COMMENTARY | Though it would take a career year out of Jamaal Charles, the Kansas City Chiefs' running back sits just 1,534 rushing yards behind Priest Holmes on the franchise's career rushing yards list.
Primarily behind three stellar seasons, Holmes finished his seven-year stint with Kansas City having rushed for 6,070 yards and 76 touchdowns -- both team records. Charles has tallied 4,536 yards in his five years with the Chiefs, though he played sparingly during his rookie campaign behind Larry Johnson (second on the list at 6,015 yards) and missed most of 2011 with a torn ACL.
The fact that Charles was able to rush for a career-high 1,509 yards on 285 carries one year removed from a major knee injury is an encouraging sign for both his future and his chances of passing Holmes -- possibly even this season. Andy Reid's version of the West Coast offense (WCO), however, could be the only thing holding him back.
Reid had at his disposal some of the NFL's best running backs during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles (Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy), but none ever reached the mark needed for Charles to break Holmes' record.
The two best rushing seasons under Reid were Westbrook's 1,333 yards on 278 carries in 2007 and McCoy's 1,309 yards on 273 carries in 2011.
The key for Reid's running backs in the WCO is versatility and the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. In 2007, Westbrook added another 771 yards on 91 receptions while McCoy tacked on an additional 315 yards on 48 catches in 2011.
Though Charles hasn't necessarily been used in the passing game to that extent, he has shown he is indeed capable in this area -- eclipsing at least 35 catches in three of his five seasons in Kansas City. This bodes well for both Charles and the Chiefs offense in that it is designed to reduce the normal wear and tear that a running back endures while not compromising his touches.
While it may be completely unlike what Charles is accustomed to, he is very optimistic about his potential production under Reid -- telling Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star that "This offense might be the best thing that ever happened to me…"
Charles went on to compare himself to both Westbrook and McCoy, stating that he thinks he fits Reid's offensive scheme as well as they did.
The Chiefs' primary focus on offense should be getting the ball into Charles' hands as much as possible. How they do so, along with his health, will determine whether he surpasses Holmes this season or if he will be forced to wait until 2014 for another crack at it.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites, including Podcast to Be Named Later--where he is the co-host of the site's up-and-coming podcast. Jeremy's work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various sports talk shows around the country.Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
- American Football
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- Jamaal Charles
- Priest Holmes
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