Insider Blog: Warrior

Posted Apr 1, 2010

CB Brandon Flowers laid the groundwork of becoming a team leader by playing injured last season

At 5-9, 187 pounds, Chiefs CB Brandon Flowers is the smallest of all the regular starters on the Chiefs defense. For someone like Flowers, toughness can’t be measured by size. Despite his smaller stature, the guy is a warrior. He proved that last season.

“I just love to fly in there and hit people,” Flowers said.

He also likes to man-up receivers and intercept passes.

Flowers suffered a well-documented shoulder injury following a 28-yard INT return TD vs. Seattle in the third preseason game (August 29th) last year. The injury occurred on an awkward landing as Flowers used his athleticism to elevate up and over his opponent to reach the end zone. That would be the last play of 2009 in which Flowers felt 100%.

That injury kept Flowers out of the rest of the preseason, which also led into the 2009 season opener at Baltimore. But the buck would stop there. Flowers rarely missed a snap the remainder of the year. In the occurrences when a re-aggravation would force him to the sidelines, such as the December 27th game at Cincinnati, it would never take him very long to re-group and return to the field.

“Shoulder’s doing fine . . . It’s at 100 percent now, going ahead getting stronger so it won’t bother me at all for the season this year,” Flowers told the media yesterday. “I’m definitely ready to go.”

Flowers re-iterated his optimism with Soren Petro on’s Red Zone broadcast as well, saying that if a game were played today that he’d be ready to go. Until that first game at Atlanta does come up, a short four months from now, Flowers is doing the same thing that many of his Chiefs teammates are currently undergoing: voluntary workouts.

“This off-season, I’ve got to work hard to strengthen up my shoulder, strengthen up the muscles around my shoulder to make sure it’ll be less of a probability that I’ll hurt (it) again,” Flowers said. “As far as me trying to be less aggressive and not go flying in, I’m not going to change that at all.”

This past week, the Chiefs have trotted two players up to the podium to address the opening of the offseason program; a program that has gotten initial positive reviews under new strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark. Each of the players to speak represents a different side of the football, and each player has indicated that they’re ready to take on a leadership role for 2010. That leadership starts in the weight room and on the practice field.

For Flowers, his role as a leader role may be ready to take new flight. He already laid some solid groundwork during the final few weeks of the season when his teammates saw Flowers pushing through his shoulder malady to remain on the field with them for most every defensive snap. Those are the things that earn players respect in the locker room, especially when that player is still performing at a high level.

“I think it would have been selfish for me to just sit down and just say you guys can finish the last two games just because I want to rest and make sure I’m alright,” Flowers said. “I just wanted to go out there, put my blood, sweat and tears into it with my brothers that I ground it out with during the off-season.”

The year has come full-circle once more in the NFL world, and Flowers finds himself once again putting in the extra work with his teammates this offseason. Like WR Chris Chambers, Flowers is taking the route of a player trying to lead by example as the workouts this offseason begin.

“I think I lead by example more than being vocal,” Flowers said. “I’m a laid-back guy, but once I get on the field, I pride myself on not trying to mistakes and trying to get the guys riled up to go out on the field and have fun.”

Flowers says that the physical difference in the Chiefs locker room is apparent this year. Many of the same players who reported out of shape last year are coming back to Kansas City in shape this season. The topic of discussion a year ago was just the opposite.

Flowers attributes most of the difference in offseason commitment to a full year under head coach Todd Haley and his coaching staff. Coupled with the new additions that the Chiefs have made to the coaching staff, it’s all equaled a morale boost around the entire building.

“With the new coaches coming in, guys are just ready to play for them,” Flowers remarked. “They’re bringing that winning spirit over here. Winning is contagious. They’re bringing that winning feel over here, the winning atmosphere. So we just can’t wait to go out on the field and transfer it to the game.”

There are going to be plenty of ups and downs going forward throughout both the offseason and the regular season. Thus far, it appears that the opening of the 2010 offseason represents more of a peak than a valley. That’s something that couldn’t be said at this time last year.

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