The first depth chart of the season for any NFL team is worth roughly as much as the paper it is written on. After the first two seasons of Todd Haley running the show in Kansas City, there hasn’t been a team that’s been more true for than the Chiefs.
Still, it is worth noting when a player turns in one of the most efficient seasons in NFL history and shows up for training camp the next year and is second on the depth chart. That’s what is facing Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles heading into the first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday.
That’s right, after ripping off 1,467 yards on 230 carries last season, Charles is still sitting behind Thomas Jones and his 3.7 yards per carry on the team’s first depth chart.
Think where a player is placed on the depth chart doesn’t change how much they are used due to the whole ‘it’s not who starts, it’s who finishes’ argument? Normally I would agree, but after seeing Haley give the ball to Jones 15 more times than his best offensive player in 2010, it is something worth worrying about in 2011. Jones started 10 games last season to Charles’ six.
For Haley’s part, on Tuesday he decided to have a little bit of a fun with the constant questions about this starting running back.
“I’ve never quite been somewhere where it’s as big of a thing,” Haley said. “What if I put McClain over there; starting halfback? You guys wouldn’t be able to function.”
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would function a whole lot better knowing that Charles would be getting more carries than the rest of the Chiefs running backs combined.