BEREA—If there was ever a personification of Teddy Roosevelt’s well-known motto, “speak softly and carry a big stick,” it would come in the form of Browns receiver Dwayne Bowe.
When Bowe speaks, though his words are often inflammatory and sometimes border on the ridiculous, they barely filter through his lips and are nearly inaudible to those standing just inches from him.
In the past, Bowe’s play has backed up his soft-spoken, yet spectacular statements, but in his first season with the Browns, the veteran has yet to produce Roosevelt’s “big stick” on the field.
With a strained hamstring that’s hampered him through the majority of Training Camp and has permitted him to play just eight snaps for the Browns thus far, Bowe finally feels that he’s healthy and is ready to be the Dwayne Bowe of old.
“It starts Sunday,” Bowe said. “I can't wait to go out there and showcase my talent and be a ringleader for the guys and go out there and bring home a win.”
Though he says he’s going to prove that he’s worth the $9 million that the Browns paid for him, many on the outside have viewed Bowe’s presence as a waste thus far.
After hearing that, Bowe laughed, as he said it was the first time he’s heard such a thing.
"People say that?” Bowe asked, with a chuckle. “I never even heard that. I know what goes on in this building. Those guys love me.”
What makes his teammates and everyone in the Browns organization love him?
As he’s mentioned time and time again, it's because because he’s a playmaker, as well as a good teammate.
“They know I'm a teammate, they know I'm a great player,” Bowe said of his teammates. “Once I hit the field running, you guys will love it.”
Bowe hasn’t been able to back up his beliefs on the field yet for the Browns, but fellow wide receiver Andrew Hawkins did back up the veteran’s comments on those around him— even if they’ve only seen him in practice.
“Dwayne has played at a high level for a very long time,” Hawkins said. “We expect more of the same and I think Dwayne’s chomping at the bit to get out there and add another dimension to the offense.”
Having missed so much time with injury, some are skeptical that Bowe can fit into the offense and make plays the plays he's talked so much about.
Of course, Bowe is not one of the aforementioned “some,” and feels he’ll be ready to put the pedal to the metal and get after it right away.
“Every time I am on the field I’m trying to step on the gas,” Bowe said. “Whenever the ball comes my way that’s my opportunity to step on the gas. So whatever opportunity I do get in the game, run block or whatever, I’m going out there and do my job.”
Before he takes the field in San Diego and tries to prove that he's the playmaker the Browns want him to be, Bowe had one last message for fans and outside critics everywhere.
“People in this building know in practice from watching every day the plays I make and I'm just waiting for it to be called in the game,” Bowe said. “It's going to happen. Just have patience.”
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