On Sept. 20, 2009, the Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles was inactive for a game against the Oakland Raiders. That was surprising to so many of us because, well, KC seemingly couldn't afford to be putting some of their good players on the bench.
The reason at the time was Charles wasn't the best blocking back. The Chiefs didn't want to send him out there if he wasn't able to pick up a blitz because, with most teams, the Chiefs wanted to protect their quarterback.
Now? Haley says Charles' protection issues aren't the problem that they once were.
"The number one area that he just continues to make progress in is in protection," Haley said on Thursday. "I think with a year and three quarters under his belt of understanding protections has really helped him. That is an area early on that there wasn’t a great feeling of trust early on in that area and that is an area that our backs have to be really good in."
This is another one of those things where we look back a year later and think, 'Well, maybe Todd Haley knew what he was doing after all...' That seems to be happening more often these days.
What this ultimately does is give the Chiefs more versatility. The Chiefs like to say that they don't have to change the play calls based on the running back -- Charles and Thomas Jones can do the same things -- so I think this bit about Charles' improved blocking is a continuation of that.