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

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

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