2013 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

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 15 07:53p

Free-agent RB Chris Johnson's (Titans) visit with the New York Jets reportedly went well Tuesday, April 15, but he left without a deal. Other teams are involved with him, too.

Rolando McClainApr 15 07:53p

The Baltimore Ravens worked out LB Rolando McClain, and it reportedly wasn't a success. McClain didn't finish his conditioning test and didn't perform drills.

Terrell ManningApr 15 05:43p

The Minnesota Vikings claimed LB Terrell Manning off waivers from the San Diego Chargers Tuesday, April 15.

Adam PodleshApr 15 05:13p

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free-agent P Adam Podlesh (Bears) to an undisclosed one-year deal Tuesday, April 15.

Allen ReisnerApr 15 03:53p

The Minnesota Vikings announced Tuesday, April 15, that they've signed free-agent TE Allen Reisner (Jaguars) to an undisclosed deal.

Daniel KilgoreApr 15 03:23p

San Francisco 49ers OG Daniel Kilgore was found not guilty of public intoxication related to his arrest in January in Tennessee. His case was dismissed following his appearance in [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 15 02:23p

The Green Bay Packers agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal to re-sign QB Matt Flynn Tuesday, April 15, according to a source.

Dion JordanApr 15 01:53p

Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey is expecting big things from DE Dion Jordan in his second season this year. He's a very talented player and this is a [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group