2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Chiefs let competition shake out at wide receiver

    2013-08-01 12:54

(Eds: Adds details.)
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) - It took Jon Baldwin a split second to get his big frame around the cornerback, and another split second for the Kansas City Chiefs' wide receiver to flash open across the middle.

It was by the textbook, really. Exactly how Chiefs coach Andy Reid drew it up.

Everything except the catch.

The pass from quarterback Alex Smith zipped over the line of scrimmage and hit Baldwin square on the hands, the thud of it bouncing into the air met with a collective gasp - more like an ``Ugh!'' - from several thousand fans lining the hillside of the practice field to watch.

``You have to catch the football,'' Reid said afterward Thursday. ``In any offense in the National Football League, drops cost you, so you have to focus in and catch the football, particularly when you're tired - sweating and tired. You have to catch the football.''

The problem the Chiefs have run into during the first week of training camp on the campus of Missouri Western is finding enough guys to do just that.

General manager John Dorsey ensured that there would be a legitimate No. 1 target for Smith this past offseason, when he signed Dwayne Bowe to a five-year deal. Dorsey also tried to upgrade the position by signing free agent Donnie Avery, who's been a solid option when healthy.

The trouble is that there is precious little help beyond those two, and just about everybody besides Bowe carries along some kind of issue: injury troubles, a lack of experience, questionable size and, in the case of Baldwin, hands that sometimes turn to stone.

The Chiefs' first-round pick two years ago, Baldwin has yet to flourish the way former GM Scott Pioli expected. He missed time during his rookie training camp after getting into a fight in the locker room with a teammate, and then struggled to make much impact on the field, seemingly playing catch-up all the while the Chiefs struggled to a losing record.

Baldwin looked poised to have a breakout season a year ago, but turned out to be a Pro Bowl talent in training camp only. Once the season rolled around, he again looked lost. He has just 41 catches for 579 yards and two touchdowns in his two-year career.

``He's a young kid,'' said former Bills wide receiver Andre Reed, who is helping out the Chiefs as a coaching intern. ``Young kids really let things stick a lot long. He needs to learn that it's how you come back the next play that matters. It's how you respond.''

The Chiefs still hope that Baldwin, at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, can become the kind of wide receiver who can make catches in traffic while snagging balls in the red zone. They're also clinging to hope with several other guys.

Avery has started to flash some of the speed that he was robbed of by a high ankle sprain during offseason workouts. More than once, he's been able to stretch the field vertically - a rarity for the Chiefs in recent years. Dexter McCluster is looking more comfortable at wide receiver after splitting time much of his career at running back. But he's also dropped a couple of easy throws, and at 5-8 and 170 pounds, he's still answering questions about his durability.

The rest of the guys on the roster are simply fighting for jobs.

Junior Hemingway made some progress in the offseason, Rico Richardson had a good few days of training camp, and Jamar Newsome made a nifty grab off a tipped past Thursday that he took about 70 yards for a touchdown. They're all competing with Terrance Copper, Tyler Shoemaker, Devon Wylie and Frankie Hammond Jr. for spots that could ultimately come down to their value on special teams.

``We have different flavors,'' Reid said of the wide receivers. ``We're mixing and matching, kind of figuring them out. I just have to get a feel on what they do best and exploit that.''

Of course, finding out what they do best also means learning what they do worst.

Not that anybody around the team is thinking in such negative terms.

``We'll be 110 percent. That's why we're out here, working to get the scheme together,'' Bowe said with confidence. ``We have a couple of days to get it right before the first preseason game. I think we'll be up and running.''

Notes: OL Donald Stephenson, the top backup at both tackle and guard, will miss the first preseason game against New Orleans next week. He had surgery on his left little finger. ... OL Tommy Draheim left practice with a concussion. ... Pro Bowl S Eric Berry (hamstring) took part in the first 11-on-11 session before his leg tightened up. He sat out the rest of practice.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Stephen HillAug 2 08:02p

The Carolina Panthers waived WR Stephen Hill (knee) after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Aug. 2.

