Red Zone

Chiefs’ Andy Reid says running style a factor in replacing Jamaal Charles

Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West was stopped on an ankle tackle by Minnesota Vikings strong safety Andrew Sendejo on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West was stopped on an ankle tackle by Minnesota Vikings strong safety Andrew Sendejo on Sunday. deulitt@kcstar.com

When Jamaal Charles was nicked-up during a three-game stretch last year, 2013 third-round pick Knile Davis stepped up, recording 70 carries for 318 yards for a solid average of 4.5 yards per carry.

But in a 16-10 loss to the Vikings on Sunday, the Chiefs’ first game without Charles this year, it was Charcandrick West who got the workload, as he was in on 43 offensive plays, compared to Davis’ 19 plays.

So when asked Wednesday why Davis didn’t receive a similar workload to last year with Charles out of the mix, Chiefs coach Andy Reid acknowledged that while Davis did have three productive games with Charles out a year ago, West is a better fit for what the offense is currently doing.

“The things that we’ve been doing, we feel pretty good with what Charcandrick (West) is doing and Knile working in on some other things,” Reid said. “So we’re not down on Knile by any means. That’s not where we’re at with it. Just with some of the things we’re doing right now, Charcandrick kind of fits that.”

Davis is a one-cut, north-south back who does some of his best work on man/gap-blocking plays, while West is a jitterbug type who fares better on the zone-run plays Charles thrives at.

Reid was also asked how much of the decision to give West a majority of the carries is about giving the offensive line some consistency, since his style is similar to Charles’.

“Yeah, that might have a part to it,” Reid said. “It’s more the play and giving those young guys an opportunity to run that same play over and over again. Right now they fit a little bit more into what Charcandrick does.

“Knile plays a power game, one cut, downhill. It’s just a little different style, which is effective and has been effective.”

Terez A. Paylor: 816-234-4489, @TerezPaylor. Tap here to download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

  Comments