ENGLEWOOD - Jamaal Charles has taught the Broncos many lessons on the football field during his nine-year career. Unfortunately for Denver, they've come at their expense.
Now, however, Charles wants to continue to teach the Broncos a lesson. This time, in another capacity.
“[I want to] make everybody better and make the running backs better,” Charles said a month after signing with his former division foe. “I want to turn [Devontae] Booker into a Pro-Bowl running back when I leave here and turn C.J. [Anderson] into an All-Pro. I just want to come in here and just bring the energy and the experience.”
Not only did the Broncos appear to have signed one of the NFL’s best running backs, when healthy; they got another coach to help Eric Studesville groom the young talent in the room.
If all goes right, that is.
Grooming the younger backs on the team, thought, was one of his two goals when he signed with Denver. His other goal:
Not stand on the sideline when his team has the ball.
“Why would I not think I’m going to be the man?” Charles said, when asked if he feels he can still be a top back. “My whole life, I’ve always felt like I’m going to the be the man. That is what I want to come in here. If I’m not going to be the man, why am I here? I should be at home sitting on the couch.”
As the team approaches training camp, Charles has done anything but sit on his couch since he was released by the Chiefs in February. After struggling through multiple knee injuries the past two seasons, Charles still believes he has plenty left.
“I don’t just want to come in here, and it’s like, ‘Oh, Jamaal was here.’ No, I want to come in here to show people what I can do,” he said. "I want to show up and compete with my teammates and show them that I am good and that I am still at the top of my career. When I left Kansas City, I was still at the top. It’s just the injuries. As long as I can control injuries... (well) you really can’t control (them). The best thing is just wishing for luck.”
Charles has accomplished nearly everything in the NFL a running back can — four-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro and the NFL’s all-time leader in yards-per-carry. Everything, of course, except a Super Bowl ring. While he intends to do much of the heavy lifting required to get the Broncos back to glory, he wants to pay it forward to as many teammates as he can.
“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,” Charles said. “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.”