Dwayne Bowe has yet to officially arrive at training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. While it doesn't bode well for the receiver's ability to make an impact early with the Chiefs offense, it does mean that other players can step into the role that he plays and enjoy the first team reps and targets from starting quarterback Matt Cassel. For Jon Baldwin, that's the role he's playing so far at St. Joseph.
"There's no doubt that with whoever being here, we've got more time with them," said Cassel. "And with Dwayne not being here or absent, maybe we spend a little more time with guys like Steve Breaston and Jon Baldwin, and Dexter McCluster. They are doing a great job and we are doing a great job with the guys that we have here."
As the Chiefs get ready to head across the state of Missouri to play the Rams, the chemistry of Cassel-to-Baldwin is likely to be on display. Baldwin had only 254 receiving yards last season, but he missed the entire preseason and a third of the regular season after a thumb injury kept him out. Now with a full offseason of OTAs and training camp plus his celebrated work ethic and focus, Baldwin is expected to make a major leap.
"There's no doubt, because also going into last year without the OTA's and all that stuff to actually get familiar with him and to establish a rapport with him, we kind of came in and jump started right away, and then unfortunately he was out with an injury for the first six games of the season," said Cassel. "This year we had a whole offseason to work together and also all of camp. I feel very comfortable with Jon. He's making a lot of progress himself."