Most of us around here have said that the Kansas City Chiefs offense has performed better in the preseason with Jamaal Charles in the backfield versus Thomas Jones.
The numbers support this -- Charles has nine carries for 63 yards while Jones has 10 carries for 31 yards -- but Chiefs coach Todd Haley says that's not necessarily the case.
"I would not say, in my opinion, that we’re running better necessarily with Jamaal than Thomas," he said.
Haley points out a pair of first down runs by Jones on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He actually had three first down runs -- one on second and short and two on third and short. He called those "big carries."
"The third-and-one he really made on his own and that third-and-two-and-a-half was a big-time run I thought," Haley said. I think getting those short-yardage carries is an advantage Jones holds but the Chiefs are also more likely to get into a second and short or third and short situation with Charles and his five yards per carry.
Of course it's hard to ignore Jones' biggest gaffe -- the first possession fumble. Haley didn't make the turnover a big deal like he has with other players.
"This guy has a lot of pride and he was pretty down about turning the ball over and was out there trying to make a play for us, which I appreciate," he said.
It's clear that Haley is a big fan of Jones -- not riding him for that fumble is evidence of that, I think -- and he's going to be a major part of this offense. I think if used properly -- Charles as the feature back and Jones as the situational/short-yardage back -- I think they can be effective. But early results would indicate that Jones is going to get the heavier load.