Jamaal Charles 'can't wait' for season

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
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Jamaal Charles felt “sick” last season having to watch the Kansas City Chiefs' final 14 games while he was out with a torn ACL.

Charles -- who was second in the NFL in rushing yards in 2011 -- has spent the past eight months, vowing to get stronger and better. Charles told reporters in Kansas City on Tuesday that he hopes never to miss significant time again in his career.

“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. 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. 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. That point, at my stage, I’m 25 years old, I’m at the point in my life that I’ve got to win games ... That had me thinking a lot and made me a better player.”

Charles said he is about 80 percent healthy and he is confident he will be ready to go for the season.

“I want it this year,” Charles said. “I’ve got the passion for it. I can be patient. I just can’t wait to play football.”

Charles was pumped to see the Chiefs sign Peyton Hillis in free agency. The Chiefs envision Charles and Hillis being a 1-2 punch. Charles is a breakaway back and Hillis is more of a power back. Charles said there will be no competition or jealousy between the two backs and he wants to be Hillis’ “best friend.”

“I feel like he’s the same as Thomas Jones,” he said. “He’s going to come in and get all the tough yards and all the power and I feel like that was the same thing when Thomas was here. I don’t really care, I’m not a selfish player, and I just want to win. If he can contribute to the team and put points on the board, why not? I don’t care about how many yards; I feel like every week if we win the game, I don’t have any complaints. He came in. We brought him in to win games. We didn’t bring him in to compete with each other, but we’ll compete with each other in a certain way. But I don’t think, 'He’s on this team, I’m on that team, I want to beat him up.' I want to train with him and be his best friend.”

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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