It's pretty incredible how far we've come with Jamaal Charles in just a few short years.
He was part of that big-time 2008 draft and we didn't really see what he could do for his first year and a half. In fact, Adam Teicher noted the other day that the Chiefs were in trade talks with the Washington Redskins for Charles in 2009 so that tells us what Todd Haley and GM Scott Pioli thought of him.
Then LJ continued being LJ and was released paving the way for Charles to show that, you know what, he's a hell of a player.
I listened to Todd Haley's press conference yesterday and read the transcription of what he had to say regarding Charles -- that's posted after the jump -- and it's amazing this is the same guy that, if the Redskins had agreed, would be in Washington for the slim price of a third round pick.
"I think that last year was a big-time year for him. He kind of picked up where he had left off in year one here with all of us. He finished the second half of that first year so strong, and it didn't start that way. As he got more comfortable with the coaching and just the expectations and how we were doing things, you definitely saw him make huge jumps. When he got the opportunities and the touches, he took full advantage of it. That continued into last year, and arguably last year he did some unique, special, special things as far as running backs go. He was part of the leading rushing group in the league, which we were all excited and proud of.
"But, now it's a new year and I think the thing that I'm most excited about Jamaal is that I don't see any change in him as far as his demeanor, his preparation, his seriousness, his seriousness toward the team and being a great teammate. That's exciting stuff. I don't know that you can say he has to rush for more yards than he had last year for it to be a better year. If he does, that's awesome for all of us.
"He's just working hard to try to get better and that's another big thing about him. I think there's room to get better. That's exciting when you see a guy do some of the things he did last year and then you're saying he can potentially be better, which I believe he can. I really believe he can. There are some areas that he's working hard on that can really help him be even better and more dynamic for us."