Jamaal Charles spoke with the media today after practice, and that interview was about amazing as any short interview can be in early August. Charles was asked 11 questions and gave 11 answers to remember, including the introduction of the “Jamaal Charles Rules.”
Q: How much do you feel you need to play in the preseason to get where you feel you need to be? Do you need to play at all?
CHARLES: “Whatever the coaches do I’m all with it. I’m just trying to be out there with my teammates and support them. Go out there and if I have to play, I have to play. It’s my job to play football and I know that. It depends on how long we are playing for, it doesn’t matter for me.”
Q: But how much do you think you need to get ready?
CHARLES: “I don’t know. Whatever the coaches think I need to work on or look over. I guess I’ve got to go out there and do it. I can’t complain, I won’t be selfish, I just have to go out there and do it.”
Q: Do you know how many Fantasy Football covers you’re on?
CHARLES: “No, there’s no need to worry about that.”
Is there a superstar player as team oriented as Charles?
Even in his “holdout” Charles was focused on the team. Even when he gets asked a specific question to allow him to gloat about himself he doesn’t do it. Even when he’s given the opportunity to shrug off the importance of a preseason game to a guy like him he defers to whats best for the team.
We are unbelievably fortunate to have Charles here with the Chiefs.
Q: A lot of people say the era of the running back is coming to an end. When you were growing up that was the position everybody wanted to be and now it’s quarterback. How has that changed?
CHARLES: “I don’t think it changed. I think it depends on what style of running back you have. You can have a power back, there aren’t a lot of power backs that can catch the ball. Or you can have a skilled back that is an athlete, can run and catch the ball like a wide receiver. I think that can bring the game back. I think running back is the most important on the field because we pick up the blitz, we run the ball, and we catch the ball. So I think we do more than the wide receivers, o-line, and maybe the quarterback. So I think the running back job is really important.”
Q: People will say Adrian Peterson because he’s the prototypical running back. When people say he’s the last true running back, you don’t necessarily agree with that?
CHARLES: “No, I think I’m a natural running back. I might not be as strong as him, but I know I can grind out and get five yards or six yards and maybe bang it for a touchdown. AP is one of the powers, one of the strongest running backs, and explosive running backs, but I think I’m the same type of running back as him.”
ESPN ran a graphic a few days ago comparing Charles’ production to Peterson’s and Charles came out very favorably. Peterson is such a beast of a runner that it hard to think of any other running back being better than him, but Charles could very well be on his level in terms of production and quality. They are apples-to-oranges in terms of style but the degree of separation in terms of quality is almost non-existent.
Now here we go, the part about the Jamaal Charles Rule. If this doesn’t make you want to go run through a wall for Charles then I don’t know what will.
Q: What does it take to be a great blocker?
CHARLES: “You have to have motivation to do it. You just have to be hungry. You just have to feel like you have to go knock their head off before they knock yours off. That’s my job, I love contact. I just don’t like getting embarrassed when a linebacker tries to bull rush me. I told my running backs, ‘this is the Jamaal Charles rule, as long as you can hold them for three seconds you’re good.’”
Jamaal Charles Rule: As long as you can hold them for three seconds you’re good.
Q: Have you ever had trouble with a guy bull rushing you?
CHARLES: “No, if you bull rush me I’m going to come back the next play and cut your legs. So if you’re going to bull rush me, I can play your game as well. I’m not the biggest or the strongest but I’m going to test him first so if he tries to come up to me, I’m going to try to cut him and chop his legs off so next time it’ll slow him down.”
Q: When did you realize that was important at this level? Were you good at it in college?
CHARLES: “Yeah, I learned in college that if you can’t block you won’t go to the next level. I try to teach the guys still in the locker room now that the coaches look for backs that on third down will help the quarterback throw the ball. If you can’t block, you can’t play and that’s how it goes in our room.”
Q: What’s the biggest difference on this level as compared to college?
CHARLES: “They’re bigger and stronger and they know how to get it, they use their hands. And they’re smarter. We are playing against a lot of vets, 33 and 32 years old. So they know how to rush the passer.”
Q: In college you were kind of just on one side, and here you have to be able to look at it all.
CHARLES: “It’s tough, but in your mind you have to have the will to do it. You’ve got to have the will to go out there and want to knock somebody out. I don’t like to get hit so I’m going to hit you before you hit me. So whatever I have to do, I’m going to hold you, hold your jersey, hold your leg, but you’re not going to get to the quarterback.”
Q: Who’s the toughest dude to block here?
CHARLES: “I don’t think anybody’s hard. If you go out there and attack them and hold them for three seconds or four seconds, you’re good. If the quarterback doesn’t get the ball out of his hands in four seconds, I can’t do anything about that. I can only hold somebody for so long. As long as I hold them for three seconds then I’m doing my job.”
I don’t think anybody’s hard.
I cracked up around the part where he said “If the quarterback doesn’t get the ball out of his hands in four seconds, I can’t do anything about that.” He says this and I immediately think of Matt Cassel and the half-dozen quarterbacks who played around him who would hold the ball for days. Can’t help but imagine Charles playing next to Cassel, blocking a guy for four seconds, and then being like, “Welp, you’re screwed, Matt.”
Charles is amazing, never change.