CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- Even before former teammates voiced their opinion, Jamaal Charles' movement spoke volumes.
He increased his activity Monday at Broncos' practice, offering hints of the explosive player that made him the Kansas City Chiefs' all-time leading rusher. Those who played with Charles told Denver7 they are not surprised. They refuse to rule out the 30-year-old Charles becoming an impact player again after two lost seasons because of knee injuries.
Charles hasn't lost confidence, profiling him for an intriguing story. He's a former great with not a chip on his shoulder, but the entire can of Pringles.
"Why would I not think I’m going to be the man? You think I just want to come in here and be like -- that’s never been me in my whole life. My whole life, I’ve always felt like I’m going to the be the man. That is what I want to come up in here," said Charles, answering my question with a steely resolve. "If I’m not going to be the man, why am I here? I should be at home sitting on the couch.”
Charles underwent two procedures on his knees seven months ago. Doctors trimmed meniscus in his right knee and cleaned out his left knee. Learning from experience, Charles exercised patience in his recovery with his job vanished. Still, the idea of averaging 5.5 yards a carry in his career, and being told to pack up continues to sting.
"I was fired," Charles said.
Can he light up the Broncos' offense? When signed, Charles was viewed as a 30-to-40 catch third-down weapon. If his movement this week is more than a tease that might be an undersell. Training camp offers the first true barometer.
Charles looked good running with a helmet on for the first time as a Bronco. This could mean nothing. Or it could mean the Broncos have the best Kansas City castoff since the Rockies landed Greg Holland.
"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," Charles 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.”