Jamaal Charles probably won't get 300 touches with Andy Reid as his coach—heck, he'll be lucky to get 275—but based on the moves the Kansas City Chiefs have made this offseason and what they'll likely do in the draft, he is primed to return to 2010 form.
You know, the year he burst onto the national scene as an All-Pro with 1,467 rushing yards at 6.4 yards per carry and 45 receptions for 468 receiving yards?
Yeah, that year.
Although the 1,509 rushing yards he gained in 2012 were a career high, Charles' electric 2010 campaign remains the gold standard for his production potential.
Let's outline the reasons why Charles, when it's all said and done, will be the most dangerously versatile running back in the NFL in 2013.
Acquisition of Alex Smith
The Chiefs made a trade for quarterback Alex Smith this offseason, and barring any unforeseen changes, he will be the team's starter.
He was extremely efficient in 2011 and 2012 for the San Francisco 49ers, throwing 30 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions at a completion percentage of 64.2.
However, last season, Smith attempted 61 passes that traveled more than nine yards beyond the line of scrimmage in the 10 games in which he appeared.
In other words, he's been content checking down. His coaches in San Fran understood how effective he could be as a true West Coast quarterback and didn't ask him to push the ball down the field often.
A 70.2 percent completion percentage, a 104.1 QB rating and a 6-2-1 record.
With Smith's accuracy, quick release and sound decision-making skills, Charles should be the recipient of a plenty of dumpoffs on plays in which he wasn't the first, second or third option.
Also, there will likely be a variety of short passes designed to get him the ball in space on high-percentage throws.
Here's what Reid had to say regarding Charles as a pass-catcher upon watching 2010 film (per ESPN's Bill Williamson):
I did that just to see how [Charles] handled the quick passing game or the deep passing game from the wide receiver position. He handled it well. So that gives you another dimension that you know is in there that he wasn’t utilized … they just didn’t use it in him the last couple years.
Sounds like Reid understands Charles' resourcefulness and YAC capabilities.
Dwayne Bowe's Presence
Because Dwayne Bowe has proven to be one of the game's most threatening boundary receivers, a guy capable of coming down with 50-50 balls often, Charles won't have to be concerned with frequent stacked boxes.
With his 2012 franchise tag expired, Bowe could have hit the open market and been signed by another team—a development that certainly would have had a negative impact on Charles.
The presence of the big, veteran wide receiver will keep defenses honest.
Charles and Bowe help each other, actually.
In 2010, Bowe set career highs with 1,162 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns and 16.1 yards per reception.
Offensive Line Solidification
Branden Albert was named Kansas City's franchise player moments before the deadline, a move made to keep the team's left tackle on the roster.
He has since signed the tag, meaning he'll play for the Chiefs in 2013.
Albert is more stout as a pass-blocker than he is as a run-blocker, but at least Kansas City didn't let him bolt in free agency.
Stud right tackle Eric Winston was released, but the offensive line decisions the Chiefs front office has made this offseason point to either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher ultimately being the No. 1 overall pick.
Joeckel is more refined and is lighter on his feet, but Fisher is a downright mauler and would likely be a dominant force paving huge holes for Charles on the right side of the line.
Another running back, let's say Adrian Peterson, will likely finish with more total rushing yards than Charles due to the limited amount of touches he'll receive in 2013.
But the dynamic Chiefs runner is bound to reap all the rewards from playing for a coach who understands his pass-catching skills, a quarterback who tends to check down, a traditional No. 1 who threatens the defense down the field and and a fortified offensive line.
Jamaal Charles should be the most dangerous running back in the NFL on a per-touch basis.
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