Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid answered some questions from reporters Thursday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. One of the topics was the possibility of reducing the workload on running back Jamaal Charles.
Reid indicated the Chiefs intended to do that by playing Knile Davis more than they did last season, when he was a rookie. In the regular season the Chiefs gave the ball to Davis 81 times between pass receptions and handoffs. More than half of those touches came in the season’s final four games after Davis became more comfortable with the NFL and the things the Chiefs asked him to do.
“As we went on, we were able to do that with Knile," Reid said. “Knile was a rookie and he was learning every week and getting better every week. As the season went on we were able to give him the ball a little bit more. Coming into this season, we’ll be able to mix it up a little bit better than what we did early in the season last year."
Davis broke his leg in the playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts, but the Chiefs believe he will be ready for full participation when the regular season begins. If Davis is back to full strength, Reid’s idea is a good one.
Davis isn’t Charles and probably never will be, but he can still be a productive player. At 227 pounds, Davis is bigger and more powerful than Charles, but he’s also fast. He’s one place the Chiefs can reasonably expect to grow their offense with players still on the roster. He had a fumbling problem in college at Arkansas, and again at times last season, and he’ll have to prove he’s over it before Reid can put this plan into play.
Charles led the Chiefs in rushing and pass receiving, and showed no signs as the season progressed of breaking down because of the wear and tear. But that will happen to him soon if the Chiefs aren’t careful. Charles is only 200 pounds and touched the ball almost 650 times over the past two seasons.