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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Back to the future with Jamaal Charles

By Bill Williamson

As he gets to know his new team, Kansas City coach Andy Reid has looked back at old film to get a feel for his players.

To help get a feel for star running back Jamaal Charles, Reid studied film of the 2010 AFC West champion Chiefs, whose offensive coordinator was Charlie Weis. Reid said Weis’ offense is similar to his and he liked what he saw of Charles.

Jamaal Charles
One can hardly blame new Chiefs coach Andy Reid for being eager to work with RB Jamaal Charles.
“Charlie kind of moved him around like we did with our guys [in Philadelphia],” Reid said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. “I did that just to see how [Charles] handled the quick passing game or the deep passing game from the wide receiver position. He handled it well. So that gives you another dimension that you know is in there that he wasn’t utilized … they just didn’t use it in him the last couple years.”

In 2010, Charles had 1,467 yards rushing and 45 catches for 468 yards receiving. It was his second- highest rushing season total and a career high in catches and receiving yards.

There have been questions whether Charles will fit with Reid because Reid is a pass-first coach. But he is also a smart coach. He knows Charles, who had 1,509 rushing yards last season, is special on the ground and Reid will use him. But he also will give defenses multiple looks at Charles.

Tiny receiver Dexter McCluster is another player who excited Reid. He said McCluster can line up all over the field. It will be interesting to see if McCluster can flourish in Reid’s offense.

“You know what, I kind of like him,” Reid said. “He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he’s got a heart of a lion. He’s got that MO, tremendous quickness and can catch. He’s pretty good at running the football, so there is a place for him. You line him up everywhere. You can move him around and kind of do some unique things with him.”

Reid was less expansive on his answers when the subject of 2011 first-round pick, receiver Jon Baldwin, came up.

“Baldwin is kind of a tweener,” Reid said. “He does have good, long speed, not great long speed. He’s somebody that needs to continue to develop. That’s a position that you need time to develop in. We’ll see how he does.”

Baldwin has talent, but reading Reid’s comments, I get the idea he isn’t exactly counting on Baldwin.

Reid reiterated that he will call the offensive plays.

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated reports Jacksonville may consider taking West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith with the No. 2 pick. That could be good news for the Kansas City Chiefs who have the No. 1 pick. If the Jaguars are getting interested in Smith, it could create a trade market for the Chiefs.

Also, long snapper Thomas Gafford has reportedly re-signed with the Chiefs.

In other AFC West news:

Oakland safety Mike Mitchell is reportedly visiting Carolina.