Rookie Camp Report: Day 1

In the NFL a rookie's first impression is critical – especially if you're a highly-touted first-round draft pick. Saturday morning, the Chiefs' first selection made his debut on the practice field. It was a mixed bag to say the least, but showing up late isn't the best way to start off your career.

When head coach Herm Edwards was asked about the late arrival of Dwayne Bowe, he didn't have much to say. He only shrugged his shoulders and made a subtle comment indicating the young LSU receiver best not do that again anytime soon.

After missing the early stretching period, Bowe was quickly thrown into drills, where he struggled to catch the simplest of passes. At times, he could have used an extra pair of hands to secure the ball.

Part of those struggles were attributed to the young quarterbacks throwing the errant passes. Princeton quarterback Jeff Terrell wasn't exactly lighting it up.

"The first day is always going to feel like coming in as a freshman in college," said Bowe. "Once you get into the system you are in there and you are good to go."

Bowe was far smoother in the afternoon practice, but his best talent became clear quickly.

He has tremendous ability to catch the ball over the middle. It's when he has to dance around the sidelines and make a possession catch and get out of bounds that he struggles.

It's almost like the sideline is standing in his way. He has to catch the ball in open spaces. He's big and physical – you could argue he has a tight end's body. He's not fast, but he does have great hands.

He also needs to work on extending his hands and catching the ball away from his body. Too often he let the ball hit him in the stomach or chest, resulting in bobbles.

Wide receivers coach Charlie Joiner has some work to do with Bowe. I also think it'll be important for a veteran like Eddie Kennison to assist in his development.

Bowe has a swagger that could be misconstrued by some as arrogance. I imagine when the veterans show up next week, he'll be knocked down a peg or two.

Other Notes:

Tight end Michael Allan struggled early, but got into a rhythm in the second practice, catching nearly everything thrown his way. He needs to get physically tougher, but has solid hands and ran great routes. So did second-year man Keith Willis, who reminds me of Jason Dunn.

Tackle Ramiro Pruneda is a big man who held his ground in seven-on-seven drills. He moved better than I expected, considering he played in the Mexican League, but he's still a project. Wideout Brad Ekwerekwu from Missouri had a solid day. He's drawn some praise from his head coach, which bodes well for his chances to stick through a good part of training camp.

Kicker Justin Medlock has probably the strongest leg I've seen in quite some time. He was nervous and missed some kicks, but his sweeping left-footed kick produces a distinctive sound when he strikes the ball. He's going to give Lawrence Tynes a battle.

Defensive tackle Tank Tyler was very impressive. He overmatched every offensive lineman the Chiefs threw at him Saturday. Don't be surprised if he's working with the first-string defense early in mini camp.

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