There’s no escaping the youth movement at One Arrowhead Drive. On the Chiefs current roster, I counted 70 players with five years of experience or less – that’s 82 percent of the team.

There’s no escaping the youth movement at One Arrowhead Drive. On the Chiefs current roster, I counted 70 players with five years of experience or less – that’s 82 percent of the team.
The older vets like Casey Wiegmann, Mike Vrabel, Brian Waters, Chris Chambers, Thomas Jones, and Ron Edwards barely make a percent.
Question: How important is it that Todd Haley and the rest of the coaching staff get it right? Not just the OTA’s, but all of it. I’d say vital, because when push comes to shove and when winning finally matters, Haley will rely on this group of players to turn it around.
How well the coaching staff transfers their knowledge, teaches that information, and drives it home is what’s going to help this young squad put more hash marks into the win column.
I’m shallow, but as a fan, that’s the only stat I really care about. I like it when my team is winning.
“There’s a lot of competing going on,” said Donald Washington, who’s making the switch to safety from corner. “I feel like we’re headed in the right direction.
“I think things will be a lot different around here this year. I think we’re headed in a better direction. As long as things continue to improve, the wins will come. There’s a lot of competition, but young competition. The good thing is we’re always together, looking out for each other, but with the same common goal.”
In the locker room, you can tell the difference between a company line and when it’s from the heart. Washington mentioned a common goal, but that starts with Haley. Haley wants all his players, including the vets, to understand it’s not about the individual. I think fans got a taste of that philosophy last season with Derrick Johnson. But if the Chiefs are to do something more than what they’ve shown over the past few seasons, Haley has something bigger in mind.
It’s not a new scheme, but a thought that’s been proven. A way of thinking that’s taken teams to several championships. It’s called team. The Chiefs aren’t all the way there, but they’re working hard.
“I want the team first,” Haley responded when asked about Dwayne Bowe. “The team has to come first. I know that’s how you become a good team. When you have everybody working together towards a common goal, which is to win championships, for us it starts with the AFC West. And that’s all the focus can be and everything these guys are doing has to be catered or pointed in that direction. When you have the majority of your team doing that and you have enough talent, then you should become a pretty good team. And that’s where we’re at.”

DWAYNE BOWE: I’m beating a dead horse, but I have to say something. I might be with the minority, but what Bowe said didn’t surprise me. Bowe’s slip of the tongue shouldn’t overshadow what the Chiefs are trying to do.
To me it’s no big deal, because as quick as Bowe said it, likewise it’ll disappear. I’m not agreeing, or think what Bowe said is OK, but it’s an easy fix. Either Bowe will jump on board with the rest of his teammates or he won’t. If he doesn’t get a clue, then soon, like Larry Johnson, he’ll be gone. I’ll get excited about the team, but not over a jabber box who hasn’t done much to impress me.
In his fourth season, it’s time for Bowe to put up or shut up. You can only flirt with greatness so long before fans say adios. Bowe will make the amazing catch, but he’ll just as easily drop the sure one. I’d trade “WOW” for consistent any day!
Despite the loose lips, Haley says Bowe’s ship hasn’t sunk.
“Looking at Dwayne, he’s no different than any of these other guys,” said Haley. “He’s another young player that’s learning on the go that still has a chance to be a good player. He has to do certain things to be a good player and to be talked about with real good players which I’ve talked about in the past with him.”
Haley refused to take the media bait Monday, but I wouldn’t bite either. Haley has another 84 guys to focus on. What Haley has planned could include Bowe, but then it might not.
Ultimately that’s Bowe’s decision.

ANDY STUDEBAKER: Before the week was over I made it a point to meet Andy Studebaker. He’s on my radar, and someone fans are keeping an eye on.
I like what I see. There are players feeling their way and others who practice with gusto. I’ve seen it with Kendrick Lewis, Eric Berry and with Studebaker. They have a snap, crackle, and pop to the way they practice.
“Obviously last year was a building year,” responded Studebaker when asked about expectations headed into 2010. “A lot of changes were made, things like that, even this offseason more changes were made, but going into 2010 the story is no different, because it’s hard work every single day. We’re expecting some young guys to step up and learn the defense – things like that. Expectations have risen. Last year was a building year, but I think we now have the coaches in place. The bar has risen, so it’s time for us to step up.”
I asked Studebaker how he felt about the possibility of filling a larger role.
“As opportunity arises you have to go out and grab it,” he said. “You never know when it’ll come your way, so the main goal is to work hard, understand the defense, and to take advantage in the weight room. … The main thing is to embrace the role you’re in now, embrace it and do it 100 percent so when the opportunity comes you can step into it because you’ve built that foundation.”

WHITEMAN TRIP: Wednesday I had the privilege to go to Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster with the Chiefs.
I watched Bobby Bell rib the airmen, asking them to show their cat-like reflexes. Thomas Jones was more excited to meet the B-2 pilots than they were to meet him.
It’s an experience I won’t forget, especially since I’m currently in the Air Force Reserve. There’s no greater honor than to serve your country. Sacrifices made by the troops and their families can’t be measured. In my mind, it’s the greatest team you could be on. But I’m partial.
When things go wrong for the military person, there may not be a next season. A soldier pays the ultimate cost, but it’s never forced. That’s why a soldier deserves all the praise. You take the job knowing there could be loss, but “Service before Self” is an Air Force core value. The same can be said for the soldier’s family.
I salute the Chiefs for their effort and the special time they gave the young men and women at Whiteman. Matt Cassel was asked to compare it to the Chiefs, but wisely he said there was none.
Enjoy Memorial Day! Eat and be merry, but remember those who served and still serve America.
Good day, Chief fans!