Redskins

Bowe's injury further opens WR void for Chiefs

Bowe's injury further opens WR void for Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Steve Breaston isn't sure why he hasn't been getting on the field for the Chiefs.

He's asked why but hasn't really gotten a straight answer, or at least not an answer that he's comfortable sharing. The veteran wide receiver hasn't been active for the last several games, during which the Chiefs' pass offense has been mostly abysmal.

Breaston may finally get back on the field Sunday under the direst of circumstances.

The Chiefs will be without leading wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for their game at Oakland, depriving them of their biggest downfield threat and only reliable option. Bowe hurt his ribs last Sunday against Cleveland, and coach Romeo Crennel hinted he may be out the rest of the year.

That's going to put more responsibility on Breaston, Jon Baldwin and the rest of a wide receiver corps that hasn't exactly shouldered much of the burden this season.

``Those guys have to step up,'' Crennel said. ``We're going to work during the week and we're going to see who gives us the best chance in the game, and then those guys will be active.''

Deciding who will be active has suddenly become a hot topic in Kansas City.

Breaston, who caught 61 passes for the Chiefs last season, has been inactive for four of the last five games - and he says he doesn't know why. He only has seven catches for 74 yards in the games he has played, the ball going instead to a variety of other receiving targets.

``I don't understand it,'' Breaston said. ``It's difficult. I'm just going to keep working. As difficult as my situation is, I know my teammates are going through a difficult situation with this season. It's not just about me right now. We're going through things as a team.''

Breaston started 43 of the 85 games he's played in his career, and has 255 catches for more than 3,300 yards with the Arizona Cardinals and the past season-plus in Kansas City. Instead of putting him on the active list each Sunday, Crennel has used untested players such as Jamar Newsome and Josh Bellamy, who also contribute on special teams.

That's where this week's awkwardness began.

Crennel was asked Wednesday what it would take for Breaston to be active, and responded: ``He needs to show that he has a great understanding of the game plan and he can execute the game plan. If he can do that, then he can be in uniform.''

Yet Crennel took umbrage at the suggestion that Breaston must have been inactive because he didn't understand the game plan.

The often-amiable coach lashed out Thursday at reporters who asked him to clarify what he said the previous day, saying: ``You know what, these guys have been together and hanging together all year and I know that, hey, there's nothing good to write about, but don't assume that a guy doesn't know the game plan, that a guy's not smart or anything like that.

``I make the decision about who's active and who's not active,'' Crennel said, ``and he has not been active because it's my decision and that's what I go with. Not on the player.''

Breaston said he's understood the game plan all season, and that nobody on the coaching staff has said that's the reason he's been inactive.

``I understand our offense. They may think a different way - so be it. I can't fight City Hall,'' he said. ``I go out and work. ... Maybe wanting the ball and things like that, they get upset about that. But I understand the offense.''

He'd better have a solid grasp of it this weekend.

With the injury to Bowe, the Chiefs will be missing their leading receiver and his 59 catches for 801 yards against Oakland. That's nearly a quarter of the team's receptions and yards receiving, and Bowe has three of the Chiefs' eight touchdown catches on the year.

The rest of the wide receivers haven't been nearly as special.

Baldwin was the Chiefs' first-round draft pick last season, but he has just 18 catches for 261 yards and a single touchdown grab. Three of their top four receivers after Bowe are either running backs (Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn) or ex-running backs (Dexter McCluster).

None of them have provided much down-the-field danger.

``Any time you lose a guy like Dwayne Bowe, it's going to hurt you,'' Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn said. ``He's a special player. He really is.''

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Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Terrible news hit America on Sunday when word came out that basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. 

A tragic event for a man and a player that made an impact far beyond basketball. Bryant was known for many things, but more than any, it might have been his competitive spirit. A five-time NBA champion and an 18-time All-Star, Bryant's play was defined by a fluid game and an unstoppable spirit. 

For Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, he got to see some of Bryant's spirit up close. Last year, before the NFL Draft, Haskins trained at Bryant's gym in Los Angeles, and their encounters made an impression on the signal-caller. 

"He's definitely a guy that brings a lot to the table as far as how he trains, how he prepares and what he expects out of his teammates. Very, very demanding," Haskins said of Bryant. "I want to be able to have that other tool, being able to have that edge that Kobe had. Of course, I play like that, but I'd be able to lead like that. That's why I studied Kobe."

Haskins is one of many young athletes that grew up watching Bryant, and for plenty, idolizing Bryant. 

After the news broke Sunday, Haskins reacted on Twitter.

Haskins said it well: RIP to a legend. Gone too soon. 

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Scott Brooks has a simple reason for why Bradley Beal should be an All-Star

Scott Brooks has a simple reason for why Bradley Beal should be an All-Star

WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal was not picked as a starter for next month's NBA All-Star Game through a voting process that included fans, the media and fellow players. Now it is up to NBA head coaches, who select the seven reserves for each conference.

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks is not allowed to vote for his own player, but believes Beal has a good chance to be picked based on one simple reason. He can tell how much opposing coaches respect Beal each and every night the Wizards play a game.

"Brad's an All-Star. I know that because every night I get to see it. Every night I get to see the defensive schemes against him. He gets double-teamed I want to say every game. That tells me that coaches feel the same way," Brooks said.

Brooks doesn't lobby other coaches to vote for his players, but said others have tried to persuade him in the past. He will "respectfully listen," he says, but believes it is important to do his own research and make his own choices.

"We all take pride in our choice," Brooks said. "It's an elite group and it's hard to get in."

Though Beal isn't a starter, he has a good case for being a reserve. This season he is averaging 28.1 points (third in East), 6.3 assists (10th in East) and 4.5 rebounds per game. 

If Beal doesn't make the All-Star team, it will likely be blamed on the Wizards' record. They are 15-30 and some of his competitors could get credit for being on better teams.

Brooks, though, believes other coaches should consider the circumstances Beal has been in. He says he takes that stuff into account with his own vote.

"There's a lot of factors that go in," Brooks explained. "It's situations. Guys that are on teams that are not playing well... are they not playing well because of him or are they not playing well because they have a lot of young guys, or because they're injured? A lot of players are injured. We've had a lot of injuries this year."

Beal has been an All-Star each of the past two years. We will find out on Thursday if he is in for the third time.

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