Jamaal Charles could become the next elite running back under Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid, which would bode well for the conservative Alex Smith. It’s all well and good that Smith played within Jim Harbaugh‘s offense with the San Francisco 49ers, remained efficient and won a lot of games as the team’s starter, but he’s mostly looked below-the-grade throughout his career when the offense is leaning him to wing it around as against a huge deficit.
Along with a Chiefs defense that boasts a lot of great individual pieces that still must gel effectively as a whole, an electric running back like Charles — and the way he is utlized — will be the key to keeping the offense smooth around Smith.
“Really, I think the sky is the limit with him with what we’re trying to do,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said, via Fox Sports Kansas City. “You’ve seen him sprint out of the single receiver, and he’ll come out of the backfield. He’s a guy that needs to move around, and (one) you can put in different positions, motion out the back, shift him from the backfield. He catches the ball so well that you have to take advantage of that offensively.”
NFL Network’s Chris Wesseling pointed out that Charles’ average catches per season as start is 40 while the primary backs in Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles offenses were averaging 65 catches per season. If you throw in a near-duplication of the career-high 285 carries Charles got in 2012, then Smith will be allowed to stay in the conservative mold he found so successful in San Fran.