Chiefs say Spencer Ware will play key role this Sunday


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Whether or not Charcandrick West, who has an injured hamstring, plays for the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, it seems likely that Spencer Ware will retain at least a small role in the offensive backfield.

“I think our mentality is still the running back by committee,’’ offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said.

The Chiefs have been impressed with Ware since he was promoted from the practice squad last month to take the roster spot vacated by the injured Jamaal Charles. He replaced West in Sunday's game in San Diego and led the Chiefs with 96 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also scored a touchdown in a previous game against the Detroit Lions.

He runs with a type of power the Chiefs’ other backs don’t have.

“He’s got great balance,’’ Pederson said. “His center of gravity is so low and he’s a powerful guy, powerful in the lower extremities there in his legs. His balance is unbelievable and he’s got great vision. Patient runner -- I would throw that in there as well, but those are some of his strengths.”

“That’s what he did in college,’’ Pederson said. “When you watch him and go back to LSU, that’s the way he ran back then and he’s always been that type of a runner. He’s a one-cut guy and it’s explosion through the hole. Sometimes it’s fun to watch that, to see those guys do that like that. We’ll see with the physicality with how well he holds up. It’s much like Charcandrick, where you put a little bit on his plate and you put a little bit more and then you just kind of grow with him as we go.”

Ware will be the starter if West isn’t available against the Bills. The Chiefs would also have Knile Davis available.

“I think he’ll benefit [from his recent playing time] quite a bit,’’ Pederson said. “He’s been the guy that’s been in that running back room all year, he’s hearing the same things that [running backs coach Eric] Bieniemy has talked to Jamaal about, [to] Knile and Charcandrick and those guys. He’s heard it, he had a chance to really step in and do a nice job. He’s definitely going to benefit from it. He’s just that type of guy -- he’s a hard worker, a guy that I think understands his role. He’s hungry to play, if that makes sense. He’s a young, talented kid that I look forward to seeing him play even more.”