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Chiefs keep five running backs and plan to “use them” all

Knile Davis AP

The Chiefs rode running back Jamaal Charles hard last season and were rewarded with nearly 2,000 yards in total offense and 19 touchdowns that were essential to their successful bid for a playoff berth.

When Charles got hurt in that playoff loss to the Colts, the Chiefs turned to Knile Davis before Davis got hurt and Cyrus Gray was forced into action that seemed too big for him. That was part of the reason why the Chiefs blew a huge lead and avoiding a similar situation this year may be part of the reason why the Chiefs kept five running backs — Charles, Davis, Gray, De’Anthony Thomas and Joe McKnight — and a fullback on their 53-man roster despite having needs elsewhere on the roster.

The team didn’t change the look of their offense enough to expect anything but another heavy workload for Charles, which led to a question for coach Andy Reid about what he plans to do with all those running backs this season.

“Use them,” Reid said, via ESPN.com. “You want to keep the best players. This is [General Manager John Dorsey] and how he operates, which is the right way to do things. You keep the guys you feel are the best 53. We felt the four [backups] were that and we roll from there.”

Thomas should see a lot of time as a receiver in a similar role to the one Dexter McCluster played last season and Gray is a core special teams player, but Davis and McKnight can only play so much if Charles is healthy and productive. Having both of them isn’t going to make life any easier if Charles isn’t either of those things, which could lead to more questions for Reid and Dorsey about roster construction if issues elsewhere contribute to a change in fortunes for the Chiefs this season.

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12 Responses to “Chiefs keep five running backs and plan to “use them” all”
  1. macjacmccoy says: Sep 4, 2014 8:44 AM

    It shouldn’t though at least in Reid’s case. He gave up all control of the roster. There is no way if he was in charge that he would keep 5 rbs. Mainly bc he knows and everyone else knows he’s not any good at building a roster so he wouldn’t go so far outside of the norm. If he did people would tear him apart.

    AR loves linemen and cbs if he had his choice he would keep extras at those positions before rb.

  2. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Sep 4, 2014 8:44 AM

    if andy says he is going to use running backs, then book this; its for pass protection. despite having a line that was made for run blocking, each year andy went more and more to the pass. it the run didn’t work in the first quarter, no more running. if the pass game didn’t work in the first quarter, keep passing.

    the better teams in the league have andy’s number by now. it showed after the schedule got tougher last year, and in his last several years in philly. beat the bad clubs, lose to the good ones.

  3. kaspauf says: Sep 4, 2014 8:57 AM

    Fantasy Football fans cringed a little.

  4. billyjaguar says: Sep 4, 2014 9:06 AM

    Can any of those RBs play OL? No? Good luck Alex!

  5. slick50ks says: Sep 4, 2014 9:46 AM

    Best RB corp in the league.

  6. 4who4what says: Sep 4, 2014 9:56 AM

    Long time Philly fan, check the name. Had Andy for a decade, “Use them all” translates to “Not run them as much as I should, misuse them in obscure packages, and breath heavily into the microphone in postgame interviews while taking the blame for the loss”

  7. irishddddd says: Sep 4, 2014 10:03 AM

    Sure…until the other scrubs get your 2 ypc, and Charles gets you 7 to 8…

  8. viggyhead says: Sep 4, 2014 10:06 AM

    That would be a great idea to give less carries to the best player on your team! Ha! Unfortunately for the Chiefs, Charles is the whole team. They might as well use and abuse him, because he is all they got!

  9. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 4, 2014 10:12 AM

    That’s stupid. What if your starting left guard wasn’t one of the best 53 players? Would you cut him and just play with four offensive linemen?

  10. blogatron2000 says: Sep 4, 2014 12:28 PM

    DAT is listed on the depth chart at both RB and WR so technically they’re only keeping 4 full time RBs.

    On another note, it would sure be nice if the Andy Reid hater trolls would move along. Andy is no longer in Philly and we have heard more than enough about how you feel about him. Go hate on Chip Kelly for a while, will ya?

  11. joetoronto says: Sep 4, 2014 1:35 PM

    Alex Smith doesn’t throw to WR’s anyway, only to RB’s.

    Just collapse baby.

  12. jjackwagon says: Sep 5, 2014 5:31 PM

    Just collapse baby.

    And still finish ahead of your Raiders.

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