One of the more interesting stories on the offensive side of the ball this season will be how the Chiefs split carries between Thomas Jones and incumbent starter Jamaal Charles. Both are coming off career years and will have to learn to share the spotlight (and yards). Jones told the Kansas City Star that he doesn’t foresee any problems.
“This isn’t my first time having a couple other backs. To me it’s not as big a deal as it is maybe to other people. I’ve played with other great backs and it’s never been a problem, and it won’t be a problem here.”
Jones has shared a position before. He was outrushed by a rookie, Shonn Greene, in both of last season’s Jets playoff victories.
“In this league you need two or three backs to carry the ball,” Jones said. “It’s a long season. Guys take a pounding. You have injuries, you have a lot of different things. You need a lot of different backs to come in and make plays. I look at the situation as we have some good backs on this team that can go out there and make plays and help us win regardless of who’s in the game.
“It just depends on the situation. You’ll have some games where if one guy’s hot, he’ll continue to carry the ball. If a guy presents a matchup problem for the defense, then that guy will play. At the end of the day it’s all about the team, it’s all about how each individual guy can help us win. We all have different strengths and we all have different weaknesses. It’s just about putting the right guy on the field at the right time.”
Todd Haley loves to talk about finding the right matchups and having both Jones and Charles available to him along with rookie Dexter McCuster will give the team nearly limitless possibilities in their packages.
That said, coaches being excited about the team having a lot of options and the players that are forced to share touches in order to provide those options staying excited throughout the season are two very different things.
Everyone is saying the right things in May and if the team wins it will be hard to imagine anyone complaining, but if the Chiefs struggle out of the gate it’s not crazy to think the player on the short end of the carries starts wondering out loud about not getting enough work.