Chiefs legend Jamaal Charles: Andy Reid is the best coach I ever played for

NFL legend Jamaal Charles played 11 seasons in the league, nine of which were spent at the Kansas City Chiefs. Charles was an electric running back with frightening speed, and amassed 7,563 rushing yards, 2,593 receiving yards and 65 touchdowns in his career.

Pickswise got a chance to speak with Jamaal Charles to ask him about all things football. From Andy Reid, to Patrick Mahomes, The Texas Longhorns and which running backs have caught his eye this season. Check out our conversation below.

Jamaal Charles, still the career rushing leader in Kansas City, to retire as a Chief

Is Andy Reid the best coach you’ve ever worked under, what are his strengths and what makes him so successful?

“Andy is the best coach I ever played for. He communicates so effectively and is a players’ coach. Once you make a bad play, he doesn’t yell at you or get on you about it. He forgets about it and moves onto the next play. He has faith in his players that allowed me to play more relaxed and confident rather than worrying about making a mistake. He brings the best out of every player and knows how to utilize everyone’s skillset.”

Andy Reid Calling a play

Patrick Mahomes has bounced back after early struggles this season. Knowing him as you do, did you ever doubt his ability to quickly find his groove again?

“I never had a doubt Mahomes would find his groove again. There is a reason the Chiefs signed him to a 10-year deal, and that is because he is a generational talent. And when you pair Mahomes with one of the best coaches ever, you know they will always find a way to win.”

Patrick Mahomes is now odds-on to be named NFL Regular Season MVP.

The Texas Longhorns haven’t won a National Championship since your Freshman year in ’05. Do you still keep up to date with Longhorns Football? And what do they need to do to get back to the big time?

“I definitely keep up with Longhorns football. It was hard to watch at times this season, but as a fan and former player, you gotta support them no matter what. Texas loves their football and I have no doubt we will turn things around. It all starts with recruiting. From there, the coaches need to know how to utilize each player’s skill set, and the players need to buy in.”

Texas unfortunately lost Bijan Robinson to injury for the season, but to many he’s the #1 Running Back prospect in the 2023 class. What impresses you most about his skill set, and would you compare him to any NFL stars of past or present?

“Bijan is a star that can do it all. What impresses me the most is how hard he runs for his size and his great hands out of the backfield. If I had to compare him to an NFL player, I would say Dalvin Cook.”

Bijan Robinson of the Texas Longhorns

What have you made of Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s career so far? Has he met the expectations of a first round pick? 

“I think Clyde has done a great job so far in Kansas City. With Andy Reid as coach, I know he will continue to improve each week and get more comfortable in the offense.  I believe he will be a great running back in KC for a long time.”

Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire finds a seam at the line of scrimmage against the Bills.

Who do you think is currently the best running back in the league? 

“There are a lot of great running backs in the league right now. Before his injury, it was Derrick Henry, who is an absolute workhorse. Now I would say it is probably Jonathan Taylor, who has also looked awesome all year.”

Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts

What did it mean to you to be able to sign a one-day contract with the Chiefs and retire with them? How fond are your memories of life at Arrowhead?  

“It meant everything to me. Kansas City was so great to me for 9 years and to be able to retire a Chief truly was special.”

Have any rookie draft picks at running back really caught your eye in these early stages of the season so far? 

“Najee Harris has been a bright spot on the Steelers offense this year. He is a hell of a runner and has great hands out of the backfield as well. Some other notable rookies that have impressed me are Michael Carter on the Jets and Javonte Williams on the Broncos.”

Najee Harris warming up before Pittsburgh's pre-season game against Detroit

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