Dwayne Bowe hasn't changed. He's exactly who we thought he was.
I mean that in a good way and a bad way.
Chiefs fans love Dwayne Bowe because he's a first round pick and he's a receiver. That position tends to bring more flash -- otherwise known as more personality -- so fans gravitate towards them. Chiefs fans don't love Dwayne Bowe because he is usually among the league leaders in dropped passes.
I was looking through some old scouting reports on Bowe before the Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the 2007 NFL draft. All of Bowe's strengths -- blocking, using his size -- are talked about in there. All of his weaknesses -- catching the ball at times -- are as well.
Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors as a senior after totaling career-best numbers of 65/990/12. Led the team in receiving as a junior, producing 41/710/9, after 39/597/5 as a sophomore.
Bowe came in somewhat polished in terms of being a complete receiver. I mean that more to highlight his blocking skills from the get-go which were solid. The ability was there from the start and I think you could tell he was a three-year starter.
Big, possession wide out who significantly improved his consistency as a senior. Sells routes, settles into the open spot of the defense and always works to become an available target. Uses his frame to shield away opponents and protect the pass. Lays out for the difficult reception or gets vertical to pull the ball from the air. Displays good eye/hand coordination, effectively uses the sidelines and makes the reception in stride. Solid downfield blocker.
Agree with everything there? Note "improved his consistency" as if consistency was a problem in the past (it still is). He's good at using his body and going after the ball, especially along the sidelines. I remember in training camp watching in awe at times of Bowe's ability to plant his feet on the edge of the sideline and layout for a catch.
Lacks the deep speed and cannot stretch the defense. Occasionally drops a catchable throw.
For those who can not see the bright side of Dwayne Bowe, this is what they point to. He's just (just?) a possession a receiver and isn't great at his primary job which is to catch the ball. Fans knew -- or should have known --coming in that Bowe was like this. There's good (size, blocking) and there's bad (drops).
For some of us we knew what he was like in 2007 coming onto the team but you also expect some sort of improvement. I agree that we should have seen some improvement but they're not exactly making life easy on the guy with the offense: Mike Solari led the offense in 2007, Chan Gailey led it in 2008, Todd Haley lead it in 2009 and Charlie Weis is leading it in 2009. If the Chiefs are asking for consistency from Bowe, they could return the favor.
I change my feelings on Dwayne Bowe every day it seems. There are definitely some major assets from him. With the Chiefs running game, his blocking abilities are very important. Also, look at the last four games -- he has six touchdowns. Then I'll remember the third down drop against the Oakland Raiders that could have sealed the game.
Bowe hasn't changed much since he was first brought to Kansas City. His problems then are largely the same problems now. So while it's frustrating when Bowe makes a devastating block and then later drops a catch, don't be surprised. He's always been that way.