As the Kansas City Chiefs waited and waited on Jamaal Charles to get healthy the past two seasons Spencer Ware was busy filling in. He did a nice job with 403 yards rushing in 2015 and up to 921 yards in 2016.
Now, Ware is the main guy. The Chiefs drafted Kareem Hunt in the third round and signed CJ Spiller in the offseason but entering the 2017 offseason Ware is the top dog in the Chiefs running back room.
“There’s a lot of responsibility as far as showing leadership out here on the field and off the field,” Ware told reporters on Wednesday via quotes from the Chiefs. “No pressure though. I go out there every day and work how I was when I was behind Marshawn (Lynch) in Seattle and how I did when I was behind Jamaal when I came here. It’s the same mindset and the same work ethic, I’m just a little bit older and a little more mature.”
The drafting of Hunt is new for Ware. He’s always been the young guy pushing the older guy. Now he’s the one getting pushed.
“I really don’t know,” Ware said when asked his reaction to drafting Hunt in the third round. “This is my first time experiencing it. We’ll welcome anyone into the room. Like I said, we’re trying to get better and I trust everyone on our staff. John Dorsey and Andy Reid are going to bring in the right guys in order to help us get over that hump.”
Ware did seem to slow down as the year went on. He averaged over five yards per carry in four of his first five games last year but didn’t in any of his final nine games, which included one missed week with a concussion.
“You can’t try to take care of your body once the season starts or you’re already behind,” Ware said.
If the Chiefs are getting the healthy Spencer Ware from the first six weeks of the season last year then the rookie may be sitting for a while longer.