Andy Reid's version of the West Coast offense is at its best when he has a dynamic running back that can catch passes out of the back field and stretch the edges of the defense. In years past he's had success with players like Dorsey Levins, Bryant Westbrook, and Shady McCoy. Reid's taken his offensive philosophy to Kansas City and will try to replicate the formula. Enter Jamaal Charles.
Last year Charles had a decent year recovering from major reconstructive surgery on his knee. He showed flashes of the sprinter speed he possessed at Texas and made the most out of a difficult season. Although the Chiefs were competitive and played a lot of close games they ended up with the worst record in football. If the organization is going to improve Charles will be a big part of the reclamation process.
The Chiefs acquired Alex Smith from the San Francisco 49ers in the off season as well which should give them stability at the quarterback position. Although Smith played admirably last year his skill set is that of a game manager. If he doesn't have a sound running game and a strong defense to rely on he tends to force throws and make mistakes. If he's forced to make big plays the Chiefs will struggle.
If Jamaal Charles is as his best he's one of the top five running backs in the league. He should be able to catch 80-90 passes and rush for 1400-1500 yards. If he has trouble picking up Andy Reid's offense and struggles with his pass blocking his numbers will look very average. He'll certainly get plenty of opportunities so we'll see if he makes the most of it. Stay tuned.