“When Josh was here he was the touchdown man and I’m here to fill his shoes,” Bowe told NEOMG during minicamp. “It’s my job to do that in this offense and I believe I can do that.”
“If I get (a touchdown) in the (home) opener first quarter, the floodgates are open and the Dawg Pound is going crazy,” he said. “It’s going to be awesome. Once I start that, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I might go crazy.”
The 6-foot-2, 222-pound Bowe has the right attitude, and he seems optimistic that last season was an anomaly. While he’s been a productive player throughout his eight-year career — he has totaled 532 catches for 7,155 yards and 44 touchdowns, all with Kansas City — he went for a relatively meager 60 receptions and 754 yards last year. Worst of all, he did not score a single touchdown. Every one of the Chiefs’ 18 touchdown catches last year went to a running back or tight end.
“I didn’t get one shot in the end zone,” he said. ”I think it’s in Ripley’s Believe It or Not…
“I got us down in scoring range and with our offense, it was based on running back to the tight end and my job was to play football,” he added. “I never complained. I always did my job to get us down there but the chips just didn’t fall my way. That’s all I can control.”
The backs and tight ends indeed played a big role in Kansas City. Four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles has been a Chiefs staple since 2008, and tight end Travis Kelce led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards last year. Kelce caught five touchdowns in 2014, backup tight end Anthony Fasano caught four, and Charles scored 14 total touchdowns.
Bowe is high on Cleveland thus far, and sounds ready to make the most of his first NFL opportunity beyond Kansas City. He pointed out the Browns’ standout offensive linemen and thinks that the 6-foot-4 Josh McCown will be able to capitalize on his time in the pocket and spot Bowe downfield.
“It’s going to be exciting, especially with a new uniform, a new city, new everything, I’m going to feel good. With Alex Mack and Joe Thomas, we’re going to have a lot of time to hit that deep ball even in the red zone. I never had a quarterback like Josh (McCown) that was that tall and could see the mismatch and really go to it. He’s got my confidence level high right now.”
Not to rain on the parade, but Bowe’s quarterback last year, Alex Smith, is also listed at 6-4.
Still, Bowe showered praise on McCown, his new signal-caller.
“He’s amazing,” said Bowe. “He’s a crafty vet and he knows matchups, he knows the playbook front and back and he knows the personnel. In the red zone he knows who to come to, he knows how to hit the checkdown, the audible, and he’s a great fit for this offense.”
A bit of skepticism is always justified when it comes to the Browns, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but Bowe says he’s up to the challenge of lifting the offense. He’s out not only to make up for the loss of Gordon, but to recoup a bit of personal pride after a 2014 campaign devoid of any six-pointers.
“I have a lot left, especially after not scoring any touchdowns last year,” he said. “Do you think I still got it? I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have it.”
Welp, here’s hoping. The Browns kick off the preseason against Washington on August 13, and the regular season starts with a visit to the New York Jets on September 13.