ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher dubbed Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles — who needs just 53 more yards to surpass Priest Holmes as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher — as an “accidental star” for the team in his Oct. 9 blog.
Jamaal Charles On the Brink of Being KC Chiefs’ All-Time Leading Rusher
“Jamaal Charles didn’t give much thought early in his career to becoming the Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher and for good reason. Back then, he didn’t look like much of a candidate for the honor.
“Charles backed up a washed-up Larry Johnson for the first season-and-a-half later joining the Chiefs. One of his early head coaches, Todd Haley, thought so little of Charles for a game against the Oakland Raiders in September 2009 that he deactivated a healthy Charles in favor of another of Johnson’s backups, Dantrell Savage.
“The Chiefs and Haley really stumbled onto Charles. He was an accidental star, one the Chiefs were left with no choice but to go with later in that 2009 season when Johnson’s erratic behavior forced the Chiefs to get rid of him.
“Though it’s easy to see now, Charles was not groomed to be (a) record-setter. He was looked at much as Knile Davis is now, simply insurance in case the incumbent featured featured back went off the tracks.
“Charles, to his credit, became that and more for the Chiefs. One the Chiefs rid themselves of Johnson, he quickly seized the job and played so well even Haley couldn’t move him out of the lineup.
“Charles delivered for Chiefs teams good and bad, during their AFC West-winning season of 2010 and for last year’s wildcard playoff team, and for the miserable club of 2012 that won only two games.
“Now Charles is on the verge of breaking the Chiefs’ record. He needs 53 yards to get to 6.071 and pass Priest Holmes as their all-time leading rusher.
“The record could fall in the Chiefs’ next game on Oct. 19 against the Chargers in San Diego. Getting the record at Arrowhead Stadium might be sweeter for Charles and Chiefs fans. But it’s more poetic for Charles to set the new mark on the road.
“His two best rushing games, 259 yards against Denver to end the 2009 season and 233 against New Orleans in 2012, came on the road. His career-high for receiving yards (195) and touchdowns (5) happened in last year’s game in Oakland.”
Jamaal Charles needs just 53 yards to become the #Chiefs all-time leading rusher.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@KCChiefs) October 6, 2014
Teicher points out in his Oct. 6 blog that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid regrets not giving Charles more endgame touches in Kansas City’s 22-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5:
“For the second time this season, Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he was guilty of not getting the ball enough to running back Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs failed to get the ball to Charles on any of their final 10 plays of Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
“At his Monday news conference, Reid said he particularly regretted the failure to utilize Charles on a possession late in the third quarter, when the Chiefs led 17-16. The Chiefs ran five plays on that drive, four passes and a scramble by quarterback Alex Smith, before punting.
“On their first possession of the fourth quarter, the Chiefs had a third down and one. Instead of giving the ball to Charles, they thre an incomplete pass to Dwayne Bowe and then punted.
“‘If we had to do that over again, and this is hindsight, but I’d probably come back and hand it to him and give him an opportunity to make that play,’ Reid said.
“The Chiefs got the ball back just once more and by then, they were in desperation mode. A little more than two minutes remained but they were out of timeouts and behind by five points.
“Charles had only seven carries in the season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans. The next day, Reid said it was ‘negligence on my part’ that Charles didn’t get the ball more.”
Charles has rushed for 6,018 yards and 30 touchdowns on 1,085 carries in 84 career regular-season games for the Chiefs through Oct. 10, per ESPN stats.
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Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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