Jon Baldwin, not Dwayne Bowe, has been the most important player for the Chiefs during this first week of the preseason, and boy, has he answered the challenge. Baldwin, not Bowe, is not only in attendance but is emerging as a player who looks like a young star who could give quarterback Matt Cassel a tall, powerful option down the field. Baldwin, not Bowe, is doing everything right when the man who was supposed to be his mentor is making a career mistake by refusing to sign his franchise tender — and allowing a s
Who needs Bowe? The Chiefs do, of course. But the play of Jon Baldwin is making his absence palatable. Baldwin was a star during offseason practice and has picked up right where he left off once the pads went on. Still, there are no winners in this Dwayne Bowe situation. Certainly not the Chiefs, who would suddenly have a nice set of receivers if Bowe was in shape and practicing. Certainly not Bowe, who is jeopardizing his chance to be effective during the regular season if he doesn’t report soon. I understand if he’s mad the Chiefs wouldn’t give him a long term contract but refusing to sign the one-year offer is doing nobody any good, particularly the Chiefs
Z: I think the time-split can be great for the Chiefs, but will drive fantasy owners crazy. Is there a place for Dexter McCluster in all this?
Patrick Allen, Arrowhead Addict: From what I am hearing from camp, they are using him mostly as a WR again. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll is going to use McCluster but I would avoid him. He is just too small to ever get enough touches to be a great fantasy value. He could prove me wrong this year but I wouldn’t recommend taking him very early.
Z: The growth on the defensive side of the ball was huge for the Chiefs last year. Can they be even better this year, or do you think they’ll take a step back? Who will be new key playmakers for KC?
Patrick Allen, Arrowhead Addict: If everyone stays healthy, the Chiefs should easily have a top ten defense. Eric Berry, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Brandon Flowers are your playmakers. This is a defense that could come up with a lot of interceptions this year. They will be under the radar and could be a shrewd defensive pickup this season.
And don’t sleep on the Kansas City Chiefs. They are healthy. Kansas City pretty much played without running back Jamaal Charles, defensive back Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki last season. We’re talking about three of the best players on the team. Haley, the team’s coach to begin 2011, had a convoluted system to get plays in that hindered quarterback Matt Cassel. Then Cassel himself was hurt. I don’t have to guess if Cassel is good enough to lead K.C. to the playoffs; he has done it before. And don’t forget about receiver Jon Baldwin. His rookie season was a waste, thanks to a broken thumb suffered in a locker-room fight with running back Thomas Jones that forced him to miss much of training camp and the first five regular season games. Baldwin, Moeaki, receiver Dwayne Bowe and receiver Steve Breaston are big weapons for Cassel. Coach Romeo Crennel is a defensive guru and the kind of even-keel leader Haley was not.