Terrelle PryorAug 2 07:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor took reps with the first-team offense during training camp Sunday, Aug. 2.

Martavis BryantAug 2 04:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (elbow) will undergo a procedure for an elbow infection that will cause him to miss the Hall of Fame Game Sunday, Aug. 9, against [ More ]

Michael EgnewAug 2 03:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released TE Michael Egnew.

Tony McDanielAug 2 12:12p

The Seattle Seahawks released DT Tony McDaniel Sunday, Aug. 2. McDaniel should quickly find a new home.

Stephen HillAug 2 12:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill (knee) has an ACL injury, according to assistant head coach Steve Wilks Sunday, Aug. 2.

Sam BradfordAug 2 11:52a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills Sunday, Aug. 2, and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters the quarterback doesn't have any restrictions.

Stephen HillAug 2 10:12a

The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent WR Paul Browning Sunday, Aug. 2. Browning is expected to take WR Stephen Hill's roster spot.

Brandon BoykinAug 1 08:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Aug. 1, in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles could [ More ]

Kyle WilliamsAug 1 02:22p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') suffered at least a partially torn Achilles' tendon in practice Saturday, Aug. 1, according to a source. He may be out for the season.

Melvin GordonAug 1 02:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has struggled with pass protection through the first three days of training camp.

Devin SmithJul 31 09:32p

New York Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) will miss a majority of training camp after suffering broken ribs Friday, July 31, according to the team. He will be held [ More ]

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:42p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland (knee) is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a knee injury he suffered during practice Friday, July 31.

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:22p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Breeland received a citation for marijuana possession last year.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 31 06:22p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is not allowed to use his injured hand while it is healing from the fireworks accident he had earlier this month. Pierre-Paul [ More ]

Orson CharlesJul 31 06:02p

New Orleans Saints TE Orson Charles has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

Marcus MariotaJul 31 03:52p

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota went 13-for-18 with zero interceptions during team drills at practice Friday, July 31. He was able to use a hard count to make the [ More ]

Jameis WinstonJul 31 12:52p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston was officially named the starting quarterback Friday, July 31, by Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith.

Junior GaletteJul 31 12:12p

Free-agent LB Junior Galette (Saints) will sign a one-year contract with the Washington Redskins, according to a source.

James JonesJul 30 06:52p

Free-agent WR James Jones (Raiders) is signing a one-year deal with the New York Giants. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Cobi HamiltonJul 30 06:42p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Cobi Hamilton was waived Thursday, July 30.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 30 06:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger) has not reported to training camp as he continues to rehabilitate from a finger injury, much to the dismay of owner John [ More ]

David FluellenJul 30 06:12p

Free-agent RB David Fluellen (Colts) signed with the Tennessee Titans Thursday, July 30.

Tyler EifertJul 30 03:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said he is 100% healthy for the first time since the beginning of last offseason.

LeGarrette BlountJul 30 01:22p

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was placed on the Non-Football Injury list because he was not able to complete the conditioning test at the start of training camp. [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJul 30 01:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (hamstring) said his hamstrings are fine and that he is 100% healthy entering training camp.

Terrance WestJul 30 12:52p

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West worked with the first-team offense during team drills Thursday, July 30. Head coach Mike Pettine said several running backs will see time with the starters during training camp.

Trent RichardsonJul 30 10:22a

Oakland Raiders RB Trent Richardson is rumored to being unimpressive with his new team.

Tom BradyJul 30 10:12a

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's lawsuit was transferred to Manhattan, N.Y., by a Minnesota judge Friday, July 30.

Tom BradyJul 30 09:52a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has filed a lawsuit against the NFL asking a Minnesota federal court for penalties against Brady to be vacated. The suit alleges that [ More ]

Jake LongJul 30 09:42a

Free-agent OT Jake Long (Rams) left his visit with the New York Giants Wednesday, July 29, without a deal. It was his second visit with the team without a [ More ]

Joseph RandleJul 29 08:43p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle received strong praise from team owner and general manager Jerry Jones Wednesday July 29. 'We have a player (in Randle) that has the potential [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group