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What does Jamaal Charles mean for C.J. Anderson?

I’ll give you a hint - it starts with ‘C’ and ends with ‘ompetition.’

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New Orleans Saints v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

“Keep the room hot, keep it hot,” Broncos Country!

Before you get concerned you’re on the wrong page, that’s something Broncos wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert always likes to tell his players.

And when Emmanuel Sanders, new to the team in 2013 and unfamiliar with the meaning, finally asked about it a few years ago, Tolbert told him the more good athletes in the room, the hotter it is and the less like a guy is to get comfortable and stop working.

“When you put competition in the room with him, it brings out the best out of everybody. Only the strong survive,’” Sanders recalled. “Competition. Yeah, that's good. You have to keep that team hot, and I think that's what they're doing."

Sanders is of course talking about the latest position battle the Broncos will be evaluating as training camp approaches.

And he’s of course referring to the addition of four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles.

Ahem, four-time Pro-Bowl running back from division rival Kansas City Chiefs Jamaal Charles (and also Sanders’ teammate in the Texas high school All-Star game in 2005).

As Kansas City’s all-time leading rusher with 7,260 yards and 43 touchdowns, along with 285 receptions for 2,457 yards and 20 touchdowns, Charles has shown his mettle as a highly productive back.

The Texas native’s 5.5-yard career rushing average is the best mark in NFL history among running backs, also boasting 23 career 100-yard rushing games, including three topping 200 yards.

Although Charles has only played eight games the last two seasons due to season-ending injuries both years, the Broncos are gambling the former Texas Longhorn still has some juice in those legs.

“I run screens really well, being patient, running routes out of the backfield. That’s kind of been a part of my game the last couple years,” Charles said, noting he likes what Mike McCoy is planning with the Broncos offense. “I’ve seen what his vision is and I see what my vision is – to help the team out of the backfield and catch the ball. That is what my job is.”

But that job is also going to include possibly competing for the No. 1 running back spot with Broncos’ starter C.J. Anderson - or at least pushing to be in the 1A/1B mix to give Anderson some relief. And, of course, Devontae Booker is in that mix too.

“I just love C.J. Anderson’s game. He’s powerful and he’s fast. He is physical and he breaks tackles,” Charles said of his new teammate – and also competition. “Just playing with a guy like that, I just want to come in here and help the team with my explosiveness. I want to come up and play for each other and push each other to get better. That’s the goal at the end of the day. Now we’re on the same team, so we’re going to try and push each other to get to the one goal, and that’s another Super Bowl.”

Anderson, who is also coming off a season-ending knee injury last year, welcomed Charles “to the room” in a tweet on Tuesday.

As chummy as the two are right now, you can bet both are aiming for that No. 1 spot. And depending on their injury recoveries, backup starter Devontae Booker, a second-year back, may be in the mix too.

“They just told me to come in and compete,” Charles said of his expected role. “I’m just happy to be on the team.”

And his new team is definitely happy to have him here.

To have a guy on their side who had pretty much torched them any time the Chiefs played the Broncos is definitely a coup – and they know it.

Really, the only people upset over the deal are Chiefs fans mad that their best running back went to a rival team.

Shane Ray, a Kansas City native, understood that sentiment among Chiefs fans better than anybody.

“I know they’re sick back at home [in Kansas City]. They’re sick (laughing),” said the third-year outside linebacker. “I can’t tell you how many calls I’ve gotten, ‘No man. Not Jamaal Charles, man.’ For us, it’s a great addition. To acquire him and his play-making ability just adds a completely different dynamic to our offense.”

Bradley Roby acknowledged he was one of the best running backs the Broncos’ defense has faced.

“He’s a mismatch with every linebacker. He’s a mismatch for a lot of safeties,” Roby said, adding that he’s sure offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave will do a great job suiting the offense to Charles’ talents. “I think it’s a great addition for us.”

Sanders called the signing “awesome” before sending some love to his Broncos teammate the last four years, C.J. Anderson.

“But, I'll tell you what, in this day and age, you need a one-two-punch. And I tell you what, with him and C.J. Anderson in the back, we could make that work,” Sanders added. “Offensively, I feel like we're going to be a lot better this year. [Jamaal] brings the juice. He's a home-run hitter, for sure."

And I’ll tell YOU what - Watching training camp to see who becomes RB1 and RB2 for this 1-2 punch is going to be great fun.


Assuming all healthy, which running back is No. 1 on the depth chart?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    C.J. Anderson
    (1259 votes)
  • 43%
    Jamaal Charles
    (1090 votes)
  • 3%
    Devontae Booker
    (86 votes)
  • 2%
    (69 votes)
2504 votes total Vote Now

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