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Andy Reid: Jamaal Charles wasn't used fully the past two years

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

Jamaal Charles averages 5.8 yards per carry, best in NFL history. (USATSI)

Andy Reid doesn't think the Chiefs maximized Jamaal Charles' talent the past two years.

He wants the ball in Charles' hands, and not just on running plays or screens. The 26-year-old with the highest yards-per-carry average in NFL history could be splitting out wide and running a variety of routes.

Watching Charles' 2010 game tape, Reid saw Charles used to devastating effect. Charles caught 45 passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns – all career highs – while rushing for 1,467 yards. Kansas City won the AFC West that year.

“Charlie [Weis] kind of moved him around like we did with our guys [in Philadelphia],” Reid said in an interview at the owners' meetings. “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.”

Charles has averaged 5.8 yards per carry over his first five seasons, well above Jim Brown's career record of 5.22.

Reid also plans to line up Dexter McCluster in different spots and exploit his speed.

“He's not the biggest guy in the world, but he's got a heart of a lion,” Reid said of the 5-8, 170-pounder. “He's got that MO, tremendous quickness and can catch. He's pretty good at running the football, so there is a place for him. You line him up everywhere. You can move him around and kind of do some unique things with him.”

After finishing dead last in scoring (13.2 points per game) last season, the Chiefs have the makings of a potent offense. They traded for Alex Smith, re-signed Dwayne Bowe, landed free agents Donnie Avery and Anthony Fasano and franchised left tackle Branden Albert.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Larry Hartstein @LarryHartstein.

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