Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chiefs Star Bowe Has Refreshed Outlook on Life

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Chiefs Star Bowe Has Refreshed Outlook on Life

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --

After signing autographs for what seemed like an hour, Dwayne Bowe finally walked up the long grassy hill toward the locker room, still smiling after a hard, hot practice.

This is the wide receiver that everyone used to call "moody"? The guy branded as aloof, or worse, early in his career with the Kansas City Chiefs? The guy who became disgruntled when he didn't get the ball or was a distraction in the locker room, earning a reputation as an immature diva?

Nope, not anymore. These days, Bowe is all smiles.

He's armed with a new long-term contract that makes him one of the best-paid wide receivers in the NFL. He finally has stability at quarterback for the first time in his seven-year career. And he has a coaching staff led by Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Doug Pederson that has repeatedly stated how valuable Bowe is to the team.

What's not to smile about?

"I'm just blessed to be alive, every day just coming out and seeing more fans appreciating me, screaming my name," Bowe said. "I'm just trying to let loose and be joyful. There's a time to have fun and a time to be serious, and I know that. But I'm just trying to be myself."

Maybe for the first time in his career.

Bowe made enough flashy plays his rookie season, and folks around Kansas City were already calling him The Next Big Thing. With his big body, good speed and sure hands, he was supposed to be the homegrown star that the Chiefs had never been able to develop.

But then he was hit with a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy - his agent, Todd France, said at the time that it stemmed from a weight-loss supplement.

He made eyebrow-raising comments to a magazine about womanizing that allegedly occurred at team hotels, and then offered an apology that went awry when he referred to the Hunt family that owns the Chiefs as "the Clarks" - presumably a reference to Clark Hunt, who serves as the team's most visible face.

Bowe began to draw the ire of fans, pointing to his name on the back of his jersey after a nice catch taken as a sign that he thought he was bigger than the team. …

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