In 2010 Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was scary good. Almost historically good.
After listening to his plans for the 2012 season, it sounds like Charles plans to go from scary to downright terrifying.
Charles is back in Kansas City going through the team’s voluntary offseason workouts. The Pro Bowl running back missed almost the entirety of the 2011 season after tearing his ACL in the team’s second game of the season. Along with teammates Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry, Charles has been traveling a long road to get back to where he was before the injury. Speaking to the media yesterday, Charles let it be known that he’s going to use the experience to make himself better.
“It made me stronger,” Charles said. “It made me the person that I am today, I can’t wait and I know how to take care of my body, how to eat right and do the right things and it’s made me not want to wait to touch that field again.”
Charles told Josh Looney of KCChiefs.com that he feels like he is at 80 percent physically, though his doctors say he is ahead of schedule in his recovery. Even still, the Chiefs know Charles is central to their offensive success this season and as such, they are being careful not to push the RB too hard.
“I feel like I can do the same things my teammates do,” Charles said. “I do it without the coaches around. I catch balls, I cut, I do ladder drills and I’ve been doing this for like two months. So coaches weren’t there when I was back home working out, so whatever time that I need for my body to rest, I think it’s even better to wait it out for awhile.”
Confidence is often said to be one of the biggest factors in determining how quickly a player comes back from a brutal knee injury. Runners needs the confidence that their knee will hold up when making extreme cuts and QBs need the confidence to step forward in the pocket so they can plant their leg and let the ball rip.
Listening to Charles, it sounds like he has no shortage of confidence. In fact, he plans on using his injury as a motivator for a successful year, rather than allowing it to slow his return to being one of the league’s most dangerous backs.
“When I touch that field going out there, you’re going to feel my pain; you’re going to go through what I went through,” said Charles. “That right there is going to be there for the rest of my career because I don’t want to be out a whole year ever again.”
The Chiefs’ offseason has garnered positive reviews from the talking heads around the NFL. Early returns are indicating that the Chiefs should be able to contend for the AFC West title and there some who feel KC might have one of the most talented rosters in all of the AFC. For the team to realize its potential, however, it will need Charles to be 100 percent.
For his part, Charles has big plans for the Chiefs this season.
“And I feel like this is a year for us, that we can go all the way because I can feel it. I feel I can bring a lot to the team this year being bigger and stronger, and I don’t know, maybe even faster. I can wait awhile. In my mind, I want to get back out there because I want to see where I’m at, but I feel like I’m already there, so I can just wait.”