Jamaal Charles wants to prove he can be ‘the man’ for the Broncos

Charles is ready to be a mentor to the Broncos’ young running backs, too.

Jamaal Charles played in just eight games in the past two seasons. He’s still not cleared to fully participate in OTAs yet, either. Still, on Monday he said he can be “the man” in the Broncos’ running game.

“If I’m not going to be the man, why am I here? I should be at home sitting on the couch,” Charles said.

Charles signed with the Broncos after being waived — or “fired,” as he put it — by the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2008 draft.

“When I left Kansas City, I was still at the top. It’s just the injuries,” Charles said. “So as long as I can control the injuries — and you really can’t control it — the best thing to do is just wish for good luck.”

Charles tore his ACL in 2015 and then hurt the same knee the following year, ending a prolific career in Kansas City where he rushed for 7,260 yards.

The good news for Charles — and the Broncos — is that he’s starting to make a little progress in OTAs.

However, it’s unlikely that the Broncos will lean on Charles to carry a heavy workload, at least not right away. It’s more likely that it will be a running back by committee situation, with Charles splitting carries with the young players he wants to help develop.

“I’m just wanting to come in here and compete. Make the running backs better, make everybody better. Turn (Devontae) Booker into a Pro Bowl running back when I leave here, and turn C.J. (Anderson) into an All-Pro,” Charles said. “I just want to come here and just bring the energy, the experience.”

The Broncos’ rushing attack ranked 27th in the NFL last season and did little to help first-time starting quarterback Trevor Siemian. It’s worth questioning if the 30-year-old Charles can be “the man” for the Broncos, but if he stays healthy then he should at least be able help balance out their offensive attack.

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