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Jamaal Charles Says He Has Plenty Left in the Tank

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In retrospect, perhaps asking Jamaal Charles to repeat what he did in 2013 wasn’t fair. That year, Charles was 27 years old ― in his zenith ― and playing behind a fairly capable offensive line. He also had one of the game’s best offensive minds, Andy Reid, calling plays for him in an offense perfectly designed for his talents ― against a last-place schedule, no less. All of that added up to a career season in which the Chiefs went 11-5, Charles posted career highs of 1,980 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns and generally performed so well that he got a new contract after the season, even though he had two years remaining on a team-friendly deal. So yes, when you consider all that, Charles’ performance during an injury-riddled 2014 ― in which he gained 1,324 yards from scrimmage and scored a team-high 14 touchdowns in 15 games ― doesn’t quite measure up to that standard. But to be fair, that is still elite production, which is all the more impressive when you consider he was running behind an offensive line that was weaker than it was in 2013 because of a devilish combination of injuries, youth and multiple free-agent departures. “It was just frustrating,” Charles said. “It wasn’t the line; it was just me getting hurt. I had never played a whole season where I had nagging injuries and I can go in and I’ve got to come back out because my ankle hurt. And that was all the frustration ― it wasn’t about the team. The team did a great job. We won nine games last year, so it couldn’t be the team. “It was me because I missed a game and I felt like my team needed me. Even though Knile (Davis) did a great job, it just was frustrating getting hurt.”

Source: Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star


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