Dwayne Bowe still playing catch-up after preseason debut

Posted Aug 24, 2012

Franchised receiver catches one pass in first game back

Arrowhead Stadium – Dwayne Bowe wouldn’t go as far as calling himself rusty, but he knew his on-field return wasn’t crisp either.

Bowe made his preseason debut Friday night against the Seahawks following a training camp holdout that lasted three weeks. He re-joined the Chiefs last Friday after signing his one-year franchise tender shortly before the team departed for its second preseason contest in St. Louis.

“It was great to get back into the mix of things, but I still have a lot of work to do from being behind,” Bowe said Friday following the Chiefs third preseason game.

Bowe was targeted four times and finished with one catch for nine yards in Kansas City’s 44-14 loss to Seattle. He was not in the game’s starting lineup.

Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston drew starts at wide receiver with Bowe staying off the field until the Chiefs second offensive drive. He wouldn’t see his first target from Matt Cassel until the first snap of Kansas City’s third offensive drive near the end of the first quarter.

But Bowe also played more than most were likely anticipating, seeing action into the third quarter alongside Kansas City’s first-team offense. His lone reception came on a third-and-one conversion to help extend the only scoring drive produced by Chiefs starters.

“It’s not rust, but I need to get acclimated to the speed of the game,” Bowe said. “That’s what I missed, but I have one more preseason game to get that down before we head into the regular season.”

Cassel and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll worked individually with Bowe throughout practices last week acclimating the receiver to Kansas City’s new offensive playbook.

Bowe arrived at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex by 6:30 a.m. most mornings for extra study. He described his knowledge of Daboll’s playbook “around 90-95 percent” following the game.

“I would say it takes about two-and-half to three weeks (to get a playbook down) and that’s about the time I missed of training camp,” Bowe said. “I’m here now and I’m working to get it down. I’m coming in early, leaving late and feel that I’ve pretty much got it.”

Cassel refrained from grading Bowe’s return, only saying that it was good to have the Pro Bowler back in action.

“It’s hard to say because you’re in the heat of the battle and he’s in and out of the game, so we’ll watch the film,” Cassel said. “But at the same time it’s always great to have Dwayne back on the field.”

Dexter McCluster led all Chiefs receivers with nine targets and seven receptions for 61 yards with a touchdown. Baldwin finished one reception behind McCluster’s total with six catches for 37 yards.

Cassel attempted 34 passes with Kansas City playing from behind most of the game. He finished the night 19-of-34 for 168 yards with a touchdown and an interception that was returned by free safety Earl Thomas 75 yards for a touchdown.

Cassel, who entered the game without being sacked this preseason, was sacked three times Friday night. He also lost a fumble taking one of the sacks.

“We have shown flashes of being really good and then we have shown a lot of inconsistency,” Cassel said of the offense’s effort through three preseason games. “We have to come together as a unit and be more consistent on a continued basis. The last two games we have had six turnovers, two today from me. I can’t do that.”

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