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Some Wondering if Chiefs Coach Deserves Blame in Bowe Suspension

In light of Dwayne Bowe's suspension earlier this week, I noted that I had received several responses from folks wondering what Todd Haley's role is in all of this.  In fact, I spoke with two former players, one with the Chiefs, who also expressed some concern over the standards applied in the offseason.

Yesterday on 610 Sports, former Chief and two-time Super Bowl champion Mark Collins also wondered what Haley's role was in all of this. I was interested in his thoughts because his viewpoint is unique as a former player himself.  Naturally, Collins aligned with the player on this one and articulated an argument that I think would resonate, whether good or bad, with a few players who have experienced offseason programs under similar conditions.

Per Collins, Haley shares in part of the blame for not preparing Bowe with the ability to meet the club's weight standards.

"If your coach is telling you to basically come in shape, be ready, don't be overweight," Collins said, "some players don't know how to work hard to lose weight, and I'm not saying that's Dwayne Bowe, but maybe he doesn't because he took a diuretic to do it quickly."

Collins acknowledges Bowe's part in this saying, "he took a short cut and got caught."  However, he feels the team plays a larger role.

"If the people upstairs are telling you to do this and do that and not telling you how to do it then the players going to do and do what they feel is right for themselves.  And sometimes those players do stupid things by not asking the trainers or medical staff if they can take it."

I'm not sure I can agree with this assessment. Like I said earlier in the week, I can understand this argument but I can't get past the fact that you're dealing with 53 players who are playing professional football because they have previously put in the necessary time to stay in shape and be prepared to play at a high level.  In fact, Bowe's first two seasons in the NFL were very good. 

Collins best point, I think, is acknowledging Bowe's production the last two seasons when he wasn't facing such strict standards.

"Last year did Dwayne Bowe take a diuretic?  No.  Then why did he do it this year?  Because he was told to lose weight.  He was pressured into a situation...he wasn't under that pressure last year and he was very productive."

This is assuming that Bowe didn't put on 30 pounds from the beginning of the 2008 season to the 2009 offseason, which is certainly a possibility.  A knock on the Herm Edwards teams was that they were out of shape and couldn't keep it up late in games, which is part of the reason behind Haley's stringent conditioning program.  That said, Bowe was productive even late into last season.

"I'm not saying Dwayne shouldn't get any blame because he does, and he deserves it.  But I think Todd Haley does too."

I can respect Collins' argument because it is coming from the players perspective and I think it's only natural for him to align with the players.  That said, if Haley deserves blame because he didn't provide Bowe with the proper methods of achieving the desired weight, then Bowe receives as much (if not more) for not telling that to the head coach or, as Collins says, asking the medical staff about the diuretic.