are with Denver. I’m picking the Broncos to win 27-20, but I don't feel great about it, and I’m totally prepared to go to Mile High (Denver’s home field will always be Mile High to me, OK?) and watch the Chiefs pull a Rocky IV, collectively climb the Rocky Mountains in snowboots and earn their respect by topping the high-powered Dragos, err, Broncos.
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.