Fans of the Kansas City Chiefs were very excited when the team drafted Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin in the first year of the NFL draft.
Then Thomas Jones’ fist got in the way.
Baldwin missed half of his rookie season thanks to a locker room fight with the locker room leader and then failed to make much of an impact once he finally got on the field. The fact that Baldwin had no offseason thanks to the NFL lockout, coupled with his missing half the season was likely too much for anyone to overcome.
But 2012 is a new year and this is a new Chiefs team. With WR Dwayne Bowe currently refusing to sign his franchise tender, Baldwin is getting extra reps at OTAs and according to head coach Romeo Crennel, he’s making the most of them.
“Baldwin has made a couple plays in these last three days,” Crennel told reporters last week. “So that’s a good sign and that’s good to see.”
This is welcome news for Chiefs fans who are likely hoping Baldwin can become a true threat opposite Dwayne Bowe. If that happens, QB Matt Cassel should have plenty of targets to throw to in 2012. The team expects TE Tony Moeaki back from injury and they also added TE Kevin Boss. Add to that speedster Devon Wylie, Dexter McCluster, Steve Breaston, Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and when he returns, Bowe, and Cassel won’t have many excuses when it comes to having weapons.
Let’s just hope the plays Baldwin is making early in the practice process show up on game day.