PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

January 5, 2013

David Coleman column: Reid's offense may be good fit for Jamaal Charles

PORT ARTHUR — Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid was named the new boss in Kansas City on Friday.

For Port Arthur’s favorite NFL son Jamaal Charles, that means yet another offense, yet another scheme to learn and yet another coach who may woefully underuse the talented back.

Except, with Reid, Charles may have finally found a match made in heaven.

While Charles will have to adjust to a West Coast offense, the scheme Reid runs seems perfectly fit for the versatile Memorial ex, much moreso than any he’s run in Kansas City recently. Charles took over the all-time NFL lead in yards per carry for his career this season, but does not really get an opportunity to catch the ball out of the backfield.

That will change with Reid and the West Coast offense and should create the defensive nightmare of dealing with “Jamaal Charles in space.”

What makes the West Coast so running back friendly? Let’s go back to some Chalk Talk-type theory on how football offenses work. For years and year, NFL offenses were predicated on running to set up the pass.

 Teams would run up the middle, sucking defensive players towards the line of scrimmage and thus, opening up throwing lanes down the field. When Bill Walsh developed the West Coast attack in Cincinnati with Kenny Anderson, he did the opposite. He used the ultra-efficient Anderson to throw short passes on slants and screens to set up the run.

 By spreading the field with a quick passing attack on the edges, Walsh was able to open things up in the middle for his running backs. That philosophy has pervaded many NFL head coaches game plans, but none more than Reid.

 Part of that is Reid’s commitment to a single running back instead of back-by-committee approaches. Charles has certainly dealt with a crowded backfield that cut into his carries and third-down opportunities to catch passes. With Reid, that should get swept out the door, and for good reason.

 Just look at the similarities between Charles and two prominent Eagles backs of recent history. LeSean McCoy was drafted out of Pittsburgh after a disappointing college career, but formed a great backfield piece for Reid, because he could catch the ball and run between the tackles.

 In four seasons, McCoy averaged 55 catches per season, peaking with 78 in 2010. During that stretch, McCoy had 200 carries three times, topping out at 273 carries, but averaging over 5 yards per carry just once.

 Another Reid staple at running back, Bryant Westbrook, was also a dual threat. Westbrook topped 1,000 rushing yards just twice in his Eagles career, but had a four year stretch in his prime where caught an average of 75 passes per season, topping out with 90 in 2007.

 Westbrook averaged 5 yards per carry just once from 2004 to 2008 and topped 200 carries three straight seasons, but always had at least 50 or more catches in those seasons.

 Compare that to Charles, who has a brilliant career yards per catch average of 8.4 (higher than either McCoy or Westbrook) but has never caught more than 45 passes in a season. He’s topped 200 carries in each of his last two non-injured seasons, but hasn’t come close to the number of touches that Reid’s running backs get.

 He’s also averaged over 5 yards per carry in every one of his pro seasons. Combine the effectiveness of Charles in the passing and running games under Reid and Charles could be poised to become the most complete back in the NFL.

 Well, he may already be there, but with Reid, Charles may finally have a coach who recognizes that and can utilize him to the fullest of his abilities. If he can do that? Roger Craig’s 1985 season isn’t out of the question, when he ran for 1,050 yards and caught 92 passes for 1,016 yards.

 Only two backs in NFL history have had 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Jamaal has the talent and, finally, the scheme to join them.

David Coleman is a Port Arthur News sportswriter

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

    July 21, 2014

  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

    July 19, 2014

  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

    July 15, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog