Around The Web: Charles Holding On, Academy Honors DT, New Seahawks

During Friday’s game, Jamaal Charles fumbled without anyone touching him.  He simply tripped, fell and lost the football.  He calls it a freak accident but as Kent Babb reports, there’s much more to the story for Charles.JamaalCharlesFumble

The problem for Charles, a Chiefs’ second-year running back, is that fumbles haven’t been a freak occurrence during his career, dating to his days at the University of Texas.  A fumble during a 2007 game against Oklahoma did the Longhorns no favors against the Sooners, compelling former Texas running back Earl Campbell to work with Charles.

That’s been nearly two seasons ago, and Chiefs coach Todd Haley expects Charles — and all of Kansas City’s rushers — to improve their ball handling.  Haley said players are made to run through the “gauntlet,” a mechanism that simulates contact on ball carriers’ arms and shoulders.  But there’s not much a coach can do when a running back just falls and loses control of the football.

“The worst thing a running back can do is fumble the ball,” Charles said.  “He feels like his whole life is over.  When I do hold on to the ball.  I can make a big play… I’ve got to hold on like it’s my paycheck.”

Yes, sir you do.  Charles is the biggest home run threat the offense has, but he needs to hold onto the ball.  A guy like Herman Edwards talked about winning the turnover battle but a guy would still get an opportunity after turning the ball over.  If Charles keeps putting the ball on the carpet, his opportunities are going to dry up in Kansas City very quickly.

One of Derrick Thomas’ lasting legacies is the Academy that bears his name.  Yesterday, the Hall of Fame linebacker was honored by the Academy.DTAcademy2

Students at Derrick Thomas Academy honored their namesake’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this month with an unveiling of a jersey signed by Chiefs players.  Four Derrick Thomas Academy students who wrote winning essays went to Canton, Ohio to see the ceremony; a video of the trip to the induction ceremony was broadcast to classrooms.

For all of his accolades on the field, it’s amazing that Thomas’ name will live on the most through all the children that attend the DTA every year.  I think that was one of the most important things mentioned during HOF weekend, because while he was being inducted for the work he did on the field, you want to show the current players that you can make an even bigger impact through the work you do off of it.

When the Seattle Seahawks visit the Chiefs on Saturday evening, there will be two players making their debuts and both will be familiar to Todd Haley.

After a day spent ironing out contract details with agent Drew Rosenhaus at the team’s facility, the Seattle Seahawks announced late Tuesday that they had signed veteran running back Edgerrin James to a one-year deal.

The Seahawks also made another minor move Tuesday, waiving veteran guard Grey Ruegamer, who just returned from an elbow injury, to make room for offensive lineman Brian De La Puente, released earlier this summer by the Kansas City Chiefs.  De La Puente is expected to add depth at offensive guard and tackle with Walter Jones and Chris Spencer expected to be out for an extended period.

It’s not quite the Favre-mania return that the Chiefs saw last Friday, but they are interesting debuts all the same.  While I wanted nothing to do with him, I’m kind of surprised Haley didn’t give James a look.  They had a bit of a falling out when James thought he spent too much time blocking, but the important part is that he did the job…  Just with a few complaints sprinkled in.

As for De La Puente, it looks like the Seahawks think he can hold his own at tackle, something the Chiefs never tried while he was in Kansas City.

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