DENVER, CO - JANUARY 1: Champ Bailey #24 of the Denver Broncos breaks up the catch by Jonathan Baldwin #89 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)
We continue to mine through some of the quotes from Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel at the NFL owners meetings this week. When he wasn't being asked about CB Brandon Carr from Dallas Cowboys reporters, Crennel touched on someone that we probably haven't talked about enough this offseason, WR Jonathan Baldwin.
"We expect him to make improvement and progress this year," Crennel said of Baldwin. "He missed some time last year and I think that hurt his development. He's gotten his feet wet now and I think he understands what it is going to take for him to be a really good receiver. I think he's willing to work at it, so we've got to get him to work at it and then also develop him the way that he needs to develop to be the type of receiver we need."
Some generic coach talk but a couple things to sort through here.
First, where does he stand in the pecking order with Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Tony Moeaki? These guys have barely been on the same field together with Moeaki's preseason injury and then Baldwin's extended absence last year. Moeaki had 47 catches his rookie year, and he looked like he was going to get better. That's a lot of production inserted into a lineup that will (hopefully) include Baldwin for 16 games next season. It'll be interesting to see how the ball is moved around.
And, speaking of pecking order, there may not be a ton of opportunities for Chiefs receivers this season considering Jamaal Charles is...well, Jamaal Charles.
Second, how will he do in year two without Todd Haley coaching him? Yeah, we talked about Haley being good with receivers and that's mostly true. He did have several receivers with success. So how will Baldwin's transition from year one to year two go now that Haley is gone? And how will Baldwin mesh with new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll?
I think the best way to describe it is to say that I'm cautiously optimistic about Baldwin in 2012. The talent is there, we know that. It's just a matter of A.) how he develops as a player and B.) where he fits on an offense with more weapons.
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