Chiefs Looking To Target Jonathan Baldwin More This Season

5/30/12 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

May 24, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin (89) takes a break during organized team activities at the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIREReports say that the Kansas City Chiefs will look to get the ball to monster receiver Jonathan Baldwin more often this season. They hope to design plays to get him in single coverage where he can take advantage of smaller cornerbacks. At 6'4'' 230 lbs, the second year player out of the University of Pittsburgh has all the tools to become a solid NFL wide receiver, and he reportedly has a much better understanding of the playbook this year. Baldwin's development is vital to the Chief's success in the passing game, as he'll draw attention away from former Pro Bowl receiver Dwayne Bowe.

Baldwin's rookie season was a disappointment after being drafted 26th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, where many people (including myself) thought he was a great value. He managed only 21 catches for 254 yards and a touchdown in 11 games (3 starts). With his physical ability, it's hard to think that his poor numbers were due to anything but not knowing the playbook or a lack of effort. As far as not knowing the playbook, many young receivers take some time to get acclimated to their new offense and figure out where they should be and when. I can't say I've watched enough of Baldwin as a pro to know if lack of effort has anything to do with his poor production, but I do know that he has gained a diva reputation.

Baldwin broke his thumb in a weight room fight with veteran running back Thomas Jones last preseason. The incident occurred after Baldwin got mad about rookie hazing and got in a verbal altercation with running back Jamaal Charles. This incident confirmed some of the previous reports that Baldwin had character issues in college as well. It's not as if he got into a fight on the practice field, something that is common and accepted. He got into a fight with a 12 year veteran who is the locker room leader of this Chiefs team (Jones) and a First-Team All-Pro running back (Charles). The young receiver has to learn his role in the locker room. Look at the great "diva" receivers of the past. Guys like Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. These receivers were great players, put up great numbers, were on great teams, but never won championships. You can win games with diva receivers, but you can't win Super Bowls.

There's plenty of time for Baldwin to shed his diva role, and hopefully for the Chiefs, getting more offensive attention and no longer being a rookie will help him put his bad attitude behind him. If he can get his head straight I think he can have a very productive year playing opposite stud receiver Dwayne Bowe. I also think it's important to the Chiefs' offense that he does so, both for their on-field production and locker room chemistry.

Oh and while we're on the subject on Baldwin, check this out:

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5/31/12   |   derms33   |   17653 respect

featured?  file this under "water is wet"