The Kansas City Chiefs had the best rushing attack in football last year. The expectations were even higher one season later with the addition of fullback Le’Ron McClain and a vaunted passing attack. Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on all aspects of the Chiefs team. But some guys are stepping forward to make the running game a vital aspect of the offense once again.
In today’s win over the Indianapolis Colts, the team clearly found a new runner in Jackie Battle to go with veteran Thomas Jones. Todd Haley said he was proud of both after the game, especially as the Chiefs ran for 194 yards today. Battle had 119 yards and Jones had another 55 and both had runs over 20 yards. In other words, it was a potent day for the Chiefs offense on the ground.
“First off, I’m just really proud of the guys again,” said Haley to open his post-game press conference. “Their character, their resilience, their toughness. They’re just a really fun group of guys to be around for a lot of those attributes. They’re attributes that I really like and appreciate, especially the mental toughness side of not really worrying about a lot else other than sticking together as a team and trying to get better.”
He continued to speak specifically about the game and brought up individual players like Battle and Jones to illustrate how excited and proud he was after the win.
“We had our ups and downs today, but the keys to our game were very clear to us and they were to keep playing defense the way we’ve been playing. We like to not give up the big plays, but we had to stop the run. That was one of our number one keys. Offensively, we wanted to run the ball more efficiently which I think we certainly did with a lot of different guys doing it. Jackie Battle and Thomas [Jones] did a terrific job, because we lost a fullback [Le’Ron McClain] midway through, so we had tight ends blocking.
“It was really a great job of adjustment,” he continued. “We said no turnovers here and we were able to get through that game without any. That’s really one of the keys. Then special teams, they did a good job on special teams — I thought both teams really did — and we were able to gain much of an edge there.”
In the end, Haley repeated that it was necessary for the team to simply believe in the hard work it had put in throughout the week and stick with the plan before them.
“But again, it was sticking to our plan and not losing focus on that plan served us well. We were able to come out on top and overcome a pretty big deficit early. Again, I think you know now why a couple weeks ago I was feeling pretty good about these guys. When you have guys like this, you feel good and it makes it fun and you know they’re going to keep bouncing back. That again is an attribute I really appreciate and it was a good win for the Chiefs today.”