Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe is turning in one of the most impressive starts to a season in NFL history for a receiver. Only Randy Moss has more touchdown receptions through 11 games (outside of the strike season) than Bowe.
This offseason, Bowe trained with Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald -- a former Todd Haley pupil -- along with former NFL receiver and current ESPN analyst Cris Carter. It seems that those workouts brought about something in Bowe that's contributing to this record-setting run over the last two months.
Let's rewind a bit. In July, Bowe attended Fitzgerald's offseason camp for NFL receivers and had this to say:
"Can you imagine your first day coming back to 14 100s?" Bowe told the Star-Tribune. "Man, it was like college again. I’ve never done this intensive competing, conditioning and technique in one day."
Bowe had taken a couple of weeks off leading up to the camp and that rubbed some of us the wrong way. There's no rule that says Bowe can't take two weeks off but the great ones don't. As KC Chiefs fans, we want Bowe to be great.
Anyway, word later comes out that Bowe had been getting some "tough love" from guys like Carter and another former NFL receiver, Michael Irvin, while at the camp. It seems that the decision to send Bowe up to work with Fitzgerald and Co. may not have been Bowe's alone.
"I don’t get mad about kids coming or not coming," Carter said at the time. "Larry is the only one who invited me. Larry is the only one but some people in Kansas City as far as their administration kind of knew I was going to be here. We kind of let them know that I would be here for [receiver Dwayne] Bowe."
The person in "their administration" is Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, who said later in the offseason that he was getting daily reports on Bowe's progress.
"I know [Bowe has] had a really good last three weeks working out," Haley said. "He's been up with a former player of mine in Larry Fitzgerald. I've been getting reports back daily for the last couple of weeks and I think, as I said, he had a better offseason than he had last year. I expect him to be one of those young players that takes a step this year."
As for Fitzgerald, he has taken to Twitter several times to talk about Bowe. He's a big fan of him and back in July called him a "beast" and said he's "very fluid [for] a big wide receiver". He also predicted what's happening right now -- big numbers for Bowe.
Bowe should put up Huge numbers this year in KC. He’s been working his tail off up here.
It didn't stop there. ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported Bowe had more help this offseason:
Rich Gannon spent the past two weeks working with Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe and today he's doing same with [Larry Fitzgerald].
Sheesh. That's a heck of a camp with a lot of people pushing him. Bowe clearly put it to a different gear this year. What we keep hearing from guys like QB Matt Cassel is that Bowe's preparation jumped to a new level this year and the results are, well, amazing.
After Carter spent some time with Bowe at Fitzgerald's camp, this is what he had to say in September when predicting his breakout performers this year:
"People in Denver wonder where Brandon Marshall came from," Carter said. "The next breakout wide receiver in the National Football League is Dwayne Bowe with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has the body, the size, he's taken the conditiong more serious, he's at the perfect weight and he had a great offseason. Look for big things from Bowe."
So that's one offseason for Dwayne Bowe and apparently it's his best offseason to date. I'm not sure if Bowe was "at a crossroads in his life" or anything like that but I do know nearly everyone says now that Bowe's preparation had changed drastically. His numbers reflect it and the Chiefs passing numbers reflect.
The KC Chiefs have seen a lot of comeback stories through the years but Bowe's current run may top them all.