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Jamaal Charles: ‘I feel like I’m the Lebron of NFL’

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The Sports Xchange

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was trying to make a comparison to what he contributes to the team’s offense and he looked not to football, but the NBA.

“As long as I play in this league and play on a high level, I always feel like a team is going to have to stop me,” Charles said. “I feel like sometimes I’m the LeBron of football, especially at my position because I can do so much.”

There’s no question how valuable a healthy Charles is to the Chiefs offensive production. That was evident last year when injuries limited his contributions and the Kansas City offense struggled through the season. Still, opponents focused on stopping Charles.

“He kind of thrives on people pointing him out and saying, ‘Hey, let’s take 25 out this week.'” said Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. “By giving him multiple jobs and multiple roles, whether he is in the backfield, or motioning from the backfield or lining up from the backfield, that can cause problems defensively. That has just been part of our scheme and he works on it and he thrives on it. Bottom line, bring what they’ve got and see if they can stop him.”

–Cornerback Sean Smith will have six weeks of training camp and the preseason before he’s forced to shut down for three games due to an NFL suspension. The league discipline came from his arrest last year on driving under the influence charges. Smith was arrested in Kansas City after the car he was driving ran into and destroyed a light pole.

When Smith showed up for camp, he spoke about the suspension for the first time.

“You do the crime, you do the time,” said Smith, who will miss games against Houston, Denver and Green Bay. “I wasn’t concerned with the number of games at all. It’s out of my control.”

Smith said the three-game hiatus on the horizon will not take away his attention for preparing for the 2015 season, the final year of his current contract.

“That’s a long time from now,” said Smith. “I have a full preseason of work to go.”

–LaVance Taylor’s stay in training camp was short. The Kansas City native spent three days with his favorite team at Missouri Western State University, catching the club’s attention when he used Twitter to provide access to a highlight tape of his career at the University of Central Missouri. The Chiefs needed a running back in their rookie camp practices after they lost their only first-year back to an injury.

Taylor was at home in Kansas City, and heard about the shortage and along with help from his father took a chance. The next day a call came instructing him that he should get to St. Joseph and report to Chiefs camp.

“I felt like my heart was about to pop out of my chest,” Taylor said of his reaction.

It all happened so quickly that he drove the 70 miles north, signed his contract and checked into the dorm carrying a backpack, his cleats and the clothes on his back. Three days later, he was gone and the Chiefs signed free agent Darrin Reaves, who played in six games with the Carolina Panthers in the 2014 season.

A few hours after his release, Taylor returned to Twitter. “I still believe and I will continue to work my dream to be the best,” he tweeted.


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