With the Kansas City Chiefs final practice in the books at St. Joe, before Thursday’s exhibition opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s likely many of the projected fantasy studs on the roster won’t play very much in this game.
For Jamaal Charles, he’s aware of his status in the fantasy world of football but he could care less about who drafts him or how many covers his picture appears on in August. All that matters is rounding out his game and getting ready for the regular season.
When that real game action begins for Charles may not happen until the Chiefs travel to face the Carolina Panthers next weekend. Until then, all we can do is wait to see for ourselves how lucky we are in Kansas City to watch him play football every week.
The reality is Charles is the games best running back. He doesn’t shy away from anything on the field. He’ll run, catch the ball and block if needed on any given snap. So I state again is Charles not the most complete running back in the NFL?
“I think I’m a natural running back,” Charles said. “I might not be as strong as him (Peterson), but I know I can grind out and get five yards or six yards and maybe bang it for a touchdown. AP is one of the powers, one of the strongest running backs, and explosive running backs, but I think I’m the same type of running back as him.”
Based on carries, yardage and touchdowns, it’s pretty easy to agree with Charles thoughts in regards to the tale of the tape between he and Peterson. However, his position has begun to take a back seat in regards to importance by some NFL coaching staffs. At one point, Running Backs used to be as important as Quarterbacks but curiously some NFL teams devalue the position. Though Charles doesn’t agree with that view.
“I don’t think it changed. I think it depends on what style of running back you have. You can have a power back; there aren’t a lot of power backs that can catch the ball. Or you can have a skilled back that is an athlete, can run and catch the ball like a wide receiver. I think that can bring the game back. So I think we do more than the wide receivers, o-line, and maybe the quarterback. So I think the running back job is really important,” Charles stated.
He’s right. For this Chiefs team, no one player can do the things on the field that Charles can within a football game. Still I gasp every time he’s asked to block because let’s be honest, he’s not the biggest back in the league. But Charles has become a valuable commodity in pass production.
“You have to have motivation to do it,” he said. “You just have to be hungry. You just have to feel like you have to go knock their head off before they knock yours off. That’s my job, I love contact. I just don’t like getting embarrassed when a linebacker tries to bull rush me. I told my running backs, ‘this is the Jamaal Charles rule, as long as you can hold them for three seconds you’re good.’”
Some Chiefs fans will be holding their collective hearts when that happens but Charles isn’t afraid to deliver the punishment. In fact, he made it very clear, any pass rusher who tries to bull rush him to the ground will see the true nature of his intensity the next time they clash.
“If you bull rush me I’m going to come back the next play and cut your legs. So if you’re going to bull rush me, I can play your game as well. I’m not the biggest or the strongest but I’m going to test him first so if he tries to come up to me, I’m going to try to cut him and chop his legs off so next time it’ll slow him down,” Charles said.
Obviously Charles intends no malice on any of his NFL brothers but in the heat of the game, you do what has to be done to help out your team. But as he stated, he will do it time and time again, whereas other running backs shy away from that sort of contact.
Now that thumping won’t appear in the fantasy leagues around the globe but in the NFL, Charles is as real as it gets.
Fortunately fans don’t have to pay much attention to the fantasy side of Sir Charles. Instead, they’re blessed to watch him every week in a Chiefs uniform sprinting up and down the field with the grace and power that makes him the most feared offensive performer in the NFL.
How lucky are we?
Jamaal Charles Photos: Kirby Lee (1) & Geoff Burke (2) USA Today Sports Images
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will Charles win the NFL MVP in 2014?
